The Ellen van Volkenberg Puppetry Symposium brings together practicing Festival artists with scholars to consider the intersection of puppetry with other disciplines and ideas.
The Symposium is presented by the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago in cooperation with Blair Thomas & Co. and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Sunday, January 22
10:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Edlis Neeson Theatre
220 E. Chicago Ave.
Puppetry and the Human Body: 10:00am -11:15am
What performance dynamic emerges between the fabricated puppet and the organic human body? How do these two worlds intersect to expose another? And how does the performing object reveal to us the varieties of our human condition? Moderator: John Bell (Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry) with guests from the University of Chicago
Magali Chouinard – Montreal
Stephanie Diaz – Chicago
Narcissister – Brooklyn
Puppets as Narrative: 11:30am – 1:00pm
How is the puppet both as object and character positioned to tell a narrative with a theatrical language wholly unique in the theater? How does this language employ movement, dialogue and materiality to mirror the human as well as the non-human worlds?
Yngvild Aspeli – Director, Plexus Polaire, France
Sarah Fornace – Co-director, Manuel Cinema, Chicago
Dominga Gutierrez – Co-director, Silencio Blanco, Chile
Michael Summers – Director, Open Eye Figure Theatre, Minneapolis
Santiago Tobar – Co-director, Silencio Blanco, Chile
Saturday, January 28
5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Fine Arts Building’s Studebaker Theatre
410 S. Michigan Ave
Literary & Cultural Adaptation: The Shahnameh: 5:00pm -6:15pm
Hear from the artists and adaptors of Feathers of Fire, the spectacle shadow puppet production of the Persian Book of Kings, as they consider cultural translations, traditional and contemporary imagery, and shadow puppetry. Moderator: John Bell (Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry)
Robert Peters – Emeritus, Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago
Hamid Rahmanian – Director and Designer Feathers of Fire
Ahmad Sadri – Translator and Gorter Professor of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Sociology at Lake Forest College, with guests from the University of Chicago.