Catapult Artists Intensive

The Catapult: For Practicing Artists of all Disciplines

The Catapult Artist Intensive returns with 2 unique professional development weekends to inspire and inform practicing artists of all disciplines. Over a three-day period, participants take a deep dive into puppetry with a curated, guided experience of the Festival programming. Join an intimate cohort, escorted by a professional leader, for discussions, a performance workshop, backstage access, and more. The Catapult is designed to advance the form and expand understanding of the field of puppetry in the United States. Each weekend includes 7 performances in 3 days, with a workshop, symposium, some meals and local transportation. No application required. Hotel is not included in the price, but hotel discount is available.

Program Details

Ages: 16 and up

Health: Due to shared transportation, proof of Covid vaccination and masks are required. We will be following local mandates at the time.

Who: Artists from any discipline and those seeking to deepen their puppetry experience

When:

Session 1
Friday, January 21 at 1:00pm through Sunday January 23 at 7:00pm
Led by Grace Needlman

Session 2
Friday, January 28 at 1:00pm through Sunday January 30 at 7:00pm
Led by Samuel J. Lewis II

Where/How: Location & Transportation: Cohort meets at the hotel and travels together to venues throughout Chicago. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to/from airport if needed.

Cost: $585

Lodging: Festival provides a hotel discount code to participants so they can get a low rate which they book and pay for themselves.

For more information please email: info@chicagopuppetfest.org

Session I Schedule

Friday, January 21 at 1:00pm through Sunday January 23 at 7:00pm

Led by Grace Needlman (read bio below)

Friday, January 21:

1pm: Orientation and Skill Share
4pm: Performance of Plastic Bag Store by Robin Frohardt
6pm: Dinner
7:30: Performance of Sea Change by Cabinet of Curiosity
10:30: Performance of Nasty, Brutish & Short: A Puppet Cabaret featuring various artists

Saturday, January 22:

10am: Workshop by Vanessa Valliere
11:30am: Lunch
1:00pm: Symposium: What We Leave Behind: The Plastic Object Geological Layer
7:00pm: Performance of New Mony! By Maria Camia
10:30pm: Performance of I, OBJECT! by The Neo-Futurists

Sunday, January 23:

11am: Free Neighborhood Tour Performance by Ty Defoe, Jerrell L. Henderson, The Joshua Show
1:00pm: Lunch
2pm: Performance of Chimpanzee by Nick Lehane
4pm: Closing Session

Session II Schedule

Friday, January 28 at 1:00pm through Sunday January 30 at 7:00pm

Led by Samuel J. Lewis II (read bio below)

Friday, January 28:

1pm: Orientation and Skill Share
4pm: Performance of Plastic Bag Store by Robin Frohardt
6pm: Dinner
7:00: Performance of Object of Her Affection by Marsian De Lellis
8:30: Performance of Invitation to a Beheading by Rough House Theatre Co.
10:30: Performance of Nasty, Brutish & Short: A Puppet Cabaret featuring various artists

Saturday, January 29:

10am: Symposium: Race and Representation in Puppetry
1:00pm: Lunch
2:00pm: Performance of TIMBER! by Rootstock Puppet Co.
7:30pm: Performance of The Persians by Bread & Puppet Theatre
10:30pm: Performance of I, OBJECT! by The Neo-Futurists

Sunday, January 30:

11am: Workshop by Tom Lee
12:00pm: Lunch
3pm: Performance of The Bluest Eye by Margaret Laurena Kemp / Janni Younge

Lead Artists

Grace Needlman

Grace Needlman (they/she) is excited to join the Chicago International Puppet Festival team as the Chicago Puppet Lab Coordinator. As a cultural worker and puppet designer, Grace explores collective imagination and is committed to creating equitable pathways for Chicago artists. Grace’s puppet designs appear on stages across Chicago, and they are a company member at Rough House. Grace also works as Manager of Studio Programs at Mawen and publishes and presents on youth agency, collaboration, and queering museums. Grace holds a BA in fine art from Yale University and an MA in Contemporary Art Theory from Goldsmiths University of London.

Photo: Yvette Marie Dostani

Samuel J. Lewis II

Sam is an accidental puppeteer who now tries to create intentional work. He has worked for over a decade with a vintage Black Americana marionette, he reimagined as, “Jus Hambone.” Currently, he’s building new puppets for the first time, with the generous help of Grace Needlman of Wonder Wagon, for a long-form piece he’s creating based on newly discovered family history, tentatively titled, Everybody Knew Their Place.