2nd Annual Puppets & Poets Festival (December 2012)
The festival featured collaborations by poets, puppeteers, musicians, actors and other artists, including Sweatshirt Adventures in Coney Island by Alphabet Arts, Another World Is Possible by The People’s Puppets of Occupy Wall Street, Your Parents’ Cocaine by political hip-hop legends The Coup, and much more.
Evening performances were Thursday through Saturday at 8pm for mature audiences. Tickets $12 at the door.
Free matinees were offered at 4pm on Saturday and Sunday of family-friendly performances and interactive fun for all ages, including Sweatshirt Man’s wacky Coney Island adventure! Seating first come, first served.
2012 Participating Artists
Todd Anderson, Ryan Andes, Chris Borchardt, Susan Brennan, Jessica Browne-White, Lawrence “Ren” Carillo, Bronwen Densmore, Zach Dorn, Sarah Engelman, Michael Feld, Miriam Grill, Modesto “Flako” Jimenez, Johanna Hamm, TS Hawkins, Richard Hinojosa, Kirsten Kammermeyer, Betty T. Kao, Maia Karo, Matt Leabo, Claire Lebowitz, Robin Lee, Virginia Logan, Christine Malvasi, Kyla McHale, Sarah McSherry, Mandi Molnar, Claire Moodey, Jamie Moore, Jeff Nash, Jamie Neumann, Siobhan O’Loughlin, Eva Proum, Magda Rachwal, Grace Rectra, Martin Rock, Jonah Rosenberg, Katie Sasso, Adeeba Talukder, Joe “The Puppeteer” Therrien, Marina Tsaplina, Neelam Vaswani, Sonia Villani, Monica Wendel, Amber West
Young Adult Repertory, Summer 2012
In Summer 2012, Alphabet Arts proudly presented our 2012 Young Adult Repertory performing three cutting-edge contemporary plays
at the Morgan Hill Community Playhouse
Tickets were $12 at the door; $10 for Students/Seniors
punkplay by Gregory S. Moss
A history of America in the 1980s, an idiosyncratic genealogy of punk rock music, and a personal narrative of growing up as an outsider, punkplay is a mix tape tribute to the excesses and energy of adolescence. Mickey, a thirteen-year-old suburban misfit, is befriended by an angry runaway named Duck. Together, the boys attempt to reinvent themselves using punk rock, but as reality threatens to crash in on them, their fabricated world of amped-up music and shocking band names becomes just as oppressive as the society they’re desperate to reject. For mature audiences.
Friday, July 27 at 8pm
Saturday, July 28 at 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, July 29 at 2pm
Michael Combs, Geoff Elliott, Laura Pollard, Taylor Barnes, Anthony Daly, and Lara Baggio
The Aliens by Annie Baker
Professional slackers and best friends KJ and Jasper spend their days talking music and Bukowski outside the back of a small coffee shop in Vermont. Seventeen year old Evan is eeking out his summer working at the cafe. When he meets the two young men he is irresistibly drawn into their world of magic mushrooms, philosophical musings and great-bands-that never-were. One of the freshest voices to come out of America in recent years, Annie Baker’s gentle, engaging and deeply funny play introduces two cult heroes in the shape of KJ and Jasper, and puts modern day America under the microscope. What happened to the generation who never grew up? For mature audiences.
Monday, July 30 at 8pm
Tuesday, July 31 at 8pm
Saturday, August 4 at 2pm
Sunday, August 5 at 2pm
Kirk Nelson, Jon Michael Villagomez and Matt Cummings
Football / In the Pony Palace by Tina Satter & Half Straddle
A female cast portrays the players and coaches of a high school football team. With the historically-male and highly American backdrop of football, the piece considers what it is to be a female athlete; the shifting stakes, relationships and power dynamics of a team on and off the field; and the concept of placing belief and commitment in something bigger than oneself. The text combines the specific lexicon of football, sports and coaching with the awkward realism of high school-speak. Football like you’ve never seen it before! For all ages.
Thursday, August 2 at 8pm
**Friday, August 3 at 8pm**
Saturday, August 4 at 8pm
Sunday, August 5 at 8pm
Lara Baggio, Vivian Esenbock, Sarah Feret, Sathvika Ashok, Laura Pollard, Corinne Kellett, Franchesca Kellett, Anthony Daly, and Taylor Barnes
More info about our 2012 YAR…
Twenty young adult participated in our 2012 program, most of whom received full or partial scholarships. In addition to performing three cutting-edge plays, participants attended field trips, performed in a cabaret, and received training in poetry, mask/movement, and puppetry. To view a Summer 2012 television interview with the AAYAR program directors, click here. To view a video created by 2012 program participant, Jon Michael Villagomez, click here. View photos from AAYAR summer 2012 here.
**How Alphabet Arts’ 2012 Young Adult Repertory supported the search for Sierra LaMar**
Sierra LaMar is a Morgan Hill teenager who was abducted in March of 2012. Alphabet Arts donated proceeds from the Friday, August 3 performance of Football/In The Pony Palace to the Sierra LaMar Fund to support the search efforts that have been underway since then. Many participants in Alphabet Arts’ Young Adult Repertory program are Sierra’s friends and peers, and we were happy and humbled to support the search for Sierra in this small way. Read an article about our fundraiser published in The Gilroy Dispatch. Thanks to more than fifty people who attended this performance!
Puppets & Poets: November 2011 to February 2012
Founding members of Alphabet Arts (puppeteer Kirsten Kammermeyer, poet Amber West, and musician Chris Borchardt) offered a series of workshops in Brooklyn, NY in the winter of ’11-12 for artists and community members interested in collaboratively exploring the relationship between puppetry and poetry, two of the world’s most ancient and diversely practiced art forms. Each workshop culminated into a showcase performance in which participants’ “puppet poems” made their debut.
A children’s workshop (for youth ages 7-12) was held December 17-18, 2011 from 2-5pm at Creative Arts Studio. Over two afternoons participants created toy theaters based on famous winter poems. These works were performed for the public from 4:30-5pm on Sunday, December 18. To learn more about this workshop click here! View Children’s Workshop photos here.
Adult workshops (for puppeteers, poets, musicians, other artists and community members) happened in early 2012. Participating artists formed groups and worked collaboratively for several weeks to create short, experimental performances blending poetry and puppetry, which they presented in a culminating showcase February 3-4, 2012 at 8pm at Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX). Read the 2011 Call for Participants here. View adult workshop photos here. Tickets were $10 online or at the door.
The adult workshops culminated into a lively showcase of experiments, collaborations, and hybrid performances. The sold-out performances featured an eclectic array of poets, puppeteers, musicians, and other artists, including Alphabet Arts, Doll Parts, the Occupy Wall Street Puppetry Guild, and more.
Participating artists in 2012 included:
Lydia Andrien, Davis Berry, Anna Bradfield, Chris Borchardt, Lawrence Carrillo, Shane Chapman, TM De Vos, Renee Dumouchel, Chris Giarmo, Ariel Greenberg, Michael Feld, Alaina Ferris, Pia Garber, TS Hawkins, Kirsten Kammermeyer, Vani Kannan, Matthew Leabo, Kate Marvin, Kyla McHale, Brendan McMahon, Renata Melillo, Claire Moodey, Mandy Moore, Baker Overstreet, Katie Issel Pitre, Maggie Robinson, Amye Rubinschneider, Julia Sirna-Frest, Joseph Therrien, Anna Umansky, Jono Waldman, Boo Lynn Walsh, Monica Wendel, Amber West, Kathryn Wilkening
Puppets & Poets 2011 was made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Program, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council. The adult production was presented through BAX’s Visitors Program, a subsidized performance package rental program, and was a self-production by Alphabet Arts.
- Puppets & Poets at BAX
Puppets & Poets is the evolution of Alphabet Arts’ Toy Poets Theater…
Alphabet Arts performed in Great Small Works‘ 9th International Toy Theater Festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn on Wed 6/2/10 and Thurs 6/3/10 at 10pm. Our performance, collectively titled Toy Poets Theater, was made up of 4 toy theaters based on original poems by participating poets. Designed and presented by Amber West, Kirsten Kammermeyer, Jennifer Holley, Bianca Stone and Simone Kearney with original music/sound by Chris Borchardt and Jen Orlando. Read more about Toy Poets Theater here. For pictures from our performances, see our Facebook photo album here.
Our toy theaters remained on display in the Temporary Toy Theater Museum at St. Ann’s for the remainder of this amazing festival, which closed 6/13/10.
Alphabet Arts’ Co-Founder Amber West performed “Tiffany,” one of the “puppet poems” from Toy Poets Theater, and discussed the project at a conference entitled Contemporary Women’s Writing: New Texts, Approaches, and Technologies in San Diego, July 7-9, 2010. West organized and chaired the panel, entitled “Fourth Way: Young Women Taking Hybrid Poetics Beyond the Page,” presenting alongside poet/visual artist Bianca Stone and poet/musician Annie Bacon.
Alphabet Arts’ Co-Founder Amber West performed “Tiffany,” one of the “puppet poems” from Toy Poets Theater, at Long River Live!, the multi-genre arts/peformance series at the University of Connecticut on Monday, February 7, 2011.
Band of Puppets Fest
Alphabet Arts was thrilled to be part of The 2nd Annual Band of Puppets Fest at Bushwick Starr, December 8-11, 2011. Our piece was called Off the Wall, and used found object and bunraku styles of puppetry, as well as video and two Michael Jackson songs (“Off the Wall” and “Streetwalker”) to tell the story of Sweatshirt Man’s adventures on the streets of Brooklyn where he meets his true love, Raincoat Girl. For more details, visit our Facebook event page.
Past performances of City of Hamburgers
***Kings Bay Branch, Brooklyn Public Library***
3650 Nostrand Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11229
on Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 2pm
Free performance, seating first-come first-served. Event details here!
***Flatbush Branch, Brooklyn Public Library***
22 Linden Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11226
on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 2pm
Free performance, seating first-come first-served. Event details here!
Alphabet Arts’ 2011 City of Hamburgers Brooklyn Public Library tour was sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC)
Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 1pm
This performance was part of BPL’s Saturday Family Programs at the main/central library in Grand Army Plaza. The performance was followed by a sing-and-dance-along, a “meet the puppets” Q&A session, as well as other interactive fun and surprises.
BPL events for youth and families are supported by The Hearst Foundation, Inc. Additionally, Alphabet Arts’ 2011 City of Hamburgers Brooklyn Public Library tour is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC)
Sunday, 12/12/10, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, 4pm
at Maple Street School 21 Lincoln Rd. Brooklyn NY 11225
$5 tickets were sold at door to support Maple Street School and Alphabet Arts.
Sunday, 11/14/10, 10:30am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm
Connecticut Children’s Book Fair in Rome Commons Ballroom at the University of Connecticut in Storrs
“City of Hamburgers” author Mike Reiss was featured at the CCBF for a book signing from 2:15-4pm on Sunday, 11/14 in conjunction with our performances. Reiss, a long-time writer for The Simpsons, also gave a talk about his experiences as a film, television and children’s book writer following our performances. Reiss’ talk, entitled “From Bart to Kids’ Books: One Writer’s Journey” took place at 5pm on Sunday, 11/14 in Konover Auditorium, and included Q&A and an additional book signing. This talk was organized by Alphabet Arts’ co-founder Amber West, and co-sponsored by the English department’s Rightors Fund for Children’s Literature, the Creative Writing Program, and the Aetna Chair of Writing.
Alphabet Arts’ presentation of 4 free performances of City of Hamburgers at the CCBF was made possible by the support of the following University of Connecticut co-sponsors: the Creative Writing Program, the Aetna Foundation and Aetna Chair of Writing, the Connecticut Writing Project, the Asian American Studies Institute, and the Rightors Fund for Children’s Literature. Thanks to you all!
View pictures here.
at Creative Arts Studio
310 Atlantic Ave. between Hoyt & Smith
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Just $5! Tickets sold at the door.
Book signing with author and illustrator followed both 9/13 shows.
at Hawthorne St. Block Party
Front porch of 99 Hawthorne St. between Bedford & Flatbush
Brooklyn, NY 11225
11am, 2pm, 5pm
Pictures from City of Hamburgers build and 2009 debut performances here.
Alphabet Arts’ 2011 Summer Conservatory
Romeo and Juliet
a cover band operetta
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Mark Sitko
Performances at Morgan Hill Community Center Playhouse
17000 Monterey Street, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
July 13-16 and July 18-21 @ 8:00 PM
Tickets $10 each, or 10 tickets for $75
Contact Mark Sitko for tickets @ 213-200-4498
Alphabet Arts’ 1st Annual County Fair Fundraiser
Thanks to our volunteers, donors and supporters, Alphabet Arts raised over $2400 to help us provide quality performances and arts education to NYC families.
Alphabet Arts’ 1st Annual County Fair
Step right up and join the FUNdraiser!
Monday, May 2, 2011, 7pm-Midnight
The Fabulous Jalopy Theatre
315 Columbia St. Brooklyn, NY
Come on down to Jalopy for a rollickin’ county fair-themed evening including a Blue Ribbon Chili Cook-Off, Berry Delicious Bake-Off, Hee-Haw Hilarity with The Simpsons’ Mike Reiss, Foot-Stompin’ Live Music with John Foti and more, Carnival Games & Prizes, City of Hamburgers After Dark… Puppets Gettin’ Naughty, Whistle-Wettin’ Beverages and a Hoedown with DJ Ca$h Machina!
All proceeds support Alphabet Arts’ 2011 performances and programs.
$20 advance tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets or $25 at the door.
21 & over.
Make A Splash! Summer Reading Program Celebration
Alphabet Arts welcomed Kali Therrien and Mandy Weiss to its family of talented artists in the summer of 2010. Kali and Mandy presented their shadow puppet show, The Giant Squid and the Seagull, as well as some other fun and surprises, at the BPL Flatbush branch on Wednesday, 8/18/10 at 2pm to help the kids celebrate their accomplishments in Brooklyn Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.
Alphabet Arts presents The Giant Squid and the Seagull
A shadow puppet show by Kali Therrien & Mandy Weiss based on the children’s book by Sgott Mackenzie. Hand puppetry lessons, a sing-along, and other fun surprises with Kali and Mandy follow the show.
Wednesday, 8/18/10 at 2pm. Flatbush Branch, Brooklyn Public Library, 22 Linden Blvd. btwn. Bedford and Flatbush