Nov 2, 2023
Nov 12, 2023

Dan Hurlin: Motel

By Dan Hurlin

a black arrow pointing downward

A motel is a liminal space, situated inconclusively between a departure and an arrival. It is a way station between what happened before, and what happens next. It is a temporary detention center of sorts, where the inhabitants hold up and wait with eager anticipation for the future, or a fearful dread of it. MOTEL is a 1/2 scale installation piece, in which a 1/2 scale woman waits. Her mysterious presence and the quotidian objects with her, unpack a narrative: Why has she come here? Where has she come from? What is she waiting for? What was she writing in that letter? From the clock radio, a soundscape by Dan Moses Schreier acts as an ambiguous time stamp and we are transported to a timeless, and ominous deja vu of roadside America.

Soundscape by Dan Moses Schreier

Dan Hurlin's work has been presented at multiple venues both nationally and internationally. He received a 1990 Village Voice OBIE award for his solo adaptation of Nathanael West's “A COOL MILLION,” and in 1998, he was nominated for an American Theater Wing Design award for his set design for his music theater piece “THE SHOULDER.” His suite of puppet pieces “EVERYDAY USES FOR SIGHT: Nos. 3 & 7” (2000) earned him a 2001 New York Dance and
Performance award (a.k.a. “BESSIE”), and his piece “HIROSHIMA MAIDEN,” was given an OBIE award for music by Robert Een and received a UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence. Other works include “DISFARMER” (2009), premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse and “DEMOLISHING EVERYTHING WITH AMAZING SPEED” (2016) premiered at Bard Summerscape Festival.

Currently, he is working on a new project entitled "BISMARCK." Dan has received fellowships in choreography from the NY Foundation for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, fellowships in theater from The Alpert Foundation and USA Artists, and in 2014 he won the Jesse Howard Jr. Rome Prize in visual art. He directed the Puppet lab at St. Ann’s for nine years and, until retiring in 2020, was the director of the Graduate Program in Theater at Sarah Lawrence College where he taught theater-making, solo performance, dance composition and puppetry.

The 10th La MaMa Puppet Festival Fall 2023 is made possible by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Jim Henson Foundation, the Québec Government Office in New York, Puppet Slam Network, the Mellon Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation. Additional support from Cheryl Henson is gratefully acknowledged.

La MaMa Puppet Festival


The La MaMa Puppet Festival showcases new contemporary puppet theatre by artists from around the world. Curated by Denise Greber, focusing on diversifying the voices, stories, and perspectives shared onstage, with the goal of uplifting marginalized identities within the puppet community.

La MaMa Galleria


Founded in 1984, La Galleria is a nonprofit gallery committed to nurturing experimentation in the visual arts. La Galleria encourages an active dialogue between new media, performance, the plastic and visual arts, curatorial projects, and educational initiatives. It serves the East Village community by offering diverse programming to an inter-generational audience, and expanding the parameters of a traditional gallery space. As a non-profit, La Galleria is able to provide artists and curators with unique exhibition opportunities that are largely out of reach in a commercial gallery setting.

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