Henson Awards Showcase
The talented student recipients of the Jim Henson Fund for Puppetry will perform/present their funded projects.
The School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies hosts an annual competition and recipients are awarded funds to create a puppet project or performance. The Jim Henson Fund for Puppetry was established by Jane Henson '55 to honor the memory of Jim Henson '60, creator of the world famous Muppets.
Aqua and water walk into a bar by Christina Robson
Aqua and water walk into a bar, a collaboration between Christina Robson and Shane Rutkowski, uses found objects to animate an unforgettable journey made by a group of chemicals. Washers, nuts and bolts transform into charismatic representations of chemical structures, and thimbles become a gaggle of bachelorette party attendees. This short film blends choreography, comedy, puppetry and chemistry to bring everyday objects to life.
Exousia by Bill Kassay
Exousia is Greek for "authority" or "power." In the piece, the protagonist is a rich and powerful creature with overstuffed pockets and a greedy nature. He uses his resources to inflict pain and suffering on innocents with the hope of gaining “prizes.” This is indicative of a civilian-operated military complex whose sole purpose is the accumulation of more wealth. There are far too many conflicts in the world that are being fought under this context. To soften the story, this piece uses a “whack-a-mole” machine to narrate—but the metaphor is the same.
Untitled by Tristan Koepke
In response to isolation and lack of face-to-face collaborators during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tristan Koepke sets out to create a new dance partner: a robot named Armando. What arises is a sly and humorous investigation of the possibilities and limits of puppetry and robotic technologies to replace missing human connection.
The Epic of Gilgamesh: Humbaba and the Cedar Forest by Channing Tucker
Killer, Conqueror, Epic Hero—the Epic of Gilgamesh tells an ancient story of a deeply flawed, complex hero who undertakes many adventures over the course of his lifetime. Gilgamesh ultimately comes to terms with the nature of kingship and the mortality of both himself and his loved ones. This is a short proof-of-concept film and detail showcase for the generation of a larger film project.