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World's First Puppet Improv Festival in Seattle

Katie McClenahan

You may have seen an improv show, and you may have seen a puppet show, but have you ever seen an improv show starring a cast of puppets? If not, now's your chance! Starting on November 12th and over the course of one incredible week, talented improvisers and puppeteers from around the globe will be coming to Unexpected Productions for the first ever Seattle Puppetry Improv Festival (SPIF). 

This week features hysterical improvised performances by puppets as well as a variety of workshops and classes on improv skills, building and operating puppets and incorporating the two skills. The festival is brainchild of Unexpected Productions' long-time performer Elizabeth Westermann.  This one-of-a-kind festival is a must-see for fans of improv, comedy and puppetry.

DETAILS BELOW:
1428 Post Alley (at the Gum Wall)
Seattle, WA 98202
Dates: November 13th - 20th
Times: 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Tickets: $15
Buy: http://www.unexpectedproductions.org/show/SPIF
Web: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/first-annual-seattle-puppetry-improvisation-festival-tickets-25246523030
Email: info@unexpectedproductions.org
 

 

Puppet filmmaker, Sam Koji Hale, in Seattle November 12!

Katie McClenahan

Sam Koji Hale will be appearing in the NW for a one-night-only short film screening and Q & A about his upcoming full-length feature film, Yamasong.  This will take place on November 12th at the Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle, WA.  More event details can be found here.

This film is the first non-Muppet puppet feature in North America since “Team America” (2004). It features the voice talent of Nathan Fillion, Whoopi Goldberg, George Takei, Peter Weller, Freida Pinto, Abigail Breslin, Malcolm McDowell, Ed Asner and Bruce Davison.

This event will include multiple film screenings including the original short that inspired the feature “Yamasong”, short films by regional puppetry artists produced for Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams, question and answer session and behind-the-scenes of “Yamasong” by creator/director Sam Koji Hale and more.

Submissions open for October Slam!

Katie McClenahan

CALLING ALL PUPPETEERS!

The next Portland, OR Beady Little Eyes puppet slam is seeking submissions in the form of live acts and short films. The next slam will take place at the Echo Theater on Saturday October 15 and Sunday October 16 @ 7:30pm both nights.  

FOR LIVE ACT SUBMISSIONS: Please email your proposed puppet show in a short 2-3 sentence synopsis.  It can be a show you've already done or a new piece that you have yet to work on.  If we are not already familiar with your work, please send pictures of your past work or a website / youtube link.  All shows must be 2 - 8 minutes in length. Please also indicate if you'd like to perform both nights or just one. 

FOR FILM SUBMISSIONS:  Please send a youtube/vimeo link to katie@beadylittleeyes.com.

 

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Friday SEPTEMBER 9th, 2016

 

Send all submissions to: Katie@beadylittleeyes.com

 

Photo by Shawn Patrick Higgins.  Puppet Show by Bill Holznagel and Paul Velasquez

Photo by Shawn Patrick Higgins.  Puppet Show by Bill Holznagel and Paul Velasquez

Kyle Loven performs in Seattle this weekend!

Katie McClenahan

Performance/visual artist Kyle Loven branches out from his beautifully intimate puppetry shows with a surreal, dreamlike landscape inspired by natural history dioramas and night terrors. Loven focuses on mind-body connections in his exploration of dance and movement, coming together with the help of a half-gorgeous, half-scary Arctic creature. 

Title: April at Dawn, Near Alta, Norway

Show Dates: June 17 @ 8pm and June 18 / 19 @ 5pm

Where: On the Boards in Seattle, WA

BUY TICKETS HERE

photo by Bruce Clayton Tom

photo by Bruce Clayton Tom

Pop + Puppetry III @ Holocene!

Katie McClenahan

For the third year running, Holocene and local puppetry collective Beady Little Eyes will present POP + PUPPETRY, an interdisciplinary extravaganza for the eyes and ears! 3 groups of puppeteers of diverse styles (giant puppets, tiny puppets and shadow puppets, for example) will be paired with 3 inventive Portland-based pop groups. Each puppeteer group will present an original puppet show created especially for this event and synced to the band's music. The results should be dazzling, and help to elevate the experience of both artistic mediums when combined. We'll also be screening puppet films between acts.

For the third year running, Holocene and local puppetry collective Beady Little Eyes will present POP + PUPPETRY, an interdisciplinary extravaganza for the eyes and ears! 3 groups of puppeteers of diverse styles (giant puppets, tiny puppets and shadow puppets, for example) will be paired with 3 inventive Portland-based pop groups. Each puppeteer group will present an original puppet show created especially for this event and synced to the band's music. The results should be dazzling, and help to elevate the experience of both artistic mediums when combined. We'll also be screening puppet films between acts.

Mask Workshop in PDX - This weekend!

Katie McClenahan

Our friend and collaborator, Tony Fuemmeler is hosting a mask-making workshop this weekend only.

Design, sculpt, cast and paint your own mask!  Find new sources of creative inspiration, learn about the qualities that promote dynamic onstage play, and discover techniques for shaping a well-engineered character mask. You will leave the workshop with a plaster cast of your face and one painted mask.

Masks are awesome! Though they obscure part or all of the face, masks reveal so much more. Masks are powerful objects that inspire character and transform the people that wear them. They have a part in nearly every culture of the world, they show up in holidays like Halloween and Mardi Gras, and they are one of the original elements of theater as we know it today.

This workshop is excellent for actors and performers, costume designers and mask enthusiasts at all levels of experience. Ages 18+

 WHEN:

6–10 pm Friday, April 29

10am–7 pm Saturday, April 30

10am–7 pm Sunday, May 1

WHERE:

The Mask Studio, 1516 NE Mason St

TUITION:

$300. Cost for materials is included.  Check, PayPal, Square, Chase QuickPay accepted. Pre-registration required by April 27. To enroll, email tony_fuemmeler@yahoo.com.

 Use code PUPPET to register for a discounted price of $250. 

Web: www.tonyfuemmeler.com    

Blog: www.tonyfuemmeler.wordpress.com

Instagram: make_those_faces

ABOUT TONY:

Over the past 13 years, Tony Fuemmeler has designed masks for multiple productions on the West Coast and across the country. Locally, he has designed and built masks for productions like the Drammy Award-winning The Snowstorm (Many Hats), The King Stag (Lewis and Clark College), The Velvet Sky, The Adding Machine (Theatre Vertigo), The Storm in the Barn (Oregon Children’s Theatre), and Alice in Wonderland (Nomadic Theatre). 

Tony began working with masks at the University of Kansas in a production of Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist. After graduation, he spent a year with In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (Minneapolis), and then pursued further training with Bruce Marrs and Joan Schirle at the Dell'Arte International School (Blue Lake, California). In 2014, Tony traveled to Ubud, Bali, to study with master mask carver Nyoman Setiawan, and then to Mumbai, India as a volunteer mask maker for The Maya Project(a collaboration of Teach For India and Artists Striving to End Poverty). Tony is based in Portland, Oregon.

A New PDX Puppet Collective

Katie McClenahan

We heard from some little birdies that a new collective is forming in Portland.  See the details below for more information - sounds all-inclusive and like an all-out good time!

DETAILS from the DIRECTOR, Cherie Panek:

Objective: To create a puppetry lab/workout space for performing objects (and their Significant Others.) 

Who: Puppets, masks, objects, etc., along with puppeteers and physical performers of all kinds who'd love to partner with them. 

What: A collective lab and creative play space to get in shape, stay in shape, collaborate, connect, network, inspire, explore, encourage and strengthen our puppetry skills. We will be working as a collective while also sharing facilitation and studio time. 

When: Starting March 1, 2016 from 8:30-10:30pm. The collective will be held at the same time and location every other Tuesday until the end of May. 

Remaining dates: March 29th , April 12th, April 26th,  May 10th & May 24th

*After the first few collective labs we will be developing a calendar for people to sign up on different days so they could have an opportunity to lead either a warm-up or a group puppetry exercise. If facilitating something does not interest you, no worries, we are equipped with several exercises and activities to explore and keep us busy

Where: N.E.W (New Expressive Works-also known Studio2@Zoomtopia 810 SE Belmont, Ste. 2 )

Why: To help build and develop the PDX performing puppetry/object community. To help strengthen and practice our craft in puppetry art. Plus, nobody likes a flabby puppet. And everybody loves having really good hands. 

Cost: rental for the space is $30 per evening. This total will then be split between each evening's participants. (Always free for objects.) The most each evening will ever cost an individual is $10 but it could also be as low as $2.50 depending on the total number of participants each night. Max 12 participants per evening. We know people are busy so there is no obligation to attend all of them. You will pay the night of the collective. Cash or check only. Please be sure to RSVP to email if you are planning to attend so that we can put you on that evenings list. 

*If you are a person that is really interested but has financial restrictions please email us and let us know. 

Other details: Only bare-feet, socks or non-marking, non-street shoes allowed on studio floor. Shoes previously worn on the streets or outside are not permitted footwear on studio floor. Please also be sure to wear clothes that are comfortable to move in. The studio also asks that you refrain from using perfumes, aftershaves or other scented products in the studio. 

A variety of practice puppets, objects, and masks will be available to use and explore-but don’t hesitate to bring puppets of your own. Hope to see you there! 

For questions and to RSVP if attending: pdxpuppetcollective@gmail.com

Submissions open for April Puppet Slam in PDX!

Katie McClenahan

::CALLING ALL PUPPETEERS::


The next Puppet Slam will take place at the Echo Theater. We are seeking live puppet acts and films for this show.   If you aren't interested in performing, mark your calendars and stay tuned for ticket info coming soon.

 

Saturday April 23rd + Sunday April 24th @ 7:30pm.  

TWO SHOWS, TWO SHOWS!  


FOR LIVE ACT SUBMISSIONS: Please email your proposed puppet show in a short 2-3 sentence synopsis.  It can be a show you've already done or a new piece that you have yet to work on.  If we are not already familiar with your work, please send pictures of your past work or a website / youtube link.  All shows must be 2 - 8 minutes in length. Please also indicate if you'd like to perform both nights or just one. 

FOR FILM SUBMISSIONS:  Please send a youtube/vimeo link to katie@beadylittleeyes.com.

 

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: Friday March 25th

 

Send all submissions to: Katie@beadylittleeyes.com

Matt Hopkins and Zeke - photo by Shawn Patrick Higgins

Matt Hopkins and Zeke - photo by Shawn Patrick Higgins


Wonderheads hosts workshop this weekend!

Katie McClenahan

Check out this amazing workshop lead by Canadian puppeteer and mask performer, Peter Balkwill of the Old Trout Puppet workshop.  NEAT-O!!

STEALING THE MASK
A Master Class in Puppetry and Mask Technique


December 11th-13th, 2015
Location: Shout House (210 SE Madison, Portland OR)
Tuition: $110

http://www.wonderheads.com/workshops/


Submissions open for November Slam

Katie McClenahan

Calling all puppeteers and puppet film makers!

"Heart Whole" by Jenelle Weidlich - Photo by Shawn Patrick Higgins

"Heart Whole" by Jenelle Weidlich - Photo by Shawn Patrick Higgins

Submissions are now open for the next amazing installment of everyone's favorite PORTLAND PUPPET SLAM happening at the Echo Theater on Nov 20 and 21 @ 8pm. Please submit your show ideas, show length, general tone of the piece and bios (you and other performers) to Katie@beadylittleeyes.com by November 1st to be considered! For films, please send links, not files. 

This slam will occur on NOVEMBER 20 and NOVEMBER 21 at the Echo Theater.  Performers should be available starting at 6pm for one or both nights.  Please specify which nights you'd like to be involved.  Please know that we try to accommodate more performers and sometimes this means you will only be accepted into 1 slot.  Thanks for understanding and sharing the stage! 

This slam will feature two performers coming to Portland all the way from the Wilds of Connecticut, Gavin Cummins and Sarah Nolen.  Let's show them how awesome puppetry is in Portland!  

Pass it on!

 

 

Bread and Puppet is coming!

Katie McClenahan

Vermont's legendary Bread and Puppet Theatre will be performing at Reed College for one performance open to the public on October 17th!  GET TICKETS HERE!

Firewas originally created in 1965 and later dedicated to three Americans who immolated themselves in protest against the war in Vietnam. Fire is a glimpse into seven days in a Vietnamese community which is incinerated by firebombs, followed by a scene referencing the protest self-immolations. Fire is performed with life-sized puppets which resemble their manipulators. George Dennison, author, educator, and longtime observer of Bread & Puppet, said: "To some extent (Fire) is a service to the dead. Beyond this it manifests certain of the deep premises of the human condition, the inequitableness of life, our dependencies on each other, the social nature of the self."

Pete and Randy Strike Again

Katie McClenahan

Do not miss PLAYTIME! with Pete and Randy on April 17th and 18th only!  You will laugh, cry laugh and cry harder laughing. Enjoy!

WHO: Signal Light Puppet Theatre Presented by Tears of Joy Theatre

WHAT: Playtime! with Pete and Randy

WHERE: Imago Theatre – 17 SE 8th Ave. Portland, OR.

WHEN: Friday April 17 & Saturday April 18 @ 8pm

AGES: 10 and up

TICKETS: $12-$15

Tickets or call 503.248.0557

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An irreverent children’s puppet show for adults- part Muppets, part Ren and Stimpy.  This series of lively vignettes features two mischievous puppies who re-engineer a cat, get shot in the face, cheat at a science fair, destroy all life on earth, and discover the true meaning of Easter.  Not recommended for children under 10 due to scenes of comic violence.