HERE proudly presents Chiflón, El Silencio del Carbón, by renowned Chilean company Silencio Blanco, a presentation from HERE's Dream Music Puppetry Program. This production plays three performances only, February 24 - 26, 2017 at HERE (145 Sixth Avenue, just below Spring Street). This presentation at HERE arrives as part of a U.S. tour, with dates and venues as follows: MCA, Chicago, IL (January 15-24); FUNDarte, Miami, FL (January 25-29); University of Maryland/The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, College Park, MD (January 30-February 5); Raritan Valley Community College/The Theatre, Branchburg, NJ (February 6-12); Bucknell University/Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Lewisburg, PA (February 13-19); HERE, New York, NY (February 24-26); UCLA/Center for the Art of Performance, Los Angeles, CA (February 27-March 5); Boom Arts, Portland, OR (March 6-9).

The mine collapses. A young miner is expelled from the coalmine in which he works. His only chance to keep working for the mining company is to head for the area of Chiflón de Diablo, the area known as one of the most dangerous places a miner can work in Chile. Based in part on the story "El Chiflón del Diablo" by Baldomero Lillo, a distinguished Chilean author, as well as research on and visits to the mining town of Lota in Chile, El Silencio del Carbón is a hauntingly beautiful, non-vocAl Marionette work that connects deeply with a broad family audience.

Silencio Blanco, based in Santiago de Chile, is a collective of seven puppeteers including co-founders Santiago Tobar and Dominga Gutiérrez. The group is noted for working with white marionettes, constructed with a newspaper base, in silence. Human emotions are represented through everyday situations and gesture movements. Bunraku and marionette puppeteers transmit the human movement through the puppet, provoking illusion and suspended belief so it seems that even the heartbeat of the characters can be heard. The company was formed in 2010 by Santiago Tobar and Dominga Gutiérrez, who met while students at the legendary Theater School of the University of Chile. The current group features seven puppet artists and sound artist-composer Ricardo Pacheco. They have created three full-length works, De Papel, Pescador and Chiflón, employing puppets and film. Santiago Tobar serves as Artistic Director and head puppet maker. Prior to forming Silencio Blanco with Dominga Gutiérrez, Tobar was master puppeteer with Compañía Teatro Milagros, collaborating with artistic director-designer Aline Kuppenheim in the company's award-winning multimedia works El Capote and Sobre la Cuerda Floja (Over the Tightrope.)

El Silencio del Carbón plays Friday, February 24 & Saturday, February 25 at 7:00pm, and Sunday, February 26 at 2:00pm. Tickets are $25.00. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (212) 352-3101 or at the HERE Box Office (5PM until curtain on show days). For more, please visit

Following each performance, Dream Music Puppetry Program Artistic Director Basil Twist and the co-creators and performers of Chiflón, El Silencio del Carbón invite the audience onstage for an intimate interactive talk and demonstration. In an informal Q&A led by Basil Twist, the artists will discuss the developmental process and the hand creation of the marionettes, their past & future collaborations and their place in the puppetry field.

HERE's Dream Music Puppetry Program, under the artistic direction of Basil Twist, with producing direction from HERE co-founder Barbara Busackino, is one of few programs in the country to grow and commission contemporary adult puppet works, particularly works that feature live music as a collaborative element. Dream Music seeks to secure the future of puppetry by providing increased development and performance opportunities to puppet artists, and by collaborating with artists from other disciplines to develop new puppetry techniques. In addition, Dream Music brings to New York the most excellent of international puppetry, reflecting on Twist's roots at the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France. Dream Music was inaugurated with the premiere of Basil Twist's OBIE-award winning Symphonie Fantastique in 1998 and the opening of the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre, an intimate space created specifically for intimate puppetry. HERE's Dream Music is also proud to house the Griff Williams Puppetry Collection. The 6 antique marionettes of Harry James, Griff Williams, Cab Calloway, Arturo Toscannini, Ted Lewis and Paul Whiteman were all performed with The Griff Williams Orchestra in the 1930s & 40s throughout America's big band era. They have a permanent home outside the Dorothy B. Williams Theatre at HERE.

The OBIE-winning HERE (Kristin Marting, Artistic Director and Kim Whitener, Producing Director), named a Top Ten Off-Off Broadway Theatre by Time Out New York, is a leader in the field of producing and presenting new, hybrid performance viewed as a seamless integration of artistic disciplines-theater, dance, music and opera, puppetry, media, visual and installation, spoken word and performance art. Standout productions include Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique and Arias with a Twist, Hazelle Goodman's On Edge, Trey Lyford & Geoff Sobelle's all wear bowlers, Young Jean Lee's Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, Corey Dargel's Removable Parts, Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge, Kamala Sankaram's Miranda and Robin Frohardt's The Pigeoning, among many others. In 2008, following an extensive renovation, HERE re-opened the doors to its long-time downtown home for the arts, where it continues as a vibrant, welcoming haven for artists and audiences alike.

The HERE Artist Residency Program (HARP) has been HERE's signature development and producing program since 1998. HARP commissions, develops and premieres new hybrid performances. Productions developed at HERE challenge existing boundaries between disciplines. Through HARP, the Resident Artists are given the unique opportunity to develop their projects for up to three years through free works-in-progress showings, workshop presentations in HERE's annual CULTUREMART festival, culminating in full-scale productions.

Each season, HERE premieres several of these Resident Artist productions as mainstage works. These innovative projects are grown in a diverse artistic community where artists receive career development resources and hands-on training. HARP has been widely recognized as a unique model for artistic development for the field to emulate. In honoring HERE with the 2009 Ross Wetzsteon Award, the OBIE Committee noted, "it's become increasingly hard for artists to find a place to take risks, a safe haven where they can develop daring new work. One theater has regularly bucked the trend, making its mission to ensure that artists have a home for their research and development, and that theatregoers can sample the exciting results."

HERE is also home to the cross-disciplinary productions of Artistic Director Kristin Marting. Currently in development is Assembled Identity featuring Purva Bedi and Mariana Newhard. Exploring ethnic ambiguity, race and identity, this duet uses original and found text, live cinematography, and contemporary music to explore the science of identity, including genomics, genetics, eugenics and cloning, all of which impact our culture.

HERE proudly hosts adventurous artists, companies and productions, whether emerging or acclaimed, through its SubletSeries. It also presents work from New York, across the country, and around the globe through the Dream Music Puppetry Program (co-curated with Basil Twist), and the widely acclaimed PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now festival of opera-theater and music-theater, co-produced with Beth Morrison Projects.

HERE's 2016-2017 Season launched with Ship of Fools, a Dream Music Puppetry Program production by Resident Artist Jessica Scott. Following this presentation of Chiflón, El Silencio del Carbón, the season continues with CasablancaBox, a HERE Resident Artist production by Sara Farrington & Reid Farrington (April 5 - 29, 2017); Dark Circus, a Dream Music Puppetry presentation by France's STEREOPTIK (May 30 - June 4, 2017); The Reception, a HERE Resident Artist production by Sean Donovan & Sebastián Calderón Bentin (June 13 - 24, 2017). The season also includes two annual highlights, PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now (January 5 - 15, 2017), the premier global festival of opera-theatre and music-theatre in New York City, co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and HERE; and HERE's annual CULTUREMART Festival, showcasing hybrid works in progress coming out of the HERE Artist Residency Program (March 14 - 26, 2017).

This engagement of Silencio Blanco is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Silencio Blanco has also received support from The Performing Americas Program. The Performing Americas Program is a partnership between the National Performance Network (NPN) and the Network of Cultural Promoters of Latin America and the Caribbean (La RED) designed to increase artistic exchange in the Western Hemisphere. The Performing Americas Program is supported by the NPN with funding provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Touring support is made possible in part by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile/National Council of Culture and the Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), the lead organizer for Silencio Blanco's multi-city 2017 U.S. tour.

HERE's programming is made possible with public funds from: the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the Office of New York State Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick. With additional support provided by The Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund of The Scherman Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program; the Mental Insight Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation; the Mertz Gilmore Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; Jerome Foundation; the Fund for the City of New York; The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; FACE Contemporary Theater Foundation; the Jim Henson Foundation; the Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts; Goldman Sachs Gives; Select Equity Group; mediaThe foundation; Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation; the Leon Levy Foundation; the Axe-Houghton Foundation; and HERE's generous community of individual donors. PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now receives leadership funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; with other generous support from The Charles and Cerise Jacobs Fund for New Opera, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, The Reed Foundation, Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, The Ted Snowdon Foundation, the Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation; The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., Amphion Foundation, the Fresh Sound Foundation, and Opera America's New Works Exploration Grant. PROTOTYPE receives generous corporate support from Edison Properties.

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You