2018 Grants


The Black Hen Society
by Animal Cracker Conspiracy
Photo: Richard Termine
by Blackspace / Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins
Photo: SNP
by Janie Geiser / Automata
Photo: Courtesy of the Artist
The Last Supper Club
by Frank Maugeri
Photo: Evan Barr
Everything Starts from a Dot
by Nekaa Lab / Sachiyo Takahashi
Photo: Richard Termine
Tree Pop
by Lake Simons
Photo: Richard Termine
CREATURE: A Wretched Frankenstein
by Zach Bramel & Deva North
Photo: Kriech Higdon Photography
by Concrete Temple Theatre
Photo: Stefen Hagen
Don't Tell Me No
by LOCO7 Dance Puppet Theater Company
Photo: Courtesy of the Artist
The Rule of the World
by Margarita Blush Productions
Photo: Amir Khosrowpour
Harkness Calls
by Miniature Curiosa / Zach Dorn
Photo: Courtesy of the Artist
by James Ortiz + Strangemen & Co.
Photo: Kennedy Kanagawa
The Inverted World: Body as Planet
by Kalan Sherrard
Photo: Elisa Garcia de la Huerta
FulFillingness' Rebirth
by Chamindika Wanduragala
Photo: Bruce Silcox
O Motherland! Shadow Narratives of Bangladesh
by Carrie Morris Production
Photo: Cristina Mezuk
The Amazing Story Machine
by Doppelskope
Photo: Ken Ek
Go Home Tiny Monster
by The Gottabees
Photo: Richard Termine
My Magical Colombian Bus/Mi Chivita Magica
by Society of the Educational Arts
Photo: Jose Lopez

Animal Cracker Conspiracy (San Diego, CA)
The Black Hen Society
Blending secret societies, alchemy, and ecological disaster, The Black Hen Society is a moss punk fable that charts the moral journey we all may face as we seek knowledge and the wisdom it bestows. Inspired by the first Russian children's book by Antony Pogorelsky.

Blackspace / Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins (Durham, NC)
5P1N0K10 is an Afrofuturist Hip Hopera revisiting the classic tale of Pinnokio. It is a multi media experience of puppetry confronting current social issues in the inner cities of current America.

Janie Geiser / Automata (Los Angeles, CA)
Here/There is a multidisciplinary work that uses a life-size bunraku puppet to evoke the lingering personal terror that remains after the direct experience of living with war. Here/There explores the body as a site of war, depository of memory, and vessel of scars, and is directed by Janie Geiser, conceived in collaboration with performer/veteran Jason Barlaan and video designer Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh, and and performed by an ensemble of 5 puppeteers.

Frank Maugeri (Oak Park, IL)
The Last Supper Club
A cowboy, a saint, a matador and a cosmonaut canine are just a few of the inhabitants of The Last Supper Club. In this intimate but epic event, we share short true tragic tales in a variety of puppetry styles, inviting audiences to pull up a chair at our long table to celebrate, commemorate and dream deeply, accompanied by live music and bread we break together. Created and directed by Frank Maugeri and Seth Bockley

Nekaa Lab / Sachiyo Takahashi (Brooklyn, NY)
Everything Starts from a Dot
Inspired by a Wassily Kandinsky quote, Everything Starts from a Dot is an abstract journey of a humble dot told through a projection of miniature worlds and manipulation of large objects in live space. Through various encounters and a constantly shifting perspective and scale, the dot explores microscopic yet cosmic territories in itself and beyond.

Phantom Limb Company / Octopus Theatricals (Princeton, NJ)
FALLING OUT is a multi-disciplinary theatrical event and the final installment in Phantom Limb's environmental trilogy. Fusing Butoh tradition with puppetry, contemporary FLEX dance, visual design and soundscape, FALLING OUT is a story about water, Japan, Fukushima, heartbreak and climate crisis.

Lake Simons (Brooklyn, NY)
Tree Pop
Tree Pop (An Imaginative Pageant Amongst The Pines - An Ode To Friends That Leave And Objects That Speak) is a meditation on and an exploration of memory, the life of objects, passing, & the way we play. A show without words, set to a sparse Americana-inspired score by composer & co-creator John Dyer, directed by Lake Simons and featuring a variety of puppetry techniques including direct manipulation, object, and large-scale forms worn by performers.


Torry Bend (Durham, NC)
Dreaming: Little Nemo in Slumberland Revisited
Dreaming: Little Nemo in Slumberland Revisited is a collaboration between puppet artist Torry Bend and playwright Howard Craft. The piece investigates the comic strip genius Winsor McCay reimagining his fantasy dreamworld for the stage with overhead projectors, toy theater and table top puppets. 

Zach Bramel & Deva North (Louisville, KY)
CREATURE: A Wretched Frankenstein
CREATURE is an imaginative adaptation of Frankenstein, and features a 7-foot-tall puppet, tabletop puppetry, live rock and roll accompaniment, expressive lighting and projected imagery. Following the Creature as it makes defining choices, the performance strives to restore the intelligence, grace and violence with which Mary Shelley originally imbued it.

Caitlin Brzezinski & Libby Schap (Chelsea, MA)
Flying Lessons
Flying Lessons, a collaboration between Caitlin Brzezinski and Libby Schap, is a shadow puppet and physical theater piece, which follows three female characters as they explore unrealized dreams. Through the shadow world and their shadow counterparts, the characters are able to do the impossible and examine desires - for transformation, for family, and for freedom from societal norms.

Concrete Temple Theatre (New York, NY)
PACKRAT tells the story of Bud, a packrat aka a woodrat. His tale is one of intrigue, adventure, and a lust for power that examines what is preserved, saved, collected and what is ignored, discarded, forgotten.

LOCO7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company (New York, NY)
Don't Tell Me No
Don't Tell Me No (working title) is inspired by Restrepo's true-life experience with his Aunt, a woman who decided to end her life with dignity after a long illness at the age of 72. The show will use puppets, live actors, music, video and physical theatre to deal with the themes of life, love and loss.

Margarita Blush Productions (Storrs, CT)
The Rule of the World
The Rule of the World is a devised puppet theatre production that explores the themes of injustice and disillusionment. The title is inspired by a quote from Kafka's iconic book The Trial: "…The lie made into the rule of the world." The show is intended for mature audiences and will feature live performance, puppetry, movement, original script, unique scenography, and live music.

Miniature Curiosa (Pittsburgh, PA)
Harkness Calls
It wasn't long after Ruth Harkness received word that her husband was dead, stricken by throat cancer in Shanghai, that she found herself on the bow of a ship charging across the Atlantic, a young widow hell-bent on finishing the mission he started. Harkness Calls celebrates the sensational journey that followed, tugging audiences through a puppet spectacle that reimagines traditional festival performance through the lens of American mythology.

James Ortiz & Strangemen & Co.  (Astoria, NY)
Fresh off of the success of The Woodsman, Strangemen & Co's new movement and puppet-fueled adaptation re-examines the Bram Stoker classic to uncover a story about mankind's eternal struggle to do whats right when battling it's own darker, animal instincts.

Justin Perkins (Brooklyn, NY)
Unicorn Afterlife
A dead unicorn is offered a treacherous choice: forget the past, or remember it Unicorn Afterlife is a work of puppetry, dance and object theater fueled by two millennia of art, myth and history, and the power of a solid disco four-on-the-floor.

The Public Theater (New York, NY)
Manual Cinema presents Frankenstein
The Public Theater will partner with the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs to host a research residency for Manual Cinema. During their two weeks in residence at the UCCS Ent Center for the Arts (January 20 – February 4, 2018), the artists will workshop their new production, Frankenstein, which will be presented as a featured presentation in the 2019 Under the Radar Festival at The Public.

Kalan Sherrard (Brooklyn, NY)
The Inverted World: Body as Planet
The Body as Planet project is an ambulatory inverting world populated by strange edenic demons and angelic aliens, a mobile bestiary of otherness.

Spybird Theater (Brattleboro, VT)
Kasper and Gretel in Puppet Crimes
German hand puppet heroes Kasper and Gretel bicker and dream in the style of Punch and Judy. Struggling with the challenges of who takes care of the baby, who makes the money and who does chores, the two worst neighbors you could imagine create for us a world of grotesque tradition.

Basil Twist (New York, NY)
Grandma's Russian Painting Project
A memory performance where objects and a space take on a haunted life of their own in response to original music by Ljova Zhurbin.

Chamindika Wanduragala (Minneapolis, MN)
Fulfillingness' Rebirth
Fulfillingness' Rebirth deals with the loss of creativity and sense of self after childbirth and the journey to regain self fulfillment.


Carrie Morris Arts Production (Detroit, MI)
O Motherland! Shadow Narratives of Bangladesh
O Motherland! is a shadow puppet play and collaboration between Carrie Morris Arts Production and the Bangla School of Music, using simple metaphors to narrate broad concepts in Bangladesh's history. The show will employ resonant narratives and crafted visual images to tell a story about the past and present of Bangladeshi culture that can be enjoyed by viewers ages 5 to 105, engaging and informing others about the cultural traditions that contemporary communities strive to carry on.

Doppelskope (Brooklyn, NY)
The Amazing Story Machine
The Grimm family are on the verge of presenting their amazing new Story Machine, which runs on steam and dreams and promises to revolutionize how stories are told and how people connect. When their fabulous new machine malfunctions, they have to invent a new way of storytelling on the spot, using puppets and help from the audience.

New York City Children's Theater (New York, NY)
The Little Red Fish
New York City Children's Theater's THE LITTLE RED FISH has been conceived and designed by Emily DeCola and Eric Wright of Puppet Kitchen, based on the book by Taeeun Yoo. This piece for children of all ages will incorporate a range of puppetry techniques to tell the adventures of a boy named Jeje, who chases after his pet fish when it jumps into a magical book at the library.

The Gottabees (Boston, MA)
Go Home Tiny Monster
After Sylvie and her family of handmade monsters experience a loss of epic proportions, the audience must help them find their way to a new home. Go Home Tiny Monster features The Gottabees' trademark mix of puppetry, joyously absurd silliness, physical theater, and surprising poignancy.

Hamumu Theatre Collective (Indianola, WA)
Our Serpant Guide
Over the past three years the annual Aboriginal Cultural Festival (ACF) in Victoria, BC has grown to have an audience of over 40,000 participants. In 2018 Henry Seaweed and George Taylor, members of the Sisiutl clan (the two headed Sea Serpent of the Salish Sea and the NW Coast) of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation, are enthusiastic to have the opportunity to help the Hamumu Arts Collective present Our Serpent Guide. Our Serpent Guide follows a young Sioux girl on her journey as a 'Water Protector' to block the dangerous 'Black Snake' as it assumes the physical form of an oil pipeline and travels toward the Salish Sea. The young water protector gains a new sense of her First Nations identity as both human and animal spirit helpers help transform the Black Snake into the benevolent two headed spirit guide - the Sisiutl Sea serpent.

Kurt Hunter (Saint Louis Park, MN)
Penguin in my Pocket
Penguin in my Pocket tells the tale of a penguin scientist who crash lands in the jungle when her experimental jetpack fails and how she works with an artistic monkey to find her way home. It's a solo show featuring marionettes, rod puppets, audience member puppeteers and live concertina music to highlight the importance of imagination in both art and science.

Society of the Educational Arts - Teatro SEA (New York, NY)
My Magical Colombian Bus / Mi Chivita Magica
In My Magical Colombian Bus audiences hop aboard "La Chivita" a magical bus that journeys through the heartland of Colombia, and is joined by loveable characters that share traditional songs, dance and stories of their beloved homeland. This cleverly designed show, which resembles a giant board game, combines various puppets styles (hand, marionette, glove and animation), where the actors/characters/puppets are positioned throughout the board during the show. The goal of the game is to help Lucy, the main character, make her way back home and reunite with her Grandfather.



Dixon Place- $5,000
Lake Simons - Hero's House
Puppet BloK 2018

Flushing Town Hall - $5,000
Ytuquepintas Company (Spain) - Dreams of Sand
Tanglewood Marionettes - Dragon King
Kulturehuset Stadsteatern Marionetteartern (Sweden) - Paper
Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia (Canada) - The Rainbow Fish

HERE - $10,000
Lake Simons & John Dyer - Tree Pop
Puppet Parlor
Basil Twist - Symphonie Fantastique
Chris Green - American Weather


Ruby & Charlie
by Jessica Simon
Photo: Richard Termine


Ruby & Charlie

Jessica Simon

Ruby & Charlie is a wordless tabletop puppet play following a couple in the 1950s. The rich themes present in Ray Charles' music -- love, infidelity, heartbreak, and longing-- have informed the development of their story which will be accompanied by a live jazz combo.