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Theatre For The New City Presents Voice 4 Vision Puppet Festival Dec. 3-13

The Fifth Voice 4 Vision Puppet Festival (www.voice4vision.org) will be presented December 3 to 13, 2009 by Theater for the New City to celebrate the work of a unique group of New York artists who have been creating dynamic puppet theater for many years. Theater for the New City is dedicated to presenting cross-disciplinary theatrical works and to developing audiences that support local New York artists; this festival is wonderfully suited to that mission. Puppet theater artists Jane Catherine Shaw and Sarah Provost are co-curators. This festival is generously supported by the Jim Henson Foundation.

The festival is committed to supporting and encouraging the recognition of New York artists--both emerging artists and established artists--who are creating dynamic puppet theater. In fostering the development of their work and their audiences, the Festival also celebrates and promotes puppetry to New York audiences, who may never have attended a full length theatrical piece conceived for puppetry.

The Festival will feature various artists/companies in its mainstage shows, running in repertory over the two weeks. This year the mainstage featured productions will be "Hobo No-No" by Billy Burns (December 3-6) , "Next to the Last Poem" & "La Môme Bijoux" by Patty Bradshaw (December 10-13) and "The Mud Angels" by Luis de Robles Tentindo (December 10-13).

There will be added attractions offering space and support to the puppetry community:

* Puppets on Film - works on film by local, national, and international artists (December 6 at 8:00 pm).

Heather Henson's Hand Made Puppet Dreams is a collection of films featuring live puppetry on film. Not to be confused with claymation or stop motion animation, these works are conceived as filmed sequences of live action puppetry, and features some of the most beautiful, touching and humorous works for film. The Voice 4 Vision Puppet Festival is proud to bring this innovative art to the attention of New York audiences, and to introduce them to the artists who are working in this medium.

* Puppet Art Attacks - a late night puppet "slam" featuring short works of genius by various artists (December 13 at 8:00 pm)

The Puppet Art Attacks Slam is a fast paced evening of short works-from 3 to 8 minutes long and featuring some of the most innovative emerging artist in the field of puppetry. This is the closing event of the Festival and is always brimming with the city's most energetic and challenging artists who are doing it for love of the art. Some of the artists who have indicated they will present are: Alissa Hunnicutt, Serra Hirsch, Spica Wobbe, Caitlin Lainoff, Howie Liefer, Caroline Reck, Sally Fisher, Hillary Spector ...and others are sure to join in.

* Gallery of Puppets - showcasing local artists and their vast and varied styles and perspectives (an ongoing lobby exhibition)

Each of these events is wholly reliant upon the wealth of homegrown talent and upon invited peers from other communities. These events bring artists and audience together in exciting, "anything-goes" atmospheres that are spontaneous and revitalizing.

PARTICIPATING PRODUCTIONS

Billy Burns - "Hobo No-no"
December 3-5 at 8:00 pm, December 6 at 3:00 pm
"Hobo No-no" is an original play written for marionette theater that follows the Depression-era tribulations of Chicago hobo "Memphis" Tim, as he attempts to bravely run away from the National Guard, boxcar psychotics, short-tempered rail yard bulls, and his own personal demons. The action unfolds across the landscape of 1930s America, on ten elaborate sets, with eighteen puppets speaking in rhyming pentameter.

Billy Burns is a craftsman working in wood, ink, steel cable and theater. He has constructed sets, props and special effects for Richard Foreman, the Wooster Group, the Builder's Association, Young Jean Lee, Richard Maxwell, the Improbable Theater Company, the NTUSA, Elevator Repair Service, Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Joseph Silovsky, Radiohole, and many others. He also has experience in puppeteering, puppet building, mechanical toy theater construction, stop-motion animation and live performance. Recently, he performed (with marionette) in The National Theater of the United States of America's Chautuaqua! at P.S.122, and served as Technical Director on Soho Rep's production of Sarah Kane's Blasted (Obie winner for set design). "Hobo No-no" is his first attempt at marionette theater. It was presented as a work in progress at St. Ann's Warehouse, as part of their mini-festival, Labapalooza.

Luis Tentindo - "The Mud Angels"
December 10 at 8:00 pm, December 11 at 9:30 pm, December 12 at 8:00 pm. December 13 at 4:30 pm
The point of departure for "The Mud Angels" (an emergence of forms) is the catastrophic flood, which occurred in Florence, Italy in 1966. With this historical event as the setting, a dynamic puppet-movement play unfolds which tells the story of a book restorer and the memories which are uncovered as he goes deeper into his work. The piece explores memory and loss in a very tangible way - through the destruction and miraculous restoration of the written treasures of a society. The story uses the central figure of the restorer as one of a dying breed. The project uses puppets (bunraku-style and two dimensional forms), sculptural set inventions, and an original sound score with live performance by Valerie Opielski. Several of the set pieces are multi-functional sculptures that use pulleys, ropes, and levers. The sound score utilizes original music, sound environments, and audio interviews woven into a seamless continuum.

Patti Bradshaw - "Next To The Last Poem" and "La Môme Bijoux" (presented as a double bill)
December 10 at 9:30 pm, December 11 at 8:00 pm, December 12 at 9:30 pm, December 13 at 3:00 pm
"Next to the Last Poem" is a day in the life of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa who lived from 1888 to 1935. Scholars say he invented numerous "heteronyms" (his word) who interacted with him and each other throughout Pessoa's otherwise reclusive and lonely life. On a rainy night in March 1914, Pessoa wrote upwards of 36 poems in four distinct voices. This puppet theater show represents an imaginary day before that prolific night. Brassai's famous photographic subject from the 1930s in Paris, La Môme Bijou, comes to life in the form of a puppet and object theater play. "La Môme Bijoux" has a predilection for things that sparkle. She holds certain illusions about her notoriety and importance. Times are lean. It's just another night of fortune telling and reminiscing at her usual table. However, these moments are leading up to a future of recognition and immortality she could never have predicted.

"Puppets on Film"
Dec. 6 @ 8:00
A provocative, challenging, and savvy collection of puppet shorts created by the next generation of small-scale artists, featuring selections from Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams Vol. III. See www.voice4vision.org for updates.

"Puppet Art Attacks"
Dec. 13 @ 8:00 (special price: $8)
A puppetry slam of 3-5 minute "short works of genius" by a variety of puppet artists. The Puppet Art Attacks Slam is a fast paced evening of short works-from 3 to 8 minutes long and featuring some of the most innovative emerging artist in the field of puppetry. This is the closing event of the Festival and is always brimming with the city's most energetic and challenging artists who are doing it for love of the art. Some of the artists who have indicated they will present are: Alissa Hunnicutt, Serra Hirsch, Spica Wobbe, Caitlin Lainoff, Howie Liefer, Caroline Reck, Sally Fisher, Hillary Spector ...and others are sure to join in.

For more information, please visit http://www.voice4vision.org/

 


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