the shape of puppetry yet to come........
Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop nurtures Native and POC artists in contemporary puppet theater. Our programming invokes the spirit of curiosity and play, improvisation, risk-taking, an open process, rigorous practice, and ongoing development opportunities based on the needs of participating artists. Monkeybear provides access to/development in, a medium that holds tremendous possibilities in storytelling for Native/POC artists.
Race and Puppetry
Puppetry is an art form practiced all around the world, yet here in the United States, the contemporary field is largely white. This is reflected in puppet theaters and companies: staff, board, performers and audience.
Monkeybear's Harmolodic Workshop creates opportunities for Native/POC to participate fully in this medium; opening the field to a larger breadth of storytelling and the development of new puppetry aesthetics.
We also recognize how the audience for contemporary puppet theater directly reflects the representation on and off stage. As we present work, we look forward to nurturing an audience that reflects all of our different communities.
Workshops and Productions
Workshops are offered to Native/POC interested in exploring contemporary puppetry. The workshops will be taught by local and national master puppeteers. The goal is for participants to find their voice in this medium.
We also produce new work. Our vision is to provide opportunities and access to explore the creation of contemporary puppet theater, with importance placed on mentorship and feedback in all the aspects of a theatrical production.
"Harmolodic" and Storytelling
Harmolodics was jazz musician Ornette Coleman's term for his musical philosophy. A simple take on this: the equal importance of all the elements in a creation.
Storytelling is the backbone. The narrative, aesthetics of the objects and figures that come to life, music, movement, design, directing: all equal in shaping the story in puppet theater. Our work is aimed at developing artistry in all the facets of storytelling within this medium.