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Local Performing Arts Company Partners with Detroit Zoological Society For Puppetry Shows And Educational Programming

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CMAP has announced the launch of the DZS educational puppet show series this month, the result of a second year of partnership between CMAP (Carrie Morris Arts Production) and the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). Shows will include three distinct live stream performances of puppetry, in addition to special behind-the-scenes footage exploring the creative collaboration between CMAP and DZS staff, geared toward all ages and all audience members who are young at heart.

Shows kick off Saturday July 18 at 11:00AM and run through mid-September. Last year, these distinct shows, produced by CMAP, a puppetry and performing arts studio in Detroit, were focused on specific animals at the zoo and their habits and habitats. Performances developed during CMAP's 2020 residency will explore zoological and environmental issues related to the global and local landscape through performances titled Sustainable Palm Oil Superheroes, Recycled Cell Phones Save Gorillas and Respect and Reverence at the Detroit Zoo.

This year, CMAP worked with Detroit Zoological Society curators, leadership and caretakers from January through March of 2020, conducting interviews, drafting storyboards, and developing scripts based on the topics of focus. All performances originally envisioned as in-person shows will be live streamed on the Detroit Zoo's Facebook page with the help of video production team Space Monkey Productions, a Detroit-based production company whose client list includes Dally In the Alley, Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce and the Kresge Arts In Detroit program.

Performed by local actors and puppeteers that include Torri Ashford, James Abbott, Monty Etzcorn, Oliver Pookrum and others, the first of these shows, Sustainable Palm Oil Superheroes, will explore what palm oil is, where it comes from, and how sustainable use of this product helps us save the planet. Consecutive shows Recycled Cell Phones Save Gorillas, on August 15, and Respect and Reverence at the Detroit Zoo, on September 19, will continue this examination of critical topics that are not just globally relevant but also play a role here in Detroit. Starting August 31, these shows, behind-the-scenes footage, artist interviews and more will be featured as part of the Detroit Zoo's Virtual Ventures summer programming, focusing on how puppetry can be used to share stories about the animals in DZS care. All performances are perfect for the whole family - kids to grandparents.

We are always so thrilled to collaborate with the Detroit Zoological Society to generate impact-driven new works. This year we were able to tackle in-depth, complex issues that relate to environmental sustainability and human impact on the planet - issues that are of great importance to the Detroit Zoological Society . We have learned so much and are excited to share these works with our shared audiences! - Carrie Morris (CMAP, Executive Director)

Detroit Zoo staff interviewed for these 2020 performances include: Christine McNulty, Fine Arts Curator; Aaron Jesue, Gorilla Caretaker; Diane Miller, Chief Program Officer and Director of Education; Bonnie Van Dam, Associate Curator of Birds; Stephen Vira, Curator of Humane Education; Stephanie Allard, Deputy Chief Life Sciences Officer, Animal Welfare and Conservation; Nancy Butler, Zoo Registrar; and Rachel Handbury, Manager of Sustainability.

Live streams and special archived videos will be shared at the Detroit Zoo's Facebook page. For more information, updated hours of operation, to stay in the loop on new announcements please visit and; and become a recipient of CMAP's email subscription.

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