XPT To Showcase Original, Innovative Puppetry Works For Adults At The Center For Puppetry Arts

XPT To Showcase Original, Innovative Puppetry Works For Adults At The Center For Puppetry Arts

The Center for Puppetry Arts will soon present a series of original puppetry pieces during its highly anticipated Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT), May 10-13. Throughout XPT, artists from all disciplines will work together to produce, workshop and perform inspired, original works for adult audiences. The talented artists will cover a full range of styles, including live performances, short films and an art installation in a chance to experiment and collaborate with their peers under the guidance of Center for Puppetry Arts staff.

XPT is driven by experimentation, which results in performances that are bold, creative, inventive and mature in nature. This year, the Center will host five live performances, five short films and one art installation. Highlights of the 2018 line-up include the story of a traveler and his beloved ship; the history of opals; correspondence from the afterlife; and the tale of friendship between a monkey and a kernel of popcorn.

The 2018 lineup includes:


  • "The Monkey and the Popcorn" - By Eric Castaneda
    • A simple singalong performance about a caged monkey and a forgotten popcorn kernel who find each other and become friends.
  • "Body My House" - By Steve Morrison and Colin Wheeler
    • A house by a lake appears empty inside, but secrets live within the walls.
  • "The Opal" - By Donna Sammander
    • An Afghan story of how the opal came to be and how it holds the secret to much more than the lights and rainbow colors that it encloses.
  • "The Custer Wolf" - By Chris Heady
    • The nine-year reign of the animal outlaw known to South Dakota locals as the Custer Wolf will be put to the ultimate test when the USDA's best hunter takes up the trail of the wolf in this unforgettable true story.
  • "The Boat of Bones" - By Clelia Scala
    • A stop-motion film about a puppet in search of life in the midst of death.

Live Performances

  • Mean Spirited - By Frances Chang
    • After passing on to the next realm, Grandma Bertie learns to come to terms with the choices her family makes in her absence while she takes a hard look at herself and the cause of the estrangement with her late son.
  • Moving World - By Jessica Mendel
    • A combination of stop-motion animation and live puppetry that explores the world of fireflies.
  • Sagittarius A - By Brandi Smart
    • A comedy about the complicated relationship of one stellar traveler and his ship Rosie.
  • But I Digress - By Vivian Alford and Lee Bryan
    • A former beauty queen and her daughter serve up slices of life and tell it like it is-and was.
  • Filthy/Gorgeous - By Cynthia Brower
    • A burlesque strip tease featuring a body puppet.


  • In Stall - By Jamie Donmoyer
    • An interactive installation piece that utilizes the sights and sounds of a public restroom experience to tell short vignettes.

Tickets are $10 (Members) and $15 (nonmembers) and include admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum (with the largest collection of Jim Henson puppets and artifacts in the world as well as a Global Gallery) one hour before the show. Tickets can be purchased online at www.puppet.org or by calling 404.873.3391.

For nearly 35 years, XPT has allowed the Center for Puppetry Arts to invite theater newcomers and seasoned professionals alike to collaborate and showcase their talents by writing, directing, constructing and performing experimental works for the puppet stage. At its essence, XPT is a lab or incubator for new ideas and works for puppetry from artists of every artistic discipline, some of whom may never have worked in puppetry. Once the artist is chosen through a selective application process, he or she receives a small stipend. The real benefit for the artist is freedom to experiment and collaborate with fellow artists under the guidance of Center staff. This alchemy is what moves ideas from conception to execution. All accepted submissions will be archived in the Center's Nancy Staub Puppetry Research Library for guests to enjoy for years to come.

Recommended for ages 18 and older, XPT demonstrates that puppets can engage adults as much as children. A beer and wine cash bar will be open before the show and during intermission. Attendees are encouraged to stick around after the performances for an artist talk-back.

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