Gratitude for Collaborative Teachers Part 1

As I am resident artist-ing as a director of a devised puppet show, I am thinking about my teachers, who lately, I am lucky to say, have been my fellows.

October 1st, I left for tour. First photos are in Kwizdyn, post performance At the Animo Puppet Festival in Poland. I got to co-create this piece in one of my favorite collaborative processes of all time.

Positively beaming. Showing off one of my favorite puppets of all time. One of the amazing musings about creating this show is how little time we spent in a room together. 1 week at the KO Festival, summer 2017 4 days in a basement in Brooklyn, June 2018 1 week at The Celebration Barn that August 1 day at the Tank that September Barely 3 weeks in total. Not 1 hour with every member of the team present.

This speaks to: the caliber of the people involved, (their preparation, dedication, their love of the work, their availability to the present moment—which requires equal parts patience, readiness, and chutzpah, their belief in the project, in the process, in each other), the tremendous amount of time, effort, passion, and faith on the part of the producer in aligning the stars so that we could work together, (budget, schedules, space, research, networking, attracting wonderful people) the outside support given to the people involved (listening, making connections, encouragement, investments, showing up to works-in-progress)

It is no small thing, though it may seem simple in the moment, for collaboration to be at its best.

There is something truly special about being in the room with this group of people—I have the feeling that they did, and do, way more work than I, because the show seemed to write itself, it seemed to come forward as if drawn out of us—“I’m not moving the Ouija, someone else must be doing it.” Oh yeah, and it’s a good show!  In case you need other people’s approval, we won “Best of the Festival” in Warsaw.  With a cash prize, so you know it’s valuable.


Showing how Pavel works at the Animo Festival in Kwizdyn, Polan, Oct 2018


Originator-Producer-Gatherer of Magic: Hilary Chaplain Director: Nancy Smithner Co-creators and Puppeteers: Mindy Escobar-Leanse, Jason Hicks, Ariel Lauryn Set Designer: Judy Gailen Lighting Designer: Sabrina Hamilton Technical Guru: Kristopher Anton Dramaturge: Stephen Ringold Composer: Sergei Dreznin Guardian Angel: Rima Miller