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Puppetropolis 2001 - Chicago

"Puppetropolis-Chicago was an enormous ten day festival, June 14-23, 2001 with multiple shows every day and night throughout the city. The festival sponsors included the Chicago¹s Office of Tourism, Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Mayor¹s Office of Special Programs, as well as countless corporate and private institutions donating money, and performance space. Blair Thomas, a teacher, member of POA, director of Gallery 37 here in Chicago, and co-founder of Redmoon theatre, was a key figure in conceptualizing this very successful project.

Coordinating these Hundreds of local, national and international artists was a labor of love. The artists responded by fulfilling their duty to transform the city; to create ³Puppetropolis². The festival was the best, most original, and forward thinking city festival that Chicago has ever had . Many of the shows were free. The festival included many types of performances, also children¹s events, workshops, films, lectures, as well as a numerous private functions all accross the neighborhoods, loop and lakefront of Chicago. No one puppet fan could have seen it all.

As a participant in two aspects of Puppetropolis performance series¹ with the group Environmental Encroachment (EE), I experienced the many beauracracies, rules, and methods exercised to pull off an official City event. The scale becomes huge, with lots of paperwork, rules, press, translations, logistics, finance and other technicalities. Artists were very happy with the city deciding to sponsor such an event (and the money), but found that such sponsorship also has its drawbacks. All said, the City of Chicago was incredibly, almost unbelievably supportive of this festival. Examples of the city¹s support include free Street performers licenses, impromptu parades and shows allowed on the streets, and a late night cabaret of very politically charged shows in the city¹s own Storefront Theatre, with no censorship."
quote from Mike Smith's review in Puppetry Journal

This site is a comprehensive schedule of EE's 23 performances during the ten day puppetropolis festival.
EE was just one of hundreds of groups, this site will be dedicated to finding and adding more information about these artists.

EE will be adding info as we get it in order to make the most complete online documentary of Puppetropolis- 2001.

For now, link to our IMAGES or Archive pages to find out more info on particular shows.

David Marine, Cristina, Barbara Melois, Damaino and Mike Smith
*this is a new site page, and hopefully one of the best documents of the festival online. EE will continue to update this page so check up on it.
Paul Zaloom

Two phases of EE's involvement:

EE and nine other performance groups have been given by the city a puppet booth to do a show,
Obveeusly EE can't fit in the booth all at once, (well we fit in a VW) but will transform our booth into a space monolith puppet.
There will be an incredible space adventure, with sulphuric space worms, giant organic space plasmas that eat metal, Robots,
as well as unique forms of interstellar musical communications.
Our show will turn the booth into one of many puppets. Check ours and alls shows out! There are local legends as well as groups from:
Korea, England, France, Hollywood, New York and Vermont, and yours truly EE (hailing from Atlantis).

Ben M. has curated what looks to be five unsane nights of puppets, shows, hilarity, and general entertainment nirvana.
EE will be the cabaret's band as well as parade marching band for post show frolics. Lots of local talent.
Prediction: Event of the year for Chicago.

Both schedules here show EE's involvement. If you wish to know the COMPLETE Street Stages schedule,
click here to go to the official puppetropolis website.

Thursday 6-14 6-9 pm Field Museum North lawn, Roosevelt Road and Lake. Entire Street Stages Cast, and many more amazing puppets for the Event Grand Opening of Puppetropolis
noon-1:30 Daley plaza
50 W. Washington,
with Laura Heit and En Fuegeo (Chcago) Street Stages - Loop tour
5pm- 6:30 Thompson plaza
100 W Washington
same as above. Street Stages - Loop tour
Saturday 6-16 12-1:20
and 3-4:30
2700 W. Devon, Republic Bank Parking lot with Barbara Melois and Phillippe Rodriguez-Jorda (France) Street Stages - Neighborhoods
noon - 1:30 and 3-4:30 Lincoln Park Zoo , 2000 N Cannon drive same as above and Paul Zaloom (Hollywood) Street Stages - parks
Thrusday 6-21 noon-1:30 and 5-6:30 Oak Street Gazebo Park, Michagan Ave at E. Lake shore drive with Amy Trompetter and Ama Birch (NY) Street Stages - Michigan Ave
noon-1:30 and 5-6:30 James Thompson center, 100 West Randolph with Clare Dolan, "GoGo girl for president theatre". Street Stages - Loop Tour
Saturday, 6\23 3-6pm MCA all ten Street Stages groups. Summer Solstice Show and Grand Finale of Puppetropolis

Heather and Jamie working to build the space monolith.

EE's puppet booth actually did take off into outer space with the help of the ancient astronauts of Ohm.Bah.

Through the course of time, the astronauts experimented hydrothemic space worms in order to genetically further their research on energy sources.

The worms of course got out of control due to a lab monkey laughing to hard.

The monolith in its pre-historic beginnings, when the goddess mothers worked to build the "vessel of time".


Party time, the eye works!

Seen here, a rare glimpse into the "life of the ancient gods".


-separate schedule for the Combustible Cabaret

Friday June 15 10pm $12 Gallery 37 storefront theatre 66 E Randolph
Saturday June 16 10 pm $12 Gallery 37 storefront theatre 66 E Randolph
Thursday June 21 6:30 pm free Cultural Center 77 E Randolph
Friday, June 22 10 pm $12 Gallery 37 storefront theatre 66 E Randolph
Saturday, June 23 10 pm $12 Gallery 37 storefront theatre 66 E Randolph
June 24
3 pm free La Gacita 2625 West Division

EE is the house band, here is the tentative schedule:
Ben Majchrzak is curator and overall host. (as well as street stages performer).
shcedule as of May 15th follows:

Friday, June 15 at the Storefront Theater
Paul Zaloom will play the Master of Ceremonies for the weekend
PRESHOW StreetStages, Jody Netzer
10:00 Laura Heit “The Matchbox Shows
10:15 Le Petit Theatre de l’Absolu “Paris in the 19th"
10:30 Barbara Melois “Est-ce une vie? (Is It a Life?)
10:45 Rubber Monkey Puppet Theater “Loong 11:00
11:10 Ten Hands ,The Bullfight
11:25 Insurrection Landscapers “Revolting Trashy Puppet
11:40 Blair Thomas ,Unknown Worlds?

Saturday, June 16 at the Storefront Theater
PRESHOW StreetStages, Jody Netzer
10:00 Laura Heit “The Matchbox Shows
10:15 Beth Pulcinella “Our Streets Our City
10:30 Ten Hands “The Bullfight
10:45 Christopher Ludder: Puppetfarm “The Next Fantastic Bus-Stop
11:10 Le Petit Theatre de l’Absolu “Paris in the 19th Century
11:25 Insurrection Landscapers “Revolting Trashy Puppet
11:40 Blair Thomas “Unknown Worlds?”Saturday, June 16

Thursday, June 21 "happy hour" at the Chicago Cultural Center
This event will feature Morgan Fitzpatrick Andrews and Sholanda Aikens as Stage Managers
6:30 Cellmate Video Showing by Murray McKay
6:45 Le Petit Theatre de l’Absolu “Paris in the 19th Century
7:00 El Moderno Circo Absurdo “Dogscent
7:15 Morgan Fitzpatrick Andrews “Gentrification: a Work in Progres
7:30 Environmental Encroachment (music interlude)
7:45 Beth Nixon “Flossing Between Miracles
8:00 Shopping Cart Theater “Evolution of Tree
8:15 El Moderno Circo Absurdo “The Popular Puppeteer
8:30 End of happy hour, begin sad hour

Friday, June 22 at the Storefront Theater
This weekend will feature Jessica Thebus as the Master of Ceremonies
PRESHOW Street Stages, Domiano Giambelli, Amy Trumpetter
10:00 Xander Marrow
10:15 Great Small Works “The Story of Charas
10:30 Rebekah Johnson/Spiro Dusious “TBA
10:45 Beth Nixon “Flossing Between Miracles
11:15 El Moderno Circo Absurdo “Dogscent
11:30 Human Engine “Las Bici Hormigas
11:45 El Moderno Circo Absurdo “The Popular Puppeteer

Saturday, June 23 at the Storefront Theater
PRESHOW StreetStages, Domiano Giambelli, Amy Trumpetter
10:00 El Moderno Circo Absurdo “Dogscent
10:15 Great Small Works “The Story of Charas
10:30 Up to No Good Productions “The Insect Play
10:45 Morgan Fitzpatrick “Gentrification: A Work in Progress
11:15 Xander Marrow
11:30 Human Engine “las Bici Hormigas
11:45 El Moderno Circo Absurdo “The Popular Puppeteer

Sunday, June 24 at La Gacita, 2625 West Division St.
5:00 El Moderno Circo Absurdo
5:15 Human Engine “Las Bici Hormigas
5:30 Morgan Fitzpatrick Andrews “Gentrification: A Work in Progress
5:45 Ben Majchrzak "Jack the Giant-Killer"
6:00 El Moderno Circo Absurdo

More info will be arriving soon about these particular shows, and all shows during this massive ten day event.

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