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La MaMa's Puppet Series 2013 Set for 11/7-24

In 1962, when Ellen Stewart invited puppet artists from Korea, La MaMa began a long love affair with all things puppetry. The form has been an integral part of La MaMa's artistic vision for more than a half-century. The institution demonstrates the depth and breadth of its commitment with the La MaMa Puppet Series 2013, which, for three weeks (November 7 - 24), fills all three La MaMa theaters with a wide array of productions-both emerging and established artists, from countries around the world, offering something for theatergoers of all ages.

Curated by Denise Greber, productions take place at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 East 4th Street), the First Floor Theatre (74 East 4th Street) and the Club Theatre (74 East 4th Street). Tickets are available now and can be purchased, 212-475-7710, or in person at the box office. Prices for individual shows vary (see below). Tickets for children's performances are $10 per family (four-person maximum). Series packages are available for $35 (two shows), $45 (three shows) and $75 (five shows).

This fall, La MaMa has introduced a new initiative, 10@$10, through which ten $10 tickets will be available to every performance on a first-come, first-served basis.

The La MaMa Puppet Series 2013 is supported by The Jim Henson Foundation, Ford Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and Cheryl Henson.


Echo in Camera (World Premiere)
Conceived, Designed and Directed by Roman Paska
November 8-17
Thurs - Sat at 7:30pm, Sunday at 4pm
Ellen Stewart Theatre

Internationally acclaimed artist Roman Paska returns to the New York stage with Echo in Camera. The work explores the relationships between hearing, understanding and identity in a "little mental drama" that recasts the Orpheus legend as an interior journey, tracing the descent of a divided puppet protagonist through a netherworld of his own imagination to retrieve a missing other.

Roman Paska is the Artistic Director of Dead Puppet Theatre Company and a writer, director, filmmaker and puppeteer whose original productions, under two successive company names, Theatre for the Birds and Dead Puppet, include The End of the World, God Mother Radio, Dead Puppet Talk andSchoolboy Play, which was commissioned by Linz '09 European Capital of Culture and presented in 2010 at The National Theatre of Portugal. He direcTed August Strindberg's A Dream Play with puppets for its centennial at the Stockholm Stadsteater, and for several years was director of the Institut International de la Marionnette in France. His magical-realist documentary feature, Rehearsal for a Sicilian Tragedy, with John Turturro, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2009, and has since been seen at the Hamptons Film Festival, Lincoln Center and BAM.

Are They Edible
Created by Jeanette Yew
November 7-10
Thurs - Sat at 9pm, Sunday at 5:30 pm
The Club Theatre

Are They Edible? is a multi-sensory puppetry performance inspired by Homer's epics The Iliad and The Odyssey. It takes place in an interactive setting in which food consumption is used as a way to engage the audience in a tactile discourse on the relationship between war, heroes and hunger (or the urge to consume). Throughout the piece, the audience enjoys the perspective of the gods, with a birds-eye view of the scope of atrocities, and with the eerie sense that this is all constructed for their enjoyment.

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew is a New York-based theater lighting and video designer, in addition to being a puppetry artist with extensive experience creating new works and adaptations in a collaborative setting. As a designer she creates Visual Environments that are organically integrated into the landscapes and languages of productions. She has designed for theater, opera, musical events, and installations. Her designs have been seen in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis and Miami, and internationally at Havana (Cuba), Prague (Czech Republic), Lima (Peru) and Edinburgh (Scotland). Her work has appeared in venues such as BAM Fisher, the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, HERE Arts Center, St. Ann's Warehouse, ArtsEmerson, The Ontological-Hysteric, Manhattan School of Music, Teatro Mella, The Zoo Roxy, The Flea Theater, Joyce SOHO, The Chocolate Factory, REDCAT and Highways Performance Space.
Through puppetry, Yew has created innovative and interactive performances. Her toy theater production of The Butcher Men was invited to the 2006 Prague Quadrennial and her digital puppetry adaptation of the Book of Genesis, MILK, was part of the Labapalooza 2007 presented at St. Ann's Warehouse (NYC). She was the recipient of the 2009-2011 NEA/TCG Career Development Program and teaches at Stony Brook University.

The Orphan Circus
Les Sages Fous (Montreal)
Directed and Designed by South Miller
November 7-10
Thurs - Sat at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm
First Floor Theatre

In The Orphan Circus, two junk peddlers create a small circus of visual tableaux to evoke the life of a cabaret troupe of derelicts and misfits, objects and puppets, led by the mysterious impresario Monsieur P. T. Issimo. In The Shadows of the mainstream entertainment industry, this little circus is a victory of the poor and the small, a place where the gruesome become beauties and even impossible love can be fulfilled.

Founded in 1999, Le Sages Fous is committed to creating a space for artistic risk-taking, experimentation, and research. Les Sages Fous propose a theater of paradoxes: grotesque and poetic, ritual and mundane, domestic and marvelous. The company recreates a lost world where the mask, the puppet, the object and the human coexist. Manipulators and fabricators work closely together at every stage of the company's creations.

The God Projekt
Lone Wolf Tribe
Conceived by Kevin Augustine
Written and directed by Kevin Augustine and Edward Einhorn
The Club Theatre
November 14-24
Thurs - Sat at 9pm, Sunday at 5:30pm

The God Projekt is an interdisciplinary, minimalist extravaganza on religion and secular morality that investigates the historical legacy of monotheism. God (played by Augustine in a full-body "old age" silicone prosthetic) joins a cast of highly realistic, hand-carved puppets inspired by 18th century wax anatomical figures and Old Testament animals and characters to deliver a dynamic interpretation of a deep, contradictory and ambiguous Almighty.

Lone Wolf Tribe is a theater ensemble blending history, sociology and life-sized puppetry into brutally poetic contemporary narratives. Harnessing the power of visual storytelling with meticulous craft, physical rigor and decidedly dark humor, Lone Wolf Tribe aims to investigate, challenge and spell bind while speaking compassionately to our collective human experience.

La Capra Ballerina (Italy)
Conceived and Performed by Laura Bartolomei
November 21-24
Thurs - Sat at 7:30pm, Sunday at 4pm
First Floor Theatre

A little girl goes to sleep and embarks on a journey within her dreams and nightmares: flying among fish with human faces; playing with light and shadow; the death of her cat; falling into water and meeting her own death. The non-linear narrative is composed like a slow dance, sustained by the electronic musical score by Stefano Zazzera and the wrist puppet technique developed by the great Russian master Vladimir Zakharov.

Laura Bartolomei was born and raised in Rome, where she studied fine art, contortionism and acrobatics. After a serious injury she was forced to find a different way to use her body, and went into dancing. Based in Italy, she regularly works with La Capra Ballerina, which she co-founded along with Jimmy Davies, Teatro Alegre, Unicef, DuoAnfibios, Coletivo de Ventiladores (Brazil), musician Stefano Zazzera and actor Andrea Brugnera. Because of Bartolomei's training in dance and visual art, she puts special emphasis in her puppetry on the visual and movement aspects. With La Capra Ballerina, she has been constructing and experimenting in puppetry and producing puppet shows and stilt parades. Their shows have been touring in Italy, South Korea, Romania, Belgium, France, Mexico, Brazil and France.

La MaMa Puppet Slam
Curated by Jane Catherine Shaw
November 15
First Floor Theatre

The La MaMa Puppet Slam is a one-night only puppet mashup featuring contemporary short-form puppet and object theatre.

WonderSpark Puppets

Performed by Chad Williams
Goldilocks & The Three Bears (November 16) and The Three Little Pigs (November 17)
First Floor Theatre
Suggested for ages 2-5

Goldilocks is a naughty little girl who does anything she wants - but what will happen when she breaks into the Three Bears' house? Lots of laughter and sing-a-longs! The well-known story about one girl, three bears, finding friends and learning responsibility.

Three Little Pigs build their houses of hay, sticks and bricks, but will they withstand the Big Bad Wolf? The classic tale retold with hilarious puppet pigs and a silly wolf-with an emphasis on "being prepared."

Founded by the husband and wife team of Chad Williams and Lindsey "Z" Briggs, WonderSpark Puppets performs puppet-theatre in all sorts of venues, including theaters, schools, libraries and children's museums.

Squirrel Stole My Underpants
The Secret Agents
Created & performed by Bonnie Duncan
Music by BrenDan Burns & Tony Leva
Directed by Dan Milstein
November 16-17
First Floor Theatre
Suggested for ages 5+

Squirrel Stole My Underpants is a poignantly silly adventure tale for families. Sylvie is sent to the backyard to hang up the laundry. The moment her back is turned, a mischievous squirrel steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off. When Sylvie gives chase, an entire world emerges from her laundry basket, and curious characters show her the way through mysterious lands. Will our lonely heroine rescue her underpants and discover the magic within herself?

The Secret Agents have been around the block, entertaining audiences ranging from five people to 5000 people, from Forcalquier to Kalamazoo, in roles as dancers, acrobats, and puppeteers, as solo artists and in touring companies.

Bonnie Duncan grew up in the South where she danced and swam competitively. She studied education and theater and developed a knack for costuming on the cheap and acting in original theater pieces. She danced for eight years with Snappy Dance Theater, where she became addicted to being thrown around by good-looking men. Duncan creates and performs solo puppet shows for adults in her living room and in fancy theaters. She also does some costume design on the side.

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