Henson Awards Showcase 2023

Henson Awards Showcase 2023

Thursday, March 30, 2023 . 7:30PM

Event Attributes


For more information regarding accessible accommodations, please click here.

Estimated Length: 
1 hour and 30 minutes

Join us in person at The Clarice! Please note that this performance will not be livestreamed.

The talented student recipients of the Jim Henson Fund for Puppetry perform AND 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. 


Presentations include:

Balinese traditional performing arts demonstration by Dr. I Nyoman Sedana 

Balinese puppetry features two major styles of puppet: the three-dimensional wooden puppet (wayang golèk) and the flat leather shadow puppet (wayang kulit) representing animals, mythical figures, and human beings. The dalang (puppet master) is responsible for passing down culture and tradition to future generations. Narratives are based on the Mahābhārata, but the form is heavily improvised, open to various adaptations, and responds to the given desa-kala-patra (place-time-circumstance). Join Dr. I Nyoman Sedana, instructor, scholar, and performer of Balinese traditional performing arts, for this special presentation!

Hosted by the International Program for Creative Collaboration and Research (IPCCR)

STUMBLE MERGE by Mary Kathryn Ford (MFA Dance '24) & Charlotte Rachel Richardson-Deppe (MFA Studio Art '23)
In "STUMBLE MERGE," performers use their whole bodies to activate large soft-sculpture puppets made of brightly colored clothing. The implied bodies of the puppets and the active bodies of the performers overlap and intertwine, blurring whose limbs are whose. The performance explores concepts of insulation / isolation, tension / release, and comfort / trap.

Playing Wolves by Leo Grierson (MFA Theatre Design '25)
In this scene presentation from their work in progress Playing Wolves, the theme of identity is explored through the use of both physical and digital puppetry. In one version of the scene, the characters of Lux and Kendra meet to play their stuffed animal game of "wolves." In the second presentation, the wolf game is played out with just their bodies, while their wolf alter egos are suspended above them, controlled through motion capture. Each version of the scene presents a different way to approach the perception we have of identity - and what aspects of identity we influence control over, and which seem to act without our knowledge. 

Drops of Gold by Daniel Miramontes (MFA Dance '24)
Daniel’s presentation will include both physicalization and language detailing his creation of three marionettes made of Mylar. His three marionettes will be in duet with three dancer puppeteers. These three duets will be enacted simultaneously and will explore the felt sensations of sensing and listening across multiple manifestations of size and scale. 

Here to Wed Socabane by Miele Murray (BA Theatre '26)
Does a person’s portrait provide you with the full picture of who they are? Do love letters and pretty paintings tell the true story of a person's character? What power does music have in causing pain and happiness in someone’s life? These questions and more will unearth themselves from the soils of Evolir, a grand kingdom where the young princess, Socabane [so-KAY-buh-NEE], awaits the arrival of her intended, Prince Vestorin of Mayorsha. Witness a new world with new inventions and wonderfully strange names in this original puppetry one-act!