In the Heart of the Beast Theatre’s new artist incubator facilitated by Alison Heimstead celebrated 7 years of radical, genre-expanding, boundary–pushing work. Over two weekends in March 2018 four emerging puppeteers presented experimental performances generously funded by the Jerome Foundation.
Week 1: March 16 & 17 at 7:30 p.m., March 18 at 2:30 p.m.
Star Girl Clan by Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra & Magdalena Kaluza
A magical adventure about an Indigenous Maya grandmother whose spiritual conflict of internal racism leads her on a journey into an enchanted jungle and starworld.
The MoFo by Shelby Richardson
The last remaining life-form on Earth (a strand of E. Coli bacteria) guides the audience through a museum exhibit dedicated to an attempt to understand the “female object” through the interpretation of relics from our forgotten human species.
Week 2: March 23 & 24 at 7:30 p.m., March 25 at 2:30 p.m.
Lost Lake by Elle Thoni
An adventuresome fable in which a Traveller searches for answers about a lake's mysterious disappearance in a fantastical world that is all too real. Featuring the talents of Katie Burgess, Chava Kokhleffel, Kat Luna, and Walken Schweigert. Co-directed by Isabel Nelson.
Light Camera Rappers by Michele Spaise
A work in progress exploring trauma as a catalyst for healing through an experiential installation with puppetry, light, projection, sound, and ritual. Hosted by Golden Ram, Blue Whale and Ruby with the Amethyst Eyes.
About the Artists
Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra is an emerging interdisciplinary post-modern folk artist, curator, and civic artist working in the intersections of art, culture, community, and equity. Her practice includes visual art, music, dance, and performance with an emphasis on Latinx/Indigenous art methods. Her work lives in the Nepantla or in-between of Christianity and Indigeneity and explores iconography, propaganda, Decolonization, and Liberation Theology.
Magdalena Kaluza is a queer/mestizx Maya K’iche’ writer, performer, and youth worker who loves to garden, cook, dance, bike, and co-create. She’s a long-time member of Palabristas, a Latin@ spoken word collective. Magdalena also dabbles in visual art. She grew up in Phillips, and Guatemala is her second home.
Shelby Richardson is originally from the small town of Murphys, California and came to Minneapolis in 2009. Since coming to Minnesota she has had the pleasure of working with an array of artists of different backgrounds and disciplines, splitting her time between working in traditional theaters on old plays and creating her own performances. Her collaboration with Jay is more like a private party with a soul-mate than anything else. Shelby's collaboration with Jay is part of a durational piece called PARTNER, which lasts two years.
Elle Thoni is a playwright, performance-maker, public artist, and creative organizer born and based on occupied Dakota land in the Upper Mississippi watershed. A student of myth, Elle creates performances that play on the shared existence of humans and nonhumans: using ritual, spectacle, and narrative to explore possibilities for collective resilience and re-wilding. From 2013-2015, Elle apprenticed with documentary playwright Annabel Soutar of Porte Parole (Montréal, Canada) to help develop two freshwater-themed projects for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Since returning to the U.S., Elle has had the privilege of serving as Assistant Curator for Northern Lights.mn. She enjoys listening.
Michele Spaise is a shadow puppeteer, visual, performance, multi-media, and teaching artist. Creating a body of work delving into healing, transformation, and Ascension from trauma. In 2015, while working on Naked Stages she fell in love with shadow puppetry's low tech, high-magic way of storytelling. Over the past two years studying with Monkeybear Harmolodic through workshops, creating a short collaborative shadow puppet performance, and building community with POC and indigenous puppeteers.