2014 Grants


If My Feet Have Lost the Ground
by Torry Bend
Photo by Raquel Salvatella de Prada
The Body Lautrec
by Aaron Cromie and Mary Tuomanen
Photo by Mary Tuomanen
by Andy Gaukel
Photo by Michael Collin
Beyond the Light
by Leila Ghaznavi & Pantea Productions
Photo by William Haas
by Little Shadow Productions
Photo by Richard Termine
Do Elephants Dream of Eclectic Sheep?
by Amanda Maddock
Photo by Sue Kessler
Death of a Salesman
by Susan Simpson
The Woodsman
by Strangemaen & Co.
American Weather
by Chris Green Kinetics

Torry Bend (Durham, NC)
If My Feet Have Lost the Ground
A woman finds a beating heart in an envelope on an airplane.  With only a return address she begins the search for its owner; in the process finds that she should really be in search of herself.  A puppet show with video, this performance investigates being rooted and rootless in search of love and identity.

Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta, GA)
1001 Nights: A Love Story about Loving Stories
1001 Nights: A Love Story About Loving Stories celebrates the power of storytelling in a family-friendly adaptation of the beloved Arabian Nights tales co-produced by the Center for Puppetry Arts and Flying Carpet Theatre Co. of New York featuring early songs by Tony winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, Book of Mormon). Performed by five actor-puppeteers with a cast of colorful hand-and-rod puppets, shadows and more, this production merges Lopez's tuneful, catchy numbers; Flying Carpet's playful, inventive staging; and the Center's internationally recognized puppet design and choreography to bring Scheherazade's stories to tuneful life.

Aaron Cromie & Mary Tuomanen (Philadelphia, PA)
The Body Lautrec
The Body Lautrec is a meditation on the life, work and maladies of French painter, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. The iconic artist suffered from from the rare genetic disease of pycnodysostosis, discovered in his youth, and syphilis, contracted later in his life, forever influencing his unique perspective on the world. Performed in English and French, this theatre work explores the intersection of 19th Century art and medicine featuring skeletal puppets inspired by Philadelphia's Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians,and will premiere in the 2014 Philadelphia FringeArts Festival.

Emily DeCola (New York, NY)
Remote Sensing
Remote Sensing is a collision of stories between a father and daughter struggling to negotiate the durability  of secrets, memories and history twenty years after the end of the Cold War.  Back in her childhood home after a long estrangement, Rachel has returned to care for her father, who is lost in the past. In order to do so, of course, she must look for him there.  

Andy Gaukel (Louisville, KY)
Inspired by the life of, Pierre Seel - who was arrested and imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis on suspicion of being gay - Schweinehund is a meditation on Seel's real-life tragedy during this dark time.

Leila Ghaznavi & Pantea Prdouctions (Brooklyn, NY)
Beyond the Light
Beyond the Light combines puppetry, dance, aerial acrobatics and the poetry of Walt Whitman, Emma Lazarus and Paul Eluard. In this one hour story one soul split into two must find its way back to completeness by journeying through a treacherous path of lost love, rebirth, and magic.

Glass Half Full Theatre (Austin, TX)
Once There Were Six Seasons
In Once There Were Six Seasons, puppeteers manipulate vast miniature landscapes to address the impact of climate change on subsistence societies around the world.  It is many stories in one: an Indian farming community torn apart by bickering over water rites, a family of polar bears faces devastating habitat loss; a Bangladeshi island provides fleeting shelter for a displaced family, a Philippine fishing village rebuilds after cyclones, and a Texas farm that rediscovers its roots.

Little Shadow Productions (Brooklyn, NY)
Zwerge (formerly The Seven Dwarves: A Survival Story) is an immersive theater piece inspired by the lives of Ovitz family.  This family, comprised in part of seven dwarves, survived the holocaust after enduring horrific medical experimentation at the hands of the infamous Nazi doctor, Joseph Mengele.  The interactive show will incorporate actors, Toy Theater, shadow puppetry, projection and installation.

Amanda Maddock (Milford, NH)
Do Elephants Dream of Eclectic Sheep?
Do Elephants Dream of Eclectic Sheep is lucid dreams, recurring dreams, meaningful and meaningless dreams.  Nighttime, and a grand elephant sleeps and wakes, drinks water, is visited by the Sandman, and ponders what is real, what is not, and what is the difference between the two.

Susan Simpson (Los Angeles, CA)
Death of a Salesman
A puppet adaptation of Death of A Salesman, by Arthur Miller. This classic play about a family's epic fight to deny their own wreckage will be the grounds for a dissection of the sensation of failure and the uncomfortable machinations Americans perform to defend against it.   The puppets, constructed bodies, propped up through obvious exertion of the puppeteers, will reveal a poignancy in each character's effort to maintain a cohesive sense of self in the face of devastation. 

James Oritz/Strangemen & Co. (Astoria, NY)
The Woodsman
The Woodsman tells the story of Nick Chopper, a mortal woodsman who falls in love with the servant girl, Nimmie, who's under the guardianship of the Wicked Witch of the East. Utilizing Bunraku puppetry, movement in the style of the Jacques Lecoq, and live violin accompaniment, "The Woodsman" delves deeper into the beloved character's history and offers a unique, heartbreaking, and adult perspective on this classic story.


SEED GRANTS ($2,000)

Anne L. Berlin (New York, NY)
The Pigeon Boys
The Pigeon Boys tells the story of the forgotten pigeoneers and pigeons of World War II and explores the lives of three soldiers -- an American, a Brit, and a German. As the boys face the harsh realities of war and one life-or-death mission, they reveal the mysteries of the 50,000 pigeons used to save the lives of soldiers and airmen.

Margarita Blush (Mansfield, CT)
Unfolding the Story: A Journey of Her Own
Unfolding the Story: A Journey of Her Own is an international project in which a diverse group of artists will create an original puppet theatre production. Inspiration for the show comes from all things female – from goddess myths and world folklore to daily prejudices that women still have to overcome. Blending biographical elements and a storytelling form, we will create a magical 21st century fairy tale that is a metaphor for a contemporary woman's path to empowerment and finding herself.

Chris Green Kinetics (Brooklyn, NY)
American Weather (working title)
American Weather (working title) is a new evening length work of puppetry, movement, object theater, and original songs about the pop-iconography of empire and America's ceaseless quest to find itself.  After initial development through an LMCC Process Space Grant on Governor's Island, the piece was performed as an excerpt in Taipei, Taiwan and will be showcased in the Puppet Lab at St. Ann's Warehouse in May 2014 with subsequent premiere date slated for 2016. Cast includes:  Yoko Myoi, Erin K. Orr, Quince Marcum, Chris Green, and Kirstin Kammemeyer with original music by Chris Green. 

Cripps Puppets & Toybox Theatre (Asheville, NC)
The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Mr. Krank
The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Mr. Krank focuses on a central character, Mr. Krank, as he embarks on a bizarre journey full of many fantastic transformations. The play is open to interpretation from the viewer as to whether Mr.Krank is an aged man suffering from dementia, experiencing the final moments before his death, or merely dreaming. This work is a collaborative piece between Madison J. Cripps and Keith Shubert.

Object of Her Affection
by Marsian De Lellis
Photo by Carole Kim
Handle With Care
by Honey Goodenough
Photo by Brian Hashimoto

Marsian De Lellis (Los Angeles, CA)
Object of Her Affection
What is love? Are we ever really in love or is it just a made up fairy tale in our heads that we project onto the objects of our desire? Object Of Her Affection is an unconventional love story about a woman who falls in love with inanimate objects, and her lifelong search for love that is just beyond her reach.  Marsian De Lellis will perform Object Of Her Affection as a solo show in Los Angeles at Automata with puppets and performing objects that stretch definitions of puppetry, while complicating the idea and categorization of sexual identity.

James Godwin (Brooklyn, NY)
The Flatiron Hex
The Flatiron Hex is a surreal-noir, occult, horror-comedy that tells the tale of a disgraced contract sorcerer as he tries to defend an alternate reality New York from an impending apocalyptic super storm. On top of that, his sister is having an affair with a thumb drive she found in the nursing home bathroom.

Honey Goodenough (Brooklyn, NY)
Handle with Care
Handle with Care unpacks the story of a family in the process of moving, by using toys and objects from childhood. Set in a children's nursery, the show presents a series of vignettes representing special moments in a family's life - the excitement and anticipation of a child's arrival; the delight of a child learning to play; the sentimental reflection of a growing family. Handle with Care will showcase reclaimed classic children's songs as a soundscape to create an emotional journey through childhood memories. By using a variety of puppetry styles including marionettes, pop-up arts, shadow theater, and object manipulation, Handle With Care offers a charming yet meaningful story that will resonate with every member of the family.

Laura Heit (Portland, OR)
The Letting Go
The Letting Go is an examination of the Illusive, the sublime, and it's many incarnations. Based on a true story the piece chronicles the hauntings of an apparition who steals souls with breath halting kisses. A performance incorporating puppetry, live video, and animation that is constantly transforming our perceptions between live/recorded and the living/departed to create new perpetually shifting in-betweens. I want the audience to leave mindful of the things in our world that we cannot explain and to reawaken our curiosity in the things we cannot see.

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (Minneapolis, MN)
CROW BOY (working title)
We will explore the courageous and intriguing work of Japanese-American artist Taro Yashima gleaned from his graphic autobiographies and his soulfully beautiful children's books. The legacy of Yashima's work offers a critical model for survival, countering institutionalized brutality with compassionate insight, poetic visual art, and ultimately—with joy.

The Chronicles of Rose
by David Lane
Photo by Jonathan Davis
Undefined Fraction
by LOCO7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company
Photo by John Jairo Ruiz

David Lane (North Adams, MA)
The Chronicles of Rose
Rose is the story of Rose Valland, the curator of the Jeu de Paume Museum in occupied Paris which was commandeered by the Nazis and used as a clearing house for priceless stollen art, and Jewish cultural and religious artifacts. Using table-top puppetry, shadows, and magic-realism, the play follows Rose as she desperately tries to undermine Nazi plundering, pass secret messages to the underground, and shelter a little Jewish boy, somehow derailed from his assigned destination, Bergen-Belsen. Rose aims to pose questions about the nature of greed, the efficacy of war, and the value of human life, cultural expression and art.

LOCO7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company (New York, NY)
Undefined Fraction
Undefined Fraction is a dance puppet theatre piece which traces inequality and reflects on the notion between good and evil, using the short story from Franz Kafka "The Hunger Artist".  The absurdity which Kafka depicts in his stories was, to him, the embodiment of the human condition - the incompatibility of the "divine law" and the human law. The production strays from realism and includes fantastic design elements and original music that are essential to the story, utilizing various puppet techniques (shadow puppets, rod-puppets, string puppets, non-conventional forms and animation).

Jonothon Lyons (Brooklyn, NY)
Ensō is a story of love, grief, and the struggle for free will. In Japan in the 18th century, a puppeteer honors his departed wife in the form of a puppet he performs alongside his twin sons. When her spirit returns to him in an unexpected way, he soon discovers the world around him is not what it seems.

Kimi Maeda (Columbia, SC)
If memory forms our personal identity and shared memory forms our cultural and even racial identity, what does it mean when memories are lost?  Akari, the third piece in a shadow-puppet trilogy dealing with my bicultural identity as a Japanese American, will explore this question by examining the lives of two men interned in a Japanese American Relocation Camp during World War II: my father, an Asian Art historian, and the subject of his research, Isamu Noguchi, a half-Japanese-half-American sculptor.

The Red Shoes
by Maria Pugnetti and Kirk Murphy
Point Pleasant
by Unitards
Photo by Richard Termine

Maria Pugnetti and Kirk Murphy (Putney, VT)
The Red Shoes
The Red Shoes weaves a series of interconnected stories through a landscape threatened by an expanding civilization that's reaching it's inevitable collapse. With intricate stylized shadow figures, lush projections, table-top puppets, and an original score sung live, this is a piece about the search to restore balance in a world of excess, disparity and disconnection. 

Sarah Provost (Brooklyn, NY)
Electric Bathing
Two garment workers escape respectability and factory work into the fantastical world of Coney Island, circa 1910, where hankies become sails, fans transform into seagulls, hatboxes are carnival rides, spools of thread are anchors, and ropes are the ocean tide. Electric Bathing is a collaboration between Sarah Provost and Lake Simons. The piece incorporates object theater, shadow and figurative puppets, clowning, vaudeville. Using silent film as a metaphor, it is performed without text.

Rogue Artists Ensemble (Los Angeles, CA)
Rogue Artists Ensemble's Fantasmagórico a dual language tale of hope and horror set during the Mexican revolution and told using masks, puppetry, and sophisticated image mapping and audio manipulation. Fantasmagórico is being helmed by Rogue Artists Ensemble Artistic Director Sean T. Cawelti with a script by Al Guerrerro and music by Ego Plum. Drawing inspiration from the political satire etchings of José Guadalupe Posada, Dia de los Muertos, and Mexican folklore including La Llorona and El Cucuy, this project explores questions of fear and ignorance within war and myth.

Unitards (Brooklyn, NY)
Point Pleasant
Point Pleasant is a musical, puppetry experience, that tells the strange tale of a small the West Virginian town of Point Pleasant.  On November 15, 1966, two young couples driving down a quiet road encountered; what they described as a large winged man with glowing red eyes.  This would be the first of many sightings of the creature that would be dubbed the "Mothman" by local papers, and ushered in a year of terror, confusion and tragedy for the small town.  By Andrew Livingston and Daniel Patrick Fay, The Unitards.



The Great Red Ball Rescue
by Foreign Landscapes Productions
Photo by Tony Bolante
Help Save the Monkey!
by Elizabeth Hara and Marta Mozelle MaCrostie
Ragtime to Bebop
by Paul Mesner Puppets
Photo by Mike Horner
Wanda & the Wave
by Public Works Theatre Company
Photo by Brian Miller
The Seal Maiden
by Strings & Things Puppet Theatre
Photo by Robert Fu

Foreign Landscapes Productions (Somerville, MA)
The Great Red Ball Rescue
Red alert! A family trip to the beach goes awry when a young boy's favorite Red Ball  whisked away by the tides. Can he summon the courage to get it back? Join Jasper, a timid kid with a big imagination, as he sets out on an adventure across the ocean, under the waves, and up into the clouds. Along the way, he meets fantastical fortunetellers, thieving fishermen, and many mysterious creatures of the deep. Will he ever reclaim his favorite Red Ball from the clutches of the sea? Find out in this visually stunning production featuring multiple styles of puppetry, an original score, and lots of sea-faring fun! 

Elizabeth Hara and Marta Mozelle MacRostie (Brooklyn, NY)
Help Save the Monkey!
Lillian's monkey was sent into space 46 years ago on a top secret mission, and it's finally about to land! She is the only one who knows where to find him, but she needs the help of 8-year-old Howard to get to Monkey before the space pod sinks to the bottom of the ocean.  In an epic journey under the ground, through the air, and over the sea, Howard and Lillian learn to take risks, defy expectations, and live a life full of adventure.

Paul Mesner Puppets (Kansas City, MO)
Ragtime to Bebop: The Story of Kansas City Jazz
Ragtime to Bebop: the Story of Kansas City Jazz tells the story of a pivotal moment in jazz history that emerged from Kansas City and will include related history about the city between the World Wars, prohibition as well as racial and social inequalities.  We will perform two versions of the play, one for adults (ages 12+) based on the life of Charlie Parker and a children's version (ages 5+) illustrating the history of jazz in Kansas City. 

Public Works Theatre Company (Lafayette, CO)
Wanda & the Wave
Wanda & the Wave is a multilingual and interactive new work of puppet theatre for families featuring original live Foley/music. Adapted by Sondra Blanchard from the children's book, The Old Woman and the Wave by Shelley Jackson, this tale is a whimsical allegory about appreciating the world around us. 

Puppet Junction Productions (Brooklyn, NY)
In Puppet Junction's VROOOM!, a young spider goes on an accidental family vacation inside a vacuum cleaner—a vacation that turns into a great escape!

Strings & Things Puppet Theatre (San Pedro, CA)
The Seal Maiden
The Seal Maiden is a folktale with origins in Celtic mythology - a time when Selkies, mythical seal creatures, were able to transform themselves into human beauties.  It is a universal story about the seasons within the life of a soul; youth, maturity, old age, and a deep understanding of the cyclical nature within.

Tears of Joy Theatre (Portland, OR)
Raven Stories
Raven Stories, a new puppetry production based on the trickster of Pacific Northwest Native American lore. Raven, like his cousin Coyote, uses his wits and cunning to get what he wants. He may be sneaky, but his tricks have given us the sun, moon and more! 'Raven Stories' is written by Shoshone-Bannock-Nez Perce poet and storyteller Ed Edmo and features original music by Marv Ross.

Society of Educational Arts (New York, NY)
A Latino take on Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night Dream". A Magical production that combines actors, dancers, puppets, live music and much more!
Una versión Latinizada de la obra "Sueño de una noche de Verano" de Shakespeare. Una pieza mágica que incluye actores, bailarines, títeres, música en vivo y mucho más.


Sleeping Beauty Dreams, The Cat Who Went to Heaven, Bedtime $5,000

Dixon Place
Puppet Blok 2014 $5,000

HERE Dream Music Puppetry
2014 Season $10,000

Paulist Pictures
Jane Henson's Nativity Story $5,000

St. Ann's Warehouse
Labapalooza 2014 $5,000

Puppets on Film Festival $5,000

Next Wave Festival - Salt of the Earth $5,000

Lincoln Center
Basil Twist - Rite of Spring $5,000

The New Victory Theater
The Old Man and the Old Moon, The Snail and the Whale, Pinocchio $10,000

St. Ann's Warehouse
Puppet Lab 2014-2015 $$5,000

The Tank
What are you Eating?  ADA/AVA $5,000