June Grab Bag

Katherine Fahey’s amazing crankie. See #1.

1. I was lucky enough to catch the work of the marvelous Baltimore artist Katherine Fahey at a Puppet Underground cabaret this week. She creates beautiful shadow puppet ‘crankies’ for music videos and other stories. Check out some of her work here and here.

2. One of the places that has long been on my ‘To Visit While in NYC’ list is the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. Now that they have announced the upcoming Henson Gallery, devoted to all things Muppet, I think it should move to the top of the list.

3. Baby Universe is a play opening next week at Studio Theatre, that combines puppets with a variety of other media. I won’t be able to see it, but it looks amazing, so you should all go and then tell me about it!

4. Our friends at SCRAP DC have announced their Summer Carnival! Cake walks, lemonade, face paint and games and best of all, all the proceeds go to helping this fantastic crew continue to bring us unique, affordable and recycled arts supplies. Tickets available here.

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Saying Good-bye to Kismet

It’s a little counter-intuitive, but one of my absolute favorite things about live theater is that it ends. Each production exists in a certain span of time, no two performances are exactly alike and when a show is finished, that is it. Sets are broken apart, costumes put away, actors scattered to other places and projects. Ephemeral, if you will.

One of the cabinet units, now leading a second life as a useful part of the studio.

One of the cabinet units, now leading a second life as a useful part of the studio.

We are sad to say goodbye to Cabinets of Kismet which has been our main project for nearly two years now. Last Sunday was our final show and in just a couple of hours, the theater looked as though we had never been there. Risers are back in place, lights put away and speakers re-hung. Puppets are in boxes, cabinet units have been broken apart and are now housing gels and wood scraps, as well as shadow puppets.

Puppets join some older friends, including Anansi, Granny and the Malachite Palace marionettes on a shelf in the studio.

Kismet paper puppets join some older friends, including Anansi, Granny and the Malachite Palace marionettes on a shelf in the studio.

It’s been a fantastic experience, thanks to the wonderful support from CulturalDC, our mentor Pete Miller, our collaborators from SCRAP DC and of course the incredible audience members who came to the show and stayed to share their thoughts and impressions. If you came to a performance, THANK YOU and if you missed it, we hope to see you at our next one! Check back here for more information about upcoming events soon!

Puppet Workshop Announcement!!

scrap logoThe Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet is a project that happened because a group of artists all read books by Shaun Tan and were inspired to create a new story. We hope that watching our puppet play inspires other people to create their own stories as well. To help that process along, we are thrilled to be able to present a PUPPET-MAKING WORKSHOP on Sunday, May 12 in collaboration with SCRAP DC.

Directly after the 2pm show, Karen Klein and Heather Bouley from SCRAP will lead a workshop on making puppets from recycled materials. This workshop is for all ages and is a perfect activity for families to do together. There are only 25 spots in the workshop due to space limitations, so buy your tickets today!

Building Kismet #4

Our efforts have been focused on paper puppets for the past few weeks. With the help of Matthew McGee and puppeteers Heather Carter, Amy Kellett and Russell Matthews, we’ve created some new citizens of Paper World, out of scraps from SCRAP DC, local printers and the contents of the recycling bin.

Any guesses as to how these components might fit together to form a paper puppet?

Any guesses as to how these components might fit together to form a paper puppet?

Big or small, everything is made from paper!

Big or small, everything is made from paper!

Not too many tools needed--just a glue gun and scissors.

Not too many tools needed–just a glue gun and scissors.

Two paper friends, ready to be animated by puppeteers.

Two paper friends, ready to be animated by puppeteers.