In a bilingual Yiddish-English play, Muntergang and Other Cheerful Downfalls meditates on power dynamics by revisiting the performances of radical 20th-century puppeteers Zuni Maud and Yosi Cutler. Using original graphics and satirical scripts, Great Small Works combines new puppets and projections with original graphics and satirical scripts, introducing some Mae West and The Dybbuk along the way.

Thursday, January 26: Post-show discussion with members of Great Small Works and Anna Elena Torres. Dr. Torres is the Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Dept. of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. She received a PhD from UC Berkeley, with a dissertation titled “With an Undone Shirt (Mit a tseshpilyet hemd): Anarchist Modernism and Yiddish Literature.” Her research analyzes the influence of anarchist diasporism in Yiddish modernism. She has also worked as a muralist and set designer for the Yiddish stage.

ABOUT THE SHOW

A bilingual Yiddish-English play, Muntergang and Other Cheerful Downfalls meditates on power dynamics by revisiting the performances of radical 20th-century puppeteers Zuni Maud and Yosi Cutler. Great Small Works combines historical graphics and satirical scripts with its own original puppets, introducing some Mae West and The Dybbuk along the way.
 
Created and performed by Great Small Works members 
John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine and Roberto Rossi
 
With puppeteers Joseph Therrien and Sam Wilson
Music by Jessica Lurie and Hannah Temple
Script by Jenny Romaine

Photos by Erik McGregor

 

ARTISTS

Great Small Works was founded in 1995 by a collective of six artists with roots in Bread and Puppet Theater (John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine, Roberto Rossi and Mark Sussman) who create original performance aiming to keep theater at the heart of social life. Drawing on folk, avant-garde and popular theater traditions, the company addresses contemporary issues in productions which vary in scale from huge outdoor community-based pageants to miniature toy theater shows in living rooms.

They value the beauty and potency of puppet theater, the urgency of speaking out about the news of the day, the power of creating theater with diverse groups of citizens, and bringing art to the streets. 

 

 

PRESENTER

The Center for Community Arts Partnerships  (CCAP) at Columbia College Chicago exemplifies the College’s commitment to deep engagement with the community by being dedicated to transforming lives through the arts.

Since 1998, CCAP has been building meaningful, long-term partnerships with schools and community-based organizations across Chicago to create innovative programs that use the arts and creativity as a catalyst for learning. CCAP not only engages Columbia College Chicago students in real-world experiential learning, but also extends the learning environment for K-12 students and educators. CCAP’s programs make teaching and learning in K-16 grades deeper and more meaningful, so that students of all ages can thrive in the 21st century.

 

 

 

 

 

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