Apr 13, 2021
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Jump Start: An Online Presentation of Puppetry Works-in-Progress

featuring
The Autobipuppetry of Jeghetto (Work-in-Progress) created by Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins
Growing Not Dying (Work-in-Progress) created by Leah Ogawa
Mia M.I.A. (working title) (Work-in-Progress) written & directed by Charlotte Lily Gaspard
Sounding the Resonant Path (Work-in-Progress) with puppetry and design by Tom Lee
Lady Xøk (Work-in-Progress) created by Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra
Lunch With Sonia by Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company

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About Jump Start: An Online Presentation of Puppetry Works-in-Progress

La MaMa 59th Season Resident Artists get a chance to showcase their puppetry works in progress as part of La MaMa’s Puppet Series online activities. Six puppet artists will share an online billing including artists/companies: Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins, Leah Ogawa, Charlotte Lily Gaspard, Tom Lee, Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra and Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company – Federico Restrepo & Denise Greber Lopez.

Part of La MaMa’s 59th Season, “Breaking It Open,” which explores how new works are created, performed, and experienced during a pandemic. The season revolves around development residencies that are customized to the specific needs and processes of each artist. Each residency is customized to suit the artist, their unique vision, and where they are at in their creative work.

About The Autobipuppetry of Jeghetto (Work-in-Progress)

Created by Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins

Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins shares stories from his life journey that led up to his current career in puppetry. Join him in this meta experience as he tells these stories through a miniature puppet version of himself.

About Growing Not Dying (Work-in-Progress)

Created by Leah Ogawa
Puppets designed and fabricated by Leah Ogawa

Growing Not Dying is a solo puppetry show exploring the concept of time, death, and transformation in one's life through fragmented body parts with direct manipulation and string puppetry. It touches upon the growth and layers of molting that occur throughout life. This presentation will be an excerpt and exploration from this story which will have a live work-in-progress presentation at La MaMa in October 2021.

About Mia M.I.A. (working title) (Work-in-Progress)

A new shadow puppet musical for adults
Written & Directed by Charlotte Lily Gaspard
With music and songs by Jessie Davis, Sabrina Chap, Ezra Bloom & Doc Frost; Spoken Word by Malik Work; Dance by Leigh Schanfein, Sukeshi Dalmia, and the Dysfunctional Swingers (Emily Edwards & Brendan Patrick McGlynn); Voices by the Good Reverend Doctor Professor Elucius Clay, Aaron Halevy, and Sarin Monae West.
A Midnight Radio Show production

Charlotte Lily Gaspard invites you into a fantastical galaxy of shadow puppets, whimsy and dreams, in her upcoming project, Mia M.I.A.; an urban fairytale for adults. The play centers around an ordinary couple, who happen to be married women of color, as they navigate lives on earth. Yet as our story unfolds, they are drawn into an enchanted realm of silhouettes, puppets, and dance, much like Alice through the looking glass. From the creators of “The Enchanted Revolution,” a magical lo-fi space pop opera. Artists from Ms. Gaspard’s collective, Midnight Radio Show, are collaborating in the creation of Mia MIA. This project will have a live work-in-progress presentation at La MaMa in October 2021.

About Sounding the Resonant Path (Work-in-Progress)

Puppetry and design by Tom Lee
Music by Ralph Samuelson, Perry Yung, Tatsu Aoki, Kioto Aoki
Moving Panorama Scrolls by Blair Thomas

Sounding the Resonant Path is a performance installation that draws on the spiritual connection between the human world and the natural environment. We witness an artist, seeking the unknowable, encounter the growing bamboo and tree, whose harvested material is crafted into the artistry of the flute and the puppet. Japanese kuruma ningyō style puppetry and multiple, illuminated shadow scrolls play out this wordless tale to the accompaniment of taiko drums, shamisen and shakuhachi flute.

About Lady Xøk (Work-in-Progress)

Created by Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra

Videos of stop motion animations, shadow experiments and prayer tie exoskeleton created for dance storytelling will be experienced as a work-in-progress presentation. These elements will be a central theme and ultimately a layer inside of Rebekah’s interdisciplinary music performance project, Lady Xøk. The experiments from this La MaMa residency will be incorporated into a performance of visual music mixtape in June 2021 at Minneapolis-based Redeye Theatre’s Isolated Acts, part of the New Works 4 Weeks Festival and a continuation of Rebekah’s piece La Luz, La Sombrisa, y La Galaxia.

About Lunch With Sonia

Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company
Conceived and designed by Federico Restrepo
Co-directed by Federico Restrepo and Denise Greber
Performers in Video: Federico Restrepo, Carolina Restrepo, Esmeralda Pinzon, and Alberto Quiroga
Camera: Alberto Sierra
Sonia Voice Over: Luz Beatriz Pizano
Sound Design: Leonie Bell

Lunch With Sonia is a dance puppet theatre piece, inspired by Restrepo’s true-life experience with his Aunt Sonia, a woman who decided to end her life with dignity after a long illness at the age of 72. The show will have its world premiere in October 2021 at La MaMa and will use puppets, music, video and physical theatre to deal with the themes of life, love and loss. With this piece Loco7 hopes to acknowledge the incredible intimacy and the very personal nature of dying as the final event of living a self-actualized, individual human life and to move the dialogue from the philosophical arena to the realm of personal experience and stories related to the topic of Death with Dignity.

For this event Loco7 will present a video that was created for the piece and will be projected throughout the show at various moments. It is a recording of the meal preparation for Sonia’s last lunch.

These puppet residencies are supported in part by Cheryl Henson and The Jim Henson Foundation.

Tarish Pipkins a.k.a. Jeghetto, was born in a small steel mill town called Clairton, PA located south of Pittsburgh, PA. He is a self-taught artist and has been creating art from a very young age. As a teenager, he moved to the East Side of Pittsburgh and graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School. In the late 90’s Tarish joined the BridgeSpotters Collective and became known for his Live paintings and Poetry. He was also a Barber for over 20 years. He moved to North Carolina in 2005 where he launched his career in Puppetry. There, he fine tuned his skills by doing street performances with his puppets. In 2008 he started working with Paperhand Puppet Intervention. He has built puppets and performed in several Paperhand productions. Most recently, Jeghetto had the pleasure to work with national recording artist, Missy Elliott on her music video, WTF (Where They From) controlling the Pharell puppet and doing some puppet building. He also worked on the Amazon Echo commercial featuring Missy Elliott and Alec Baldwin as puppets. Tarish is a former teacher at Just Right Academy, a private alternative school for children with special needs. Tarish is married and a proud father of five children. Jeghetto’s passion is promoting Oneness through the magic of Puppetry. www.jeghetto.com

Leah Ogawa is a puppeteer, director, self-detective, and model based in New York City. Raised in Yamanashi, Japan, Leah has worked with puppeteers, artists, and companies including The Metropolitan Opera, Phantom Limb, Dan Hurlin, Tom Lee, Nami Yamamoto, and Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company, among others. She has performed across the US as well as at the Quay Branly in Paris and across Asia. Leah is a recipient of the Queens Council on the Arts' New Work Grant for her original piece, Molting. She is currently in residency at New Victory LabWorks and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. www.leahogawa.com

“Part celestial creature, part sophisticated human” is how Charlotte Lily Gaspard has been described by Faerie Magazine when contemplating the ethereal artist and her work in one of their features. Shadow puppet artist, educator and children’s entertainer, Charlotte’s mission is to activate imaginations and celebrate playfulness wherever she goes. Charlotte is the founder and artistic director of Midnight Radio Show, a shadow puppet sci-fi fairytale theater company based in Brooklyn, NYC. She designs puppets for theater & film, including “A Snowy Day & Other Stories by Ezra Jack Keats.” Mommy Poppins declares, “The incredible shadow puppets will amaze the audience.” Along with puppets, Charlotte also creates costumes for theatre & film projects. She teaches at Child’s Play NY, a children’s theater company, and leads puppetry & theatre workshops all over NYC and beyond. www.midnightradioshow.org

Tom Lee is a director, designer, puppet artist based in Chicago and New York. He appeared on Broadway in War Horse, at the Metropolitan Opera in Madama Butterfly and most recently in The Queen of Spades at Lyric Opera Chicago. His own work includes Shank's Mare (recently on tour in Paris), Tomte (Gnome) presented by La MaMa kids last fall, and place(no)place at the Pesta Boneka Festival in Indonesia. Tom is co-director of Chicago Puppet Studio and teaches nationally and internationally. He began his career at La MaMa Experimental Theatre. www.tomleeprojects.com

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra a.k.a. Lady Xøk (Maya-Lenca tribal citizen) is a Twin Cities-based anti-disciplinary artist, musician, and culture bearer whose work is rooted in Indigenous Futurisms. Lady Xøk creates body-immersive installations of light, shadow, and music for interdisciplinary experimental storytelling mixing dance, songwriting, electric and Mesoamerican instruments. Her ongoing experimental installation performances have been developed in part by Redeye Theatre, New Native Theatre, Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop, Catalyst Arts, ArtShanty and her current residency with New York-based theatre La MaMa. Rebekah's intergenerational puppet play Star Girl Clan is touring with New Native Theatre with production support from The Jim Henson Foundation. She is a 2021-22 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. www.rebekahcrisanta.com IG: @ladyxok

Loco7 Dance Puppet Theatre Company, founded by Colombian born artist, Federico Restrepo in 1985, develops and promotes creative productions of Dance, Theatre, Puppets, Visual Arts, and other forms of artistic expression. Loco7's artistic mission has been to develop the use of puppetry as an Instrument for the dancer, a style that incorporates dance and design. Utilizing original rhythmic music, live musicians, dancers, body puppets and larger then life marionettes, the objective is to merge these various elements and weave a choreography which extends beyond the body of the dancer. The undertaking of the ensemble is to deal with themes such as South and Central American Culture and History, the Immigrants' experience and New York City Urban Life. www.loco7.org

The show is produced under the following program(s):

Café La MaMa Live

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Weekly live performances that experiment with form. Responding to calls for social isolation, Café La MaMa Live brings La MaMa's 1960s café aesthetic to a virtual platform that links performers and audiences in real time across distance. Guest curators each week give artists a digital platform to share their work with the world.

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