It's no secret that Jasper is a big fan of Indie Grits -- we love independent film! And while we'd just as soon have a film festival that was about film and film only, we admire the way the good folks at IG try to incorporate the whole community in their special week. AND, we are crazy about one specific part of the festival, the Spork in Hand Puppet Slam.
Why? Lots'o reasons, but the strongest being the opportunity to see three of Columbia's most creative minds demonstrate their incredibly eclectic, innovative, and just plain out-there abilities. Lyon Hill, Kimi Maeda, and Paul Kaufmann.
(And is it true that the strangely brilliant Alex Smith is also involved this year? Yes? No? Somebody?)
We lifted the below information info from the Indie Grits website about these folks:
Lyon Hill lives with his wife, Jenny Mae, and their son, Oliver, in Columbia, SC. He has been a puppetmaker and puppeteer with the Columbia Marionette Theatre since 1997. His paintings and puppets have been shown in numerous galleries over the years and his puppet shows have been performed at regional and national puppet festivals. Three of his short films are part of Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams film series, which are shown internationally
Kimi Maeda is a theatre artist whose intimate visual performances cross disciplines and push boundaries. Trained as a scenic and costume designer whose work has been recognized nationally, she is drawn to the versatility of puppetry and delights in the fact that it allows her to explore all of her diverse interests; from science to storytelling. Kimi worked for several years as a puppeteer and set designer for the Columbia Marionette Theatre, writing and directing Snow White and The Little Mermaid. Her shadow-puppet performances The Crane Wife and The Homecoming are original adaptations of traditional Japanese folktales interwoven with her own bi-cultural experience growing up as a Japanese-American.
Paul Kaufmann is an actor, writer and artist. His acting credits include three productions at New Yorks famed LaMaMa E.T.C.: The Cherry Orchard Sequel (2008, NY Times critics pick), The System (2009) and the title role in this years Hieronymus, all written by Obie Award winner Nic Ularu. With Mr. Ularu, Paul has also toured Romania in The System (2006). In 2010, he performed at the Cairns Festival in Queensland, Australia in Dean Poynors H. apocalyptus, a zombie survival tale. He has performed the same role in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival (2011) and at The Studios of Key West. Also at TSKW: One Night Stand: 3, 4 and 5. Recent roles at Trustus Theatre include Dan in Next to Normal, Charles Guiteau in Assassins, Bill Fordham in August: Osage County and all roles in I Am My Own Wife. For pacific performance project/east, Paul played Bottom in A Midsummer Nights Dream (2012) and Man in Pile in Mizu No Eki (The Water Station) (2010). A founding member of the SC Shakespeare Company, Paul has acted onstage, in television and in film (including Campfire Tales and Lyon Forrest Hills Junk Palace) for 40 years. His collages, assemblages and paintings have been exhibited at Anastasia and Friends gallery. Hes thrilled to be a part of the Spork In Hand Puppet Slam. In May, Paul returns to Romania to perform at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in a new production directed by Mr. Ularu.
To what they have to say above we'll just add this -- There is nothing like the experience of good adult puppetry theatre. It effects the viewer in ways that are personally, emotionally, and psychologically surprising. It can be intimate, evocative, and funny -- all in the same breath. It is touching and exhilarating. It can move you in ways you have never been moved before. It makes you laugh and it makes you think. Don't miss this beautiful experience.
presented by Belle et Bête
Saturday, April 13th at 7pm & 9:30pm - $10 - Nickelodeon Theatre
-- Cindi Boiter, editor - Jasper Magazine