Nasty, Brutish & Short

Nasty, Brutish & Short

Rough House, A Dead Whale Productions, Andrew Young, Claire Saxe, Dani Wieder, Freddie Levin, Heather Killian, Duff Norris, Kevin Michael Wesson, Milissa Orzolek, Emily Ritger, Sarah Goone, Sivan Cohen Elias, Sarah Miller, Karen Hoyer, Tyler Garamella, Dane Eissler, Sam Price, Maddison Wise, Mark Blashford, Jordan Olsen, abandoned ships

Mon, December 11, 2017

7:30 pm

Links Hall

Chicago, IL

$8 - $10

Nasty, Brutish, & Short
Nasty, Brutish, & Short
Presented by Rough House and Links Hall
Curated by Maddy Low, Grace Needlman, and Mike Oleon

Hosted by Noah Ginex Puppet Company

Nasty Brutish & Short is an evening of contemporary short-form puppet and object based theater for adult audiences. The cabaret is a low risk environment for artists to perform new and experimental work and foster artistic exchange between puppet artists of different generations and mediums.

This event is funded in part by the Puppet Slam Network (a project of IBEX Puppetry)
The Unpopular Demise of the No-Good, Rascally, Rotten Barnabus P. Mudflaps
Written by Tyler Garamella
Directed & Puppet Designed by Dane Eissler
Costume Designed by Sam Price

Here in the town of Crud, the (adorably) notorious conman Barnabus P. Mudflaps terrorizes his doting fans… until the law catches up to him. A Dead Whale Productions presents their own puppet-fueled tall-tale of crime, justice, and the glorification of the West’s cutest rebel.
By Karen Hoyer and Freddie Levin
Red & Bugsy, A Time Travel Laser Puppet Farce
By: Kevin Michael Wesson
Performed by: Kevin Michael Wesson and Maddison Wise
Tech/Design by: Dollar Tree
Special Thanks: Mungy Williams, Richie Bauers, Claire Saxe, & Mike Oleon

Red & Bugsy, A Time Travel Laser Puppet Farce, is a 7-minute play about one ant, Red, revealing to another ant, Bugsy, (both played by laser pointers) that he can time travel. Once Red goes missing, all hell breaks loose; Bugsy becomes the scapegoat as he tries to keep Red's secret. All the while, the problem is made worse by Red time traveling to see the worst people in human history. Ants, Hitler, and Satan, it's the wildest play that ever happened in the dark.
How to Make a Monster
Created and Performed by: Sivan Cohen Elias
Special Thanks: Reynard Hulme - assistant

On a table, objects turn into a puppet that evolves into an ever-changing sequence of actions and sounds. The performance this evening will be 8 min "summary" of an originally 30 min work
By: abandoned ships
Performed by: Sarah Goone, Mark Blashford
Tech/Design by: Milissa Orzolek
Special Thanks: Grayson Morris, Phoebe Vlassis, Camille Lenain and Sam Hollier

silla/see-ya is a two character mask piece that investigates the age old question: should I stay or should i go?
Puppets by: Andrew Young and Jordan Olsen
Sound Design by: Jordan Olsen
Ankong was made in partnership with Monkeybear's Harmolodic Workshop.
Special Thanks to: To Andrew's mom, who made the journey. To Jordan, whom this show wouldn't be the same without. To Liz Schachterle, for invaluable advice, mentorship, and inspiration. To Chamindika, for opening the door into the world of puppetry.

Distilled memories. Other shores. Knowing and not. Tracing branches.
Rough House
Rough House
Rough House uses multidisciplinary storytelling to present strange tales. Our work is unabashedly theatrical, leaving our mechanisms exposed, inviting audiences in as accomplices in creation. We believe stories are best told using a variety of artistic media, placing puppets, performers and musicians on stage together to open new worlds of imaginative possibility. Rough House has headlined the National Puppetry Festival and performed at Open Eye Figure Theater’s Toy Theater After Dark Festival. It has performed in auditoriums, the woods of Appalachia, funeral homes, lotion factories, basements and bars.
A Dead Whale Productions
A Dead Whale Productions
Blending virtuosic physical performances and striking poetic imagery, A Dead Whale Productions challenges and diversifies traditional theatrical conventions with new, culturally relevant works created by all means necessary.

A newly-crafted Chicago-based theatre company creating edgy and innovative theatrical events through rigorous collaborative ingenuity. We aim to create a theatre that is sustainable within both our community and environment. Our productions are built from re-purposed and found materials, and we aim to build our audiences and artistic ensemble by fostering a safe and inclusive environment in order to fulfill these goals.
Andrew Young
Andrew Young was born of three countries but raised in one. An artist and a generalist, Andrew spends much of his time exploring the world inside and outside of himself, trying to find meaning or making it where he can. He can be reached at
Claire Saxe
Claire Saxe
Claire Saxe is a performer, puppeteer, and theatrical writer based in Chicago. Outside of Links Hall, she has had the pleasure of performing at Steep Theater, on the Steppenwolf mainstage, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in theaters, basements, converted warehouses and other alternative venues across the Midwest, East Coast, and UK. She is co-artistic director of Rough House Theater Company, with whom her recent work includes Cicada Summer: A Coming-of-Age Interspecies Romance Tragedy, Ubu the King, and Sad Songs for Bad People. Claire is a graduate of Skidmore College and the University of Exeter (UK).
Dani Wieder
Dani Wieder is a director and dramaturg focusing on physical theater and adaptation. She has assistant directed shows at Walkabout (Mother of Smoke), American Theatre Company (Men on Boats) and Court Theatre (The Secret Garden), and is currently working on Hookman at Steep Theatre. She is the Literary Intern at the Goodman Theatre. She has worked with The Inconvenience, The House Theatre, Pivot Arts, and Center Theatre Group, among others. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago.
Freddie Levin
Freddie Levin is an artist, illustrator, jewelry maker and puppet creator from Evanston, IL. She created custom hand-stamped jewelry, especially popular with gamers and fans of pop culture. Her work is available on Etsy under the name FenFare.
Heather Killian
Heather Killian is a 2015 graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a lover of all things Halloween, creative, and unusual. She first started experimenting with costuming when she was about 9 years old, after seeing Star Wars. She loved the Storm Troopers and wanted to be one for Halloween. So she took to gathering paper towel tubes and an old ripped sheet, that she fashioned into the armor of a Storm Trooper and proudly wore it to school. That was the catapult for a lifetime of large and unusual costumes for herself, her children and eventually people that she would meet through her journey of life.

Heather's creatures are a visual language of joy. And through them, she is able to share what makes her ecstatic. A child like wonder of all things unusual has helped Heather keep a sense of awe and an open mind to following the "dirt road" rather than the "paved path." There doesn't have to be a specific motive or meaning to every creature, she just gets excited over the idea, and runs with it. The first giant creature was the sloth, she took him up and down escalators and all around the city of Chicago. What a sight to see! He even got stuck in a revolving door. It brings absolute smiles to peoples' faces to watch a giant sloth trying to escape a revolving door. Or a giant pink flamingo running under The Bean, at Millenium Park, while being chased by a bunch of school kids that are there for a field trip.

Life's too short not to enjoy and be silly, so it is her intention to continue to create as many goofy, off the wall, fun loving creatures as possible.
Duff Norris
Duff Norris is a interdisciplinary artist who focuses on live Performance Art & Printmaking. He works with themes of intimacy, wonder, and being known. Born in Denver, Colorado.
Currently practices in Chicago, IL. Graduated with a BFA degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2015.

Loves dogs.
Kevin Michael Wesson
Kevin Michael Wesson is a playwright/puppeteer based out of Chicago. Originally from Tampa, FL, he received his B.A. in theatre arts from the University of South Florida. His plays have been read/produced in Atlanta, GA, Charleston, NC, Tampa & St. Petersburg, FL, Columbus, OH, New York City, NY, and Chicago, IL. He currently writes for Tampa's only sketch comedy group, Some Sort of Show, and he is an associate puppeteer with the Chicago Puppet Theater, Rough House Theater.
Milissa Orzolek
I am a geographer, traveler, visual artist, educator, bicyclist, audio-enthusiast, builder, director, writer and puppeteer. I've lived in many different places around the country and around the world and I've had many different jobs. All of my experiences influence my work.

Currently, I work as a teaching artist in New Orleans, while I devote most of my free time to improving my puppetry skills. I'm always in search of new projects and great collaborations in locations both near and far.
Emily Ritger
Emily Ritger is a director, playwright, performer and choreographer based in Chicago. As a teacher and director developing new work, she has worked for American Theatre Company, Redmoon, Cleveland Public Theatre, Northlight Theatre, ChiArts, The New Harmony Project and The National High School Institute.

While Ritger’s focus is in ensemble based work, her diverse training includes Viola Spolin Theatre Games, Viewpoints, Puppetry, Contact Improv, experimental methods of writing and various forms of music, creating work that is saturated in movement, music and play. Her work draws from her experience of growing up in small town Wisconsin. It celebrates rural america - its voice, land, dialect, sense of community and the people who carry on the traditions and way of life inherent to living off the land. With the agrarian landscape as her cornerstone, her work explores the philosophy and religion inherent in nature and living off the land, and the cyclical birth and death inherent in life on a farm.

Her current projects include her solo show, "Crud", part documentary style theatre, part fantastical music and shadow puppetry, examining a day her family never talks about. "Behaymas", a collaboration with playwright Aliza Bartfield, three humans and one animal blur the lines of domesticity and societal constructions of family. And her play "The Day Krissy LeDuke Fell Through the Ice", is a moment in time and its arrayed vectors of tragedy told through free verse and music.

She has studied with theater artists Dan Hurlin, David Neumann, Sibyl Kempson, Tina Landau, Brett Bailey, Claudia Castellucci, Aretha Sills, Shirley Kaplan, Cassandra Medley, Stuart Spencer and Tom Lee, and received her MFA in Theater from Sarah Lawrence College and a BS in Theatre and Philosophy from the University of Evansville.
Sarah Goone
Sarah Goone is a puppeteer, visual artist, and performer. In addition to two original puppet shows and many puppet slam pieces, she has worked with various puppeteers, puppet companies, and animation studios, including Redmoon Theater, Puppet Showplace Theater, Jabberwocky Marionettes, Foreign Landscape Productions, Bob’s Discount Furniture, and Spiffy Pictures. By day, Sarah currently lead bike and walking tours of the city of Chicago.
Sivan Cohen Elias
Dr. Sivan Cohen Elias is a composer, interdisciplinary artist and performer who often integrates different art forms into a unified medium.

Alongside her sonic practice, her work includes installations, sound sculptures, prepared instruments, choreography, video editing, text, costumes, improvisation and performance. In her work, performance, play, task, and absurdity operate simultaneously in hybrid systems and bodies that merge behaviors of human, animal and machine, exploring ever-changing phenomena.

Born in Jerusalem, Israel, Cohen Elias' works have been commissioned, broadcast and performed by ensembles and performers (including herself) in and around Europe, Israel, Russia and the United States, including Klangforum Wien, MusikFabrik, Mosaik, Dal Niente, Distractfold, Mocrep, Jack Quartet, Nikel among many more. Festival appearances include Darmstadt Fereinkurse, Bludenz, Wien Modern, Witten, Klangspuren, Ultraschall, and Warsaw Autumn.

After receiving BMus and MMus from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Music schools between 2005-2007, she served as the chairperson of the Israel Women Composers' Forum, and on organizing committees of international new music festivals in Israel, including Tzlil Meudcan, dedicated to developing previously non-existent platforms. In 2007 Cohen Elias left her home country and relocated to Vienna for a Post-Graduate program at the University for Music and Performance art. In 2009 she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts for PhD composition studies at Harvard University under the guidance of Prof. Chaya Czernowin and prof. Hans Tutchku. In 2012-13 she spent a year in Stuttgart as a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude. She received her doctorate from Harvard in May, 2017.

Numerous awards include the Impuls International Composition Competition 2009, the Boost! project Prize Darmstadt 2012, and, most recently, her mini opera .onion won the Staatstheater International Music-Theatre Competition Darmstadt 2016. She is currently working on a full-length opera, commissioned by Staatstheater Darmstadt to be premiered in 2018.

Cohen Elias lives in Evanston, Illinois with her husband, Reynard Hulme, and daughter, Meshi Elias-Hulme.
Karen Hoyer
Karen Hoyer’s collected works of mime, clown, mask and puppetry have been presented in various formats under this title -- a play on words, since her clown alter-ego Dot would surely think of herself as the end all and be all. Over the years she’s presented many solo shows including “Apparent Appearances” which was presented in Chicago and on tour Mexico. But her passion has always been collaboration -- for example the theme was partnership in the children’s touring mime company she founded and ran for fifteen years, Partners in Mime, Inc. Partner work is also at the core of her work for the Chicago Clown Care Unit (CCU) of the Big Apple Circus where she’s performed as Dr. Dot since 1999. She continues to seek out collaborations, recently initiating the creation of a series of new duets with her CCU colleague Pam Chermansky. Creating ensemble movement theatre works that explore innovative uses of abstract / concrete movement, puppetry and mask, clown and mime is her continuing goal.
Tyler Garamella
Tyler Garamella is a comedic performer whose work has appeared throughout Chicago, Philadelphia, NY, and New Orleans. He currently performs weekly in BATSU! while serving as Artistic Associate for A Dead Whale Productions.
Dane Eissler
Dane Eissler is a multidisciplinary image-driven artist and Founding Artistic Director of A Dead Whale Productions. This winter, he will Associate Direct and perform in John Guare’s The Lydie Breeze Trilogy with EgoPo Classic Theater in Philly.
Sam Price
Sam Price is a theatre artist and administrator, as well as Managing Director for A Dead Whale Productions. She currently works as Development Associate for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Maddison Wise
Maddison Wise is an actor, writer, and puppeteer from Tampa, Florida, and is over the moon to be making her debut in Chicago! She is a recent graduate of the University of South Florida where she studied theatre performance and featured in roles such as The American in Heather Raffo's Nine Parts of Desire. Earlier this year, she performed in Tampa's first International Fringe Festival in her new play, ECHO. She would like to thank her director and co-actor Kevin for his gifted humor and for bringing her along on this adventure.
Mark Blashford
Mark Blashford is an actor, puppeteer, and musician from Pennsylvania. He holds an MFA in puppetry from the University of Connecticut. With national and international touring experience Blashford specializes in marionette, rod, hand, and object puppetry. His current touring show, Jack & Jill, was inspired by his experiences growing up near the Appalachian Mountains and listening to family stories.
Jordan Olsen
Jordan Olsen is a multimedia artist focused on humans' evolutionary and technological narratives, and moving perspectives on the world around us.
abandoned ships
Formed in 2013, abandoned ships is Milissa Orzolek and a rotating cast of talented performers, musicians, puppeteers and builders. abandoned ships has performed in the New Orleans Giant Puppet Festival and the New Orleans Infringe Festival. In 2016, the Jim Henson Foundation awarded abandoned ships a Family Grant for its original production, What Keeps Us. Currently based in New Orleans, Milissa is also an educator, geographer and visual artist.
Venue Information:
Links Hall
3111 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL, 60618