2002 Grants


by Batoto Yetu
Photo by Patrick Demarchelier

Batoto Yetu - Ngola
A dance and puppetry drama that elaborates on The Mukishi, focusing on one family and the crisis that strikes their African village. ($3,000)

Carter Family Marionettes - The Burning House
A dance and puppetry drama that elaborates on The Mukishi, focusing on one family and the crisis that strikes their African village. ($3,000)

Chinese Theatre Work - Kun/Shadow Whitesnake
A work blending classical Chinese opera and traditional and modern styles of shadow puppetry to recount the legend of Whitesnake. ($5,000)

Ping Chong & Company - Obon: Tales of Rain and Moonlight
A sequel to Kwaidan with puppets and live performers depicting three classic Asian ghost stories about love and loss. ($5,000)

Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre - Pan Peter
A marionette musical theater work featuring Peter as an aging rock musician left behind by several generations of Wendys. ($3,000)

Preston Foerder - Loners
A solo adult puppet theater piece, using a series of short sketches to examine people when they are alone. ($3,000)

Great Small Works - Zangezi
A production of Khlebnikov's Zangezi using puppetry and the poems, prose, and plays of Russian Futurist. ($3,000)

Dan Hurlin - Everyday Uses for Sight No. 4: The Hiroshima Maidens
A bunraku-style puppet piece based on the true story of the Hiroshima Maidens; who survived the bombing of Hiroshima. ($3,000)

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre - The Nightingale
A puppet and mask adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale examining humans, the natural world, and our spiritual connections. ($3,000)

Brace Yourself
by Lunatique Fantastique
Photo by Jeff Anton

Chiao-Wen Joven Lin & Zach Behrens - Bey Guh - A Poet Sings
A project inspired by The Songs of Ch'u, a book of collected ancient Chinese poetry, and the life of the exiled poet Chu Yuan. ($5,000)

Lunatique Fantastique - Brace Yourself
A piece exploring the consequences of debilitating disease using objects to dramatize the life of the protagonist. ($3,000)

MASS MoCA - Red Beads
A new development phase for a large-scale opera that uses ancient Japanese dance, music, and puppets to explore a coming of age folk tale. ($5,000)

"The Jim Henson Foundation support enabled us to stop, many times, to take a collective breath, and then remember what it means to truly create and not just produce something because we said we would."
-Robert Smythe,
Mum Puppettheatre

Salao - the worst kind of unlucky
by Redmoon Theatre
Photo by Michael Brosilow

"In this the age of simulacra no performing art speaks more about who we are and where we've come than puppetry.
Debates rage about whether puppetry descended from the sacred statues of religious festivals or ascended from the nursery room of enchanted children. There's no answer; but what a wonderful audience to be able to appeal to! The fact that an art form could claim two such perfect origins."
-Redmoon Theater

Mum Puppettheatre - Rocking the Boat
A play that uses Vietnamese water puppets, rod and shadow puppets, and bunraku puppets to tell a story of immigration and assimilation. ($3,000)

Open Eye Figure Theatre - Elijah's Wake
A visual meditation on the theme of memory told with glove and rod puppets, string puppets, and kinetic objects and toys. ($3,000)

Redmoon Theater - Salao: The Worst Kind of Unlucky
A work inspired by Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea that uses shifts in puppetry forms to leap between realms of story-telling. ($3,000)

Bart P. Roccoberton, Jr. - Butterfly Dreams
A collaborative series of dream vignettes that offer the audience a mirror in which they can onfront themselves. ($3,000)

Sandglass Theater - One Way Street
A piece combining puppet theater and video based on the life and work of Walter Benjamin, a 1920s-30s German Jewish philosopher. ($3,000)

ShadowLight Productions - El Californio
A work by playwright Octavio Solis that celebrates the history of California Latinos using shadow theater, actors, puppeteers, and musicians. ($5,000)

Skysaver Productions - Timur the Lame
A piece based on the life of the 14th century Persian ruler and the Elizabethan play by Marlowe incorporating various puppetry techniques. ($5,000)

Squonk Opera - Burn
A play based on Dante's Inferno and set in the Applachian coal town of Centralia, PA that uses digital imagery to create "projection puppets". ($5,000)

The St. Ann Center for Restoration and the Arts, Inc. - St. Ann's Puppet Lab
A new series of works in progress by artists participating in St. Ann's Puppet Lab. ($3,000)

Underground Railway Theater - A State of Grace
A collaboration with theater artist and composer Larry Siegel inspired by the short stories, poems, and essays of Grace Paley. ($3,000)

SEED GRANTS ($1,000)


Roger Benington - The Bog Queen
A dark fairy tale-like story about self sacrifice that takes place in the boglands of Ireland with actors and puppets in a diorama-like landscape.

Fred Curchack - Gauguin's Shadow
A work depicting Paul Gauguin through the eyes of a mysterious young physician/art critic named Victor Segalen.

Drama of Works - The Ballad of Phineas P. Gage
A piece with puppets with human hands, clock hearts and brains that tell Gage's story through testimonies, scientific theory and original songs.

Sam Hack - Isolation Island part 3 (natural selection)
A final installment in a trilogy about life on an island where dogs, birds and plants have evolved in fantastic ways.

Deborah Hertzberg - Nosferatu
An adaptation based on the classic 1922 silent Dracula film that incorporates hand, rod and shadow puppets.

Billy Jarcho - Jello A-Go-Go
A piece depicting a place just out of reach, dangling like an elusive golden carrot-on-a-string.

Liz Joyce and Tim Lagasse - Brave New Musical
A musical adaptation of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World with table top theater and a variety of puppets in an industrial multi-media environment.

Lone Wolf Tribe - Animal
A work offering one possible glimpse of the future through life-sized puppetry with four puppeteers working in the Bunraku style.

Now or Never Theatre - Wonder Tales of the Islamic World
A performance project based on a book-in-progress by Jennifer Heath entitled The Fruit of Heaven: Folk, Wonder Tales and Legends of the Islamic World.

Barbara Pollitt & Jim Calder - Professor Beowulf
A piece that juxtaposes imagination and delusion as it weaves together the tale of Beowulf and the story of an eccentric junior high school teacher.

Still. Sounds.
by Sarah Provost, Nancy Salomon and Jane Stein
Photo by Jane Stein

Sarah Provost, Nancy Salomon Miranda, Jane Stein (The Field) - The Beckett Project
A collaborative project to interpret three short Samuel Beckett works using puppetry as the communicative medium.

Patti Smithsonian - Take, Eat, This Is My Body
A poetic enactment of inner creations played out on an enormous woman's body as she slowly moves and pauses in a new position.

Rudi Stern & Ralph Lee - Untitled
A collaborative research project to experiment with a theatrical production fusing narration, puppetry, shadow play, music and light projections.

Ellen van Wees - The Nursery
A companion piece to Tales of the Powdered and Periwigged that goes back in time to the childhood of the mad puppeteer Madame d'Aulnoy.

Christopher Williams - Marginalia/Virgo Genitrix
A work for nine dancers, six of which will be small Bunraku style puppets, which will investigate medieval Christian phenomena.