Jul 20, 2023
Aug 5, 2023

Views from the Miniature City

“A marvel…an extraordinary density of talent” – The New York Times

Theodora Skipitares

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La MaMa, in association with Skysaver Productions and 15 Orient Gallery, are pleased to present “Views from the Miniature City,” a performance/installation by New York based artist and puppeteer Theodora Skipitares for performances from July 20-29, 2023. The scenes are from Skipitares’s seminal 1981 show, "Micropolis: 6 Portraits and a Landscape,” in which a host of figures appear within various interiors characteristic of downtown New York City.

Drawing on elements of her own personal history as well as topical events of the time, these hand-crafted tableaux reflect issues of urban decline, contemporary media, its relation to individual storytelling, and the political powers of theatrical re-enactment.

In 1981, following a number of live one-person productions, she began performing alongside a troupe of 30-inch latex figurines created in her own likeness. Initially cast in supporting roles, these figures soon took over the stage, as Skipitares was drawn to the “innocence and purity” that make puppets especially effective in illuminating and critiquing social and political issues. The original plaster mold Skipitares used to make her initial self-portraits was employed to create hundreds of various figures over the course of two decades. Hence, varied as they appear, Skipitares refers to the figures populating her miniature city as her “Little Theodora’s.” Since the early 1980s, Skipitares has created 25 evening-length works that have been presented throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.

Photos of Wild Ducks by Joseph Minion
Photos of Sylvia and On the Road by Sebastian Bach

Theodora Skipitares is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist and theater director based in New York. Trained as a sculptor and designer, she is the author/director of more than 25 performance works, each featuring documentary texts, original music, video, and as many as 300 puppet figures. She is a resident artist at La MaMa and has worked and taught master classes in India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Iran, and Brazil.

She has received grants from the NEA, NYFA, NYSCA, UNIMA, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship and a McKnight Playwriting Fellowship, among others. Her studio residencies include Sundance, MacDowell Colony, Bellagio, the Edward Albee Foundation the BAU Institute, and Bogliasco. Her visual work has been exhibited widely in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, most recently at the Whitney Museum. Ms. Skipitares is Professor of Art and Design Education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

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