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Manual Cinema's MEMENTOS MORI Announced At The Broad Stage

Manual Cinema's MEMENTOS MORI Announced At The Broad Stage

The Broad Stage presents Manual Cinema's Mementos Mori - a dynamic, beguiling meditation on death and dying. A cast of six puppeteers use hundreds of paper puppets, seven overhead projectors, two cameras and three screens to create a live "movie" in front of the audience.

When Death takes an unexpected holiday, an elderly film projectionist finds a new lease on life; a ghost explores the afterlife with her iPhone; and a seven-year-old girl discovers her own mortality. Accompanied by four musicians and live sound effects, the result is a rich mosaic of cinematic storytelling, all performed live with puppets

Mementos Mori has three performances only April 12 and 13 at 7:30pm and April 14 at 2:00pm. Tickets, starting at $35, are on sale at www.thebroadstage.org or by calling 310-434-3200.

Mementos Mori premiered in 2015 at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Chicago International Puppetry Festival.

Manual Cinema is a performance collective, design studio, and film/ video production company founded in 2010 by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, and Kyle Vegter. Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create immersive visual stories for stage and screen. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design, and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema transforms the experience of attending the cinema and imbues it with liveness, ingenuity, and theatricality.

To date Manual Cinema has created ten feature length live cinematic shadow puppet shows (Lula Del Ray, ADA/ AVA, Mementos Mori, My Soul's Shadow, The Magic City, The End of TV, No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, and Frankenstein); a live cinematic contemporary dance show created for family audiences in collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance and the choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams (Mariko's Magical Mix); an original site-specific installations (La Celestina); an original adaptation of Hansel & Gretel created for the Belgian Royal Opera; music videos for Sony Masterworks, Gabriel Kahane, three time GRAMMY Award-winning eighth blackbird, and NYTimes Best Selling author Reif Larson; a live non-fiction piece for Pop-Up Magazine; a self-produced short film (CHICAGOLAND); a museum exhibit created in collaboration with the Chicago History Museum (The Secret Lives of Objects ) a collection of cinematic shorts in collaboration with poet Zachary Schomburg and string quartet Chicago Q Ensemble (FJORDS ); live cinematic puppet adaptations of StoryCorps stories (Show & Tell) and NPR's Invisibilia. Manual Cinema also collaborated with The New York times to create puppet animation and an original score for The Forger, an Emmy Award-winning and Peabody Award-nominated documentary short.

Manual Cinema has been presented by, worked in collaboration with, or brought its work to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), The Tehran International Puppet Festival (Iran), La Monnaie-De Munt (Brussels), BAM (NYC), Underbelly (UK), Adelaide Festival (AU), The Kennedy Center (DC), The Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Noorderzon Festival (Netherlands), The O, Miami Poetry Festival, Davies Symphony Hall (SF), The Ace Hotel Theater (LA), Handmade Worlds Puppet Festival (Minneapolis), The Screenwriters' Colony in Nantucket, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Future of Storytelling Conference (NYC), the NYC Fringe Festival, Arts Emerson, The Poetry Foundation (Chicago), the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival, the Puppeteers of America: Puppet Festival (R)evolution, The Public Theatre's Under the Radar Festival (NYC), and elsewhere around the world.

Manual Cinema was ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago in the Theater and Performance Studies program in the fall of 2012, where they taught as adjunct faculty. They were an ensemble in residence at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in partnership with The Public Theatre in winter 2019. They lead the Catapult: Professional Training Workshop with the Chicago International Puppetry Festival and the Poetry Foundation during spring 2018. Manual Cinema has taught workshops at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, The Future of Storytelling Conference (NYC), Stanford University, Yale University, Puppeteers of America: Puppet Festival (R)evolution, the Chicago Parks District, and many other theaters and universities around the country. The company offers extensive workshops and education opportunities as part of its touring engagements.

In Fall 2016, they contributed visuals, music, and sound design for an immersive adaptation of Peter Pan with producer Randy Weiner (Sleep No More, The Donkey Show, Queen of the Night) which premiered in Beijing in December 2016. In 2018 Manual Cinema premiered our adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at Court Theatre (Chicago), stitching together the classic story of Frankenstein with Mary Shelley's own biography. Frankenstein had its NYC premiere in January, 2019 at The Public Theatre's Under the Radar Festival

In 2019, the company begins pre-production on their first animated short film and will have the U.S. premiere of Hansel and Gretel with the Oregon Symphony.

Theatre at The Broad Stage is made possible in part by generous gifts from Bill & Laurie Benenson and Susan Stockel.


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