Tuesday, June 11, 2013

MONDAY-IS-THE-NEW-FRIDAY CABARET!


Everyone! 

We are really really really excited that Erik Ruin, Maryanne Colella AND Katherine Fahey are all finally coming to town! And all in ONE cabaret! How convenient for you! They are each in their own right very amazing artists. We hope you make an extra effort to come out and see them on Monday. (And to tell all your friends!) It will be well worth the effort! Details below!

Puppet Underground

(And please help us spread the word through facebook!)

(AND And thanks to Amanda Huron who organized this cabaret!)

=================================

Are your Monday nights boring? Tedious? Lonely? Or just Meh?

You can get help.

We have the answer to all your Monday night woes. It's Live! It's Entertaining! It has all the scintillating excitement of a Weekend!! It's the... 

MONDAY-IS-THE-NEW-FRIDAY CABARET!

Monday, June 17, 7:00 PM.
La Casa, 3166 Mt. Pleasant St. NW, WDC.
$5-10 sliding scale donation.


FEATURING:

Weed Tree // local experimental guitar/drums duo of Amanda Huron and Layne Garrett.
One Touch of Nature Makes the Whole World Kin // gorgeous puppetry from Erik Ruin and Maryann Colella -- see details below!
Katherine Fahey puppetry // hand-cranked puppet shows and song from Baltimore.
Mike Andre // local songs of dissonance and beauty. 


One Touch Of Nature Makes the Whole World Kin 
is a table-top toy theater show by Erik Ruin and Maryann Colella concerning disasters and the organic mutual aid efforts/networks which arise in their wake. Amongst other examples, we focus on the Halifax ship explosion of 1917, the largest man-made explosion before the invention of the atom bomb. The show incorporates sprawling silk-screened graphics come to life, toy instruments, tape-deck sound effects and text from Rebecca Solnit's book A Paradise Built In Hell.

Erik Ruin is a printmaker, shadow-puppeteer, founding member of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, and co-creator of the recent book Paths Toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations of Everyday Anarchism (w/ Cindy Milstein, PM Press, 2012). For more on his work, seehttp://erikruin.tumblr.com/.
Maryann Colella is a puppeteer, dancer, mask-maker and street-theater instigator who has been working with The Bread & Puppet Theater for the past 7 years, and has also collaborated with All the Saints Theater Company, Royal Frog Ballet, the Boston Radical Arts Troupe, Deep In the Belly, the Puppeteers Cooperative and Agua Sol Y Soreno.

Katherine Fahey is a designer, performer and printmaker. She embodies a community of musicians, artists and writers where elegance and authenticity are signal virtues. Her cut paper and prints have become music posters, shadow puppets, portraits, set design and animation, including a lush music videos for musicians such as Wye Oak and ellen cherry.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

High Wire Cabaret!

Coming up next week, we invite you to join us to celebrate the start of Spring with the incredible...death defying...seasonal change inducing...
HIGH WIRE CABARET

Wednesday, March 20th
7:30 pm

At La Casa Community of Christ: 3166 Mt Pleasant St NW

$5-$15 Sliding Scale Suggested Donation
 Featuring….

 The 7 Person Chair Pyramid High Wire Act
 presented by Der Vorf├╝hreffekt Theatre (with some of the fabulous folks from the Missoula Oblongata)

 In the wilds of Siberia, Charles Darwin goes off search of the Yeti. The Yeti (if she exists) enters a radio station’s dance contest, hoping to win an all-expenses-paid vacation to a place that doesn’t exist yet. Darwin’s research companion—a little brown bat—tries to win back the love of the radio station’s electromagnetic emissions—but how could that ever end happily? Meanwhile, Siberia’s caves are home to a secretive tribe of ropemakers—but their disintegrating family structure may cause their ancient craft to be lost forever. Through the lens of the real life allegory of the Flying Wallendas’ famous high-wire act, two performers on a tiny stage unfold Darwin’s laboratory, unfurl anatomic diagrams of the yeti, and try to tease out the difference between miracles and non-miracles.  

 Written by Donna Oblongata (member of The Missoula Oblongata, Wham City, and producer/director of the 2012 production Less Miserable). Designed and performed by Donna Oblongata & Patrick Costello (visual artist extraordinaire and also a star of Less Miserable). Directed by Sarah Lowry (member of The Missoula Oblongata, assistant director of Less Miserable)

And also featuring some great local talent, including…

 Medicine Show
presented by Marianne Ross

 An illustrated, hundred percent true history of 200 years of American medicine (with tongue in cheek).


 For more information, contact us at PuppetUndergroundDC@gmail.com or 646-734-6705.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Under-Bread Cabaret and More!

Happy Fall friends of Puppet Underground!

Its been a quiet summer for us, but we have some exciting events coming up in October.

First, Bread and Puppet Theater is coming to town again on October 3rd and 4th! We’re so excited to host them for a cabaret and a circus: The Under-Bread Cabaret and The Circus of the Possibilitarians.

And then later in the month, on October 13th, we’re hosting a screening of a new documentary, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Traditional String Music, followed by a concert by the amazing Colectivo Altepee, who play Son Jarocho music from Veracruz, Mexico and are featured in the film.

Details about all three events below.

We hope to see you in October!

-Puppet Underground
                                                                                                                                            

The Under-Bread Cabaret
Wednesday, October 3rd at 7:30 pm
at The Electric Maid
268 Carroll St Takoma Park
(right across the street from the Takoma Park Metro)

This Puppet Underground/Bread and Puppet collaboration features local performers as well as a variety of Bread and Puppet's shorter shows. This is a smaller venue, so please rsvp to PuppetUndergroundDC@gmail.com if you plan on coming to the Cabaret, and we’ll reserve seats.

(The cabaret includes puppet nudity that, depending on your parenting style, may not be appropriate for children.)


The Circus of the Possibilitarians
Thursday, October 4th st 7:30 pm
St Stephen and the Incarnation Church
corner of 16th St and Newton St NW
(a few blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro)

The Circus of the Possibilitarians is a satirical horse and butterfly circus, addressing pertinent national and international issues in a clownish fashion, including rotten ideas, a wild dancing horse and some mellow lions, a solemn salute to the world’s casualties and much more! The Dire Circumstance Jubilation Ensemble provides a little bit of brass and a lot of noise. Please take note that if some of the circus acts are politically puzzling to adults, accompanying children can usually explain them.
 
                                                                                                                                             

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow film screening and Concert by Colectivo Altepee
Saturday, October 13th at 8 pm
at La Casa
3166 Mt. Pleasant St. NW
(a few blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro)

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow tells the story of the Colectivo Altepee, traditional string musicians from Acayucan, Veracruz who make instruments, teach workshops, and use this traditional music to strengthen community and support social movement struggles. The screening will be followed by a dialogue with some of the members of the collective and a concert of amazing Son Jarocho music!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lots of fun stuff happening this month! Plenty of opportunities for puppets to see, puppets to build, and puppets to schlep! So Carpe Puppetdiem and join us:

[Here's a summary, scroll down below for full details for each event.]

Saturday, April 21st at 8pm: Puppet Underground Cabarette
Help us welcome touring NYC puppeteer Erin Bell with her new fabulous show and other local performers! Need volunteers to help usher and set up, contact Nikki at nicole.martin524@gmail.com

Friday, Apr 13th at 7pm: Occupy GALA & Puppet Underground's "Live Rehearsal"
Help us support Occupy GALA's fabulous gathering of political performers from around DC. We need volunteers to come play with our puppets and experiment with what we might do for May Day! Contact Janelle at janellet@occupydc.org

April 4-16th: Puppet-Building for School of the Americas Watch Days of Action
Need volunteers to help build the puppets and to help operate them on the day! Contact Ken at akeneka@gmail.com

May 1st! May Day!: Festival and March
Need performers and volunteers for a puppetry pageant! Join our rehearsal on Apr 13th at Occupy GALA or contact Fhar at fhartha@gmail.com

In solidarity,
Puppet Underground

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Puppet Underground Cabarette
(smaller, shorter, and better than ever!)
Saturday, April 21 at 8pm

At La Casa: 3166 Mt Pleasant St NW

$15-$5 Sliding Scale Donation

The Line Up!:

Do Right Belly Fire, Do Right Monkey Brain by Erin Bell
We're so excited to get to present this touring show from NYC puppeteer Erin Bell! A toy theater symposium on desire and love! Prairie dogs, neuroscientists, and synchronized swimmers chew on frenchified theory (a la Delueze, Guattari and Pema Chodron), with a cockroach opera sprinkled on neuroscience bits.

Debt Ceiling and Other Vicious Lies by Puppet Underground's very own Ken Srdjak

Poetry by Zein Elamine

And possibly more.

Probably.

Only one way to find out.

Come!

Questions? Concerns? Direct responses? Blocks? VOLUNTEERS?? Email Nikki at nicole.martin524@gmail.com

(Funding made possible in part by the Puppet Slam Network -- www.puppetslam.com)
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Puppet Underground will be holding a "Live Rehearsal" on the street in front of GALA theater as our contribution to the event. We'll be playing around with puppets with awesome beats provided by community congueros, exploring power dynamics through the puppets and figuring out what we might come up with for the May Day Festival! Meet at GALA Theater at 7pm to join (or watch) the rehearsal! Contact Janelle at janellevyn@gmail.com with questions or to RSVP!

Occupy GALA Theatre-An Artistic response to the world's social and political realities.
DJs, Rock, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Poetry Monologues & Art

2 NIGHTS: April 13th & 14th @ 8pm

Quique Aviles brings back "Don Ama" from "El Canuto del Roc", an elderly-Salvadorean-peasan
t DJ, to lead the troops occupying GALA Hispanic Theatre in an evening of true community art, protest and celebration.

Political artists are taking over the GALA building for TWO days beginning at the sidewalk level on 14th street, all the way to the roof of the GIANT grocery store parking lot. FOUR different levels of art, DJs, ambience, and performances by artists that have something to say about the human condition. This is a different kind of show. More laid-back, our bar will be open all night. You can bring your drinks into the theatre and you will have plenty of time to hang out for the whole evening. Show starts at 8pm, but you’re welcome to come and hang out earlier and you’re welcome to stay late.

Just so we’re clear, the actual performance part of the show begins at 8pm, but there will be pre-show havoc on 14th street by community congueros and The Puppet Underground. We will be reminding you and sending you updates, pictures and links about the featured artists in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes open.

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Join the Puppetistas!
We'd love for you to lend a hand, heart, and imagination to the art-tillery to hit the streets this year for the School of the Americas Watch days of action! We need help building puppets over the next week and a half, and need folks to rehearse with us on 4/15 and perform the puppets on 4/16! All experience levels welcome :)

Please call ken at 202.640.8213 or email him at akeneka@gmail.com to let him know you're coming, for directions, questions, etc!

Build Times
April 4-8th - 24/7 flex schedule at the Lamont Street Collective: 1822 Lamont St NW
April 14th - 1:45pm-3:15pm puppet building workshop at Metropolitan Community Church: 474 Ridge St, NW
April 9-15th - 5pm to 10+pm - at the DC51 warehaus

Rehearsal
April 15th at 5-6:30pm at the DC51 warehaus

Performance
April 16th: 11 am gathering and prep at Upper Senate Park (200 New Jersey Ave NW )
marching to congress at noon!

For more info on the SOAW and the days of action, visit: www.soaw.org

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May Day Festival and March!
May 1st, in Malcolm X Park
Festival in afternoon
Meet for March at 5pm


May Day is symbolic for many reasons, all of which relate to bringing people together, co-creating new possibilities and building solidarity. It is an ancient holiday marking the return of spring and a time of rebirth. Since the Haymarket Massacre of 1886, it has also been recognized globally as International Workers’ Day. And, even more recently, May Day has become an occasion to highlight the struggle for immigrant rights in the US.
In honor of this day and its many meanings, we hope to bring DC's artists, activists and organizers together across silos to work on this common project as a way for us to get to know and trust one-another. We believe that a low-stakes festival will help create a good spirit among us as well as the base-line of trust, familiarity and solidarity needed to engage in more high-stakes struggle together further down the line.

To that end, we invite any and all who are interested in contributing to this collective effort to join us for our next coordinating meeting on Wed, April 11th from 6-8pm (location TBD... RSVP to fhartha@gmail.com to be notified)

As a celebration of the diversity of cultures of resistance, we envision this as a space for people and groups to contribute together to an event that everyone wants to see and participate in. This May Day Festival is organized by everyone, for everyone - so, we hope you'll come and join us!

We'll need your artistry and creativity! Please join us to plan the festival! Join us to make the pageant! Or just pencil it you calendars to come!

If you have questions or if you want to get notices about meetings and planning updates, contact Fhar: fhartha@gmail.com

If you want to get involved in the pageant, email Janelle: janellevyn@gmail.com

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Puppet Underground Sets the Stage for Franklin School Occupation

At this point, most people are probably familiar with the Occupy movement. It started in September with Occupy Wall Street in New York City and has spread to hundreds of cities throughout the world. Arts and Culture committees are common in many of the occupation sites with art projects helping to build community, beautify spaces, enliven actions, and illustrate hopes and visions. And Puppet Underground is proud to be a part of this movement, bringing puppets to the occupation!

In this blog post I will be focusing on just one puppetry project we organized, a cabaret for Occupy K Street. But puppetry is starting to blossom in other occupations, perhaps most notably in New York City with the Occupy Wall Street Puppetry Guild who formed in October and helped organize the Occupy Halloween parade. The Puppet Underground cabaret, “Occupy Kabaret Street”, was organized in coordination with local organizers and activists to support an action—the occupation of a vacant building—planned for November.

The Context:
On November 19th, DC activists identying themselves as Free Franklin occupied the Franklin School building, a publicly owned building in downtown DC that has been vacant for years. From 2002-2008 it housed a homeless shelter but that was shuttered as part of the trend in the last decade to cut homeless services and push shelters to remote areas on the fringes of the city.

Enter the Activists:
With national attention focused on the concerns highlighted by the Occupy camps, local activists and organizers decided to draw some of that attention toward the local issue of how public property is regularly misused and sold to private developers while there continues to be a severe shortage of affordable housing and homeless services. In recent years the city government has been trying to sell off the Franklin School building to private developers (one proposal was to turn it into a boutique hotel). It was an occupation in 2002 that originally pushed the city to open Franklin as a homeless shelter, so it seemed appropriate that another occupation would serve to highlight the potential public uses of the space.

The Cabaret:
The goals of the cabaret were layered: to introduce new people to Occupy K Street, to educate Occupy K Street activists about social movement history in the area, to creatively provide the story (and local significance) of the Franklin School building, and to provide witnesses to its occupation. (Up until the end of the cabaret, no one had any idea the school had been re-occupied.)

The cabaret was organized like a walking tour: sites related to social movement history were chosen and the shows were set up at each of those sites. Musicians played while the audience was led from one site to the next and activists presented the history of the site at each new location. The final location was in front of the Franklin School and hosted a show about the history of the building. At a dramatically timed moment toward the end of the show, a forty foot banner reading “Public Property Under Community Control” dropped from Franklin’s roof and the show ended with the announcement that Franklin was now occupied. A statement from the occupiers was read and an after-party commenced with pie-eating (OccuPie!) and music to support the activists inside the building.

The Performances:
The Bread and Puppet Theater performed two short shows. Local puppet group The Shadow Senators offered a tribute to Joe Hill. Music was provided by rock band Ugly Purple Sweater and Mexican folk music band Son Cosita Seria. Poetry was read by Zein ElAmine and a monologue was performed by political performance artist Quique Aviles. Puppet Underground ended the cabaret with the show about the history of Franklin School.

Follow Up:
The Franklin School building occupation garnered significant local and national press attention (with several international stories published about it as well). It successfully put the issue of the loss of public property and cuts to homeless services back in the spotlight. Two days after the action a community meeting was held to discuss publicly what longtime community members would want to see happen with the Franklin building. Currently activists and artists are continuing to plan how to use their momentum to support affordable housing campaigns, to broaden public engagement in the issues, and to follow up with communities about their ideas for reclaiming and repurposing their vacant public property.

Links:

PBS News Hour’s interactive tour of the cabaret (capturing pictures, video, sounds and stories from the route):
http://to.pbs.org/sf3D8i

Video of the banner drop and Free Franklin’s statement:
http://freefranklindc.blogspot.com/

Huffington Post article describing the arrests of the activists:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/20/free-franklin-police-raid-protesters-arrested_n_1103509.html

Thursday, December 1, 2011

OCCUPY KABARET STREET: Puppetry joins the Occupy Movement

At this point, most people are probably familiar with the Occupy movement. It started in September with Occupy Wall Street in New York City and has spread to hundreds of cities throughout the world. Arts and Culture committees are common in many of the occupation sites with art projects helping to build community, beautify spaces, enliven actions, and illustrate hopes and visions. And now Puppet Underground’s favorite artform is also starting to make a regular appearance: puppets are increasingly joining the movement!

In this blog post I will be focusing on just one puppetry project, a cabaret, organized by Puppet Underground for Occupy K Street in Washington, DC. But puppetry is starting to blossom in other occupations, perhaps most notably in New York City with the Occupy Wall Street Puppetry Guild who formed in October and helped organize the Occupy Halloween parade. The Puppet Underground cabaret, “Occupy Kabaret Street”, was organized in coordination with local organizers and activists to support an action—the occupation of a vacant building—planned for November.

The Context:
On November 19th, DC activists occupied the Franklin School building, a publicly owned building in downtown DC that has been vacant for years. From 2002-2008 it housed a homeless shelter but that was shuttered as part of the trend in the last decade to cut homeless services and push shelters to remote areas on the fringes of the city.

Enter the Activists:
With national attention focused on the concerns highlighted by the Occupy camps, local activists and organizers decided to draw some of that attention toward the local issue of how public property is regularly misused and sold to private developers while there continues to be a severe shortage of affordable housing and homeless services. In recent years the city government has been trying to sell off the Franklin School building to private developers (one proposal was to turn it into a boutique hotel). It was an occupation in 2002 that originally pushed the city to open Franklin as a homeless shelter, so it seemed appropriate that another occupation would serve to highlight the potential public uses of the space.

The Cabaret:
The goals of the cabaret were layered: to introduce new people to Occupy K Street, to educate Occupy K Street activists about social movement history in the area, to creatively provide the story (and local significance) of the Franklin School building, and to provide witnesses to its occupation. (Up until the end of the cabaret, no one had any idea the school had been re-occupied.)

The cabaret was organized like a walking tour: sites related to social movement history were chosen and the shows were set up at each of those sites. Musicians played while the audience was led from one site to the next and activists presented the history of the site at each new location. The final location was in front of the Franklin School and hosted a show about the history of the building. At a dramatically timed moment toward the end of the show, a forty foot banner reading “Public Property Under Community Control” dropped from Franklin’s roof and the show ended with the announcement that Franklin was now occupied. A statement from the occupiers was read and an after-party commenced with pie-eating (OccuPie!) and music to support the activists inside the building.

The Performances:
The Bread and Puppet Theater performed two short shows. Local puppet group The Shadow Senators offered a tribute to Joe Hill. Music was provided by rock band Ugly Purple Sweater and Mexican folk music band Son Cosita Seria. Poetry was read by Zein ElAmine and a monologue was performed by political performance artist Quique Aviles. Puppet Underground ended the cabaret with the show about the history of Franklin School.

Links:

PBS News Hour’s interactive tour of the cabaret:
http://to.pbs.org/sf3D8i

Video of the banner drop and Free Franklin’s statement:
http://freefranklindc.blogspot.com/





Thursday, November 10, 2011

Puppet Nation Occupation!

In solidarity with the Occupy movement, Puppet Underground has teamed up with folks at Occupy K Street to bring you this year's roving cabaret spectacular...

Occupy Kabaret Street!
WHEN: SATURDAY, NOV 19TH
Show starts at 12:30PM
Tours of Occupy K Street at 12pm
WHERE: Meet at the Statue in McPherson Square (15th and K St NW)
COST: Suggested Sliding Scale Donation $5-$15

Historical characters and roving musicians will lead you from Occupy K Street to other locations downtown with significant grassroots organizing history where you will see puppet shows and musical acts that will start your heart a-pumpin'! Join us to celebrate social justice movements in an exciting cabaret that will send you running to your nearest General Assembly! Wear comfortable shoes, be prepared to walk, and we invite you to stay after the show for OccuPie eating at our Occupy After-Party!

If you arrive late and we've left McPherson, call 646-734-6705 to find out where we are!

THE LINE UP!:

-The Bread and Puppet Theater is coming with their newest show... about the Occupy movement! One of the oldest activist street theater troupes in the country, Bread and Puppet can make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to occupy!

-The Occupy Wall Street Puppetry Guild lends us the fabulous puppeteer and musician Jo Robin, who will bring a paper circus of economic proportions!

-Puppet Underground will present a new show about a local organizing struggle to make housing a human right. The show will take us from a look into the past through to the present and into the possibilities of the future!

And more!

We are looking for volunteers to bake pies and to usher! If you're interested in doing either, contact Janelle at: janellevyn@gmail.com