Drama of Works

Todays Date: 12/01/22
Last Update: 05/17/15 05:03:59 PM
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Schedule of Upcoming Productions

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Production History

And What Alice Found There  | Open: 09/22/07 Close: 09/23/07
All the way from Toronto, Stranger Theater brings their version of Alice to HERE. "And What Alice Found There" brings to life Lewis Carroll's writing of Alice in Wonderland, the real Alice, and the world in which they lived. Using a mixture of sources from Carroll's two famous novels, letters and other writings, we begin with a sunny day on the river and travel to far darker places. The story examines childhood, love, and the nature of creation. Alice Liddell's journey through Victorian times mirrors Alice in Wonderland's journey through the hallucinatory landscape of her author's imagination, where nothing is as it seems.

Stranger Theater's new work is a collaboration between an all-female group of performers, puppeteers and video artists, reworking a classic text to create a multi-media theatrical adventure using physical theater, puppetry, slide images, video, stop-motion animation, and a little tap dancing. Bizarre, visually stunning, funny and absurd, this is an enticing look at the troubled friendship that gave birth to a masterpiece.

For festival information: http://www.dramaofworks.com/alice

BLOOD RED ROSES: THE FEMALE PIRATE PROJECT  | Open: 05/11/15 Close: 05/31/15
Blood Red Roses is a devised immersive shadow puppetry piece that examines the history of female pirates – performed on a boat in the Red Hook Channel. What made these incredible and dangerous women choose this life, as opposed to a more conventional path? The shadows will be cast all around you, constantly surprising you. Come go to sea with us, drink rum with us, sing along with us, go on this journey with us…

Drama of Works will present the World Premiere of Blood Red Roses: The Female Pirate Project, a puppet theater piece created by the ensemble and directed by Drama of Works Artistic Director Gretchen Van Lente, May 11-31 at The Waterfront Museum (290 Conover Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn). The production will feature Joseph Garner, Emily Hartford, Gretchen Van Lente, Scott Weber, and Meghan Williams with Costume Design by Emily Blumenauer. Preview performances will be on Monday, May 11 and Tuesday, May 12 with an opening night performance on Saturday, May 16. The show will then run Friday through Sunday through May 31. Doors will open at 7:45pm and the performance will begin at sundown (approximately 8pm). Tickets ($15 in advance; $20 at the door) are available online at http://bloodredroses.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 866-811-4111. The show runs approximately 55 minutes, with no intermission.  

The Waterfront Museum is housed on board the Lehigh Valley No. 79, an authentic floating artifact that was built in 1914 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the last wooden barge of the “lighterage era” (1860-1960), which remains afloat. From the barge and pier, visitors are treated to a rare front view of the Statue of Liberty, and to the tugs, freighters, and container and cruise ships that crisscross the harbor daily. For more information on the Waterfront Museum & Showboat Barge and its upcoming events visit www.waterfrontmuseum.org.

Carnival of Samhain  | Open: 11/03/05 Close: 11/06/05
Drama of Works will once again extend the Halloween holiday, terrorizing unsuspecting New Yorkers. The majority of pieces will be puppet pieces (with an emphasis placed on variety), as well as dance, scene work, circus and live music.

SOME POSSIBLE ACTS: Drama of Works' Artistic Director Gretchen Van Lente and Artistic Associate John Ardolino present a piece from their newly formed children's theatre, 2 Punks Puppet Theatre. A piece for older kids, it's a dark, moody retelling of Poe's The Raven using three overhead projectors and virtuoso acting. Liz Joyce (recipient, with Steve Widerman, of an UNIMA Citation of Excellence) will reprise a classic toy theater retelling of her own Poe tale. A life-sized heart, eyeball and other oddities enact his classic, A Tell Tale Heart, in miniature. Nasty Canasta brings humor and a bit of whimsy to the festival with her Mummy's Curves. She and partner Johnny Porkpie's burlesque/hand puppet piece bring a spirit of the peepshow to this year's Carnival. Some of Jody Sperling's (Time Lapse Dance) dancers will bring Jody's signature contortions to the festival once again this year.

Also on the tentative roster are a solo marionette work by Sarah Frechette, puppets by Ken Berman and Dramaton Theater, the comedic puppet stylings of Evan Laurence, dance by Angie Harriell and much much more!!!

Hosted for the third year in a row with puppets and song by the fabulous Bone Daddy Jonnyclockworks!!!

Carnival of Samhain 2007  | Open: 11/01/07 Close: 11/04/07
On November 1st through the 4th, Drama of Works will once again extend the Halloween holiday, terrorizing unsuspecting New Yorkers with the Carnival of Samhain (pronounced Sowe-Wen). Abrons Arts Center will host the spooky extravaganza in their Experimental Theater. The program is composed mostly of puppet pieces (with an emphasis placed on variety), as well as dance, magic, comedy and live music. For full schedule please visit www.dramaofworks.com.


A Typist contends with an incorrigible heartless fate in the form of surreal hand puppets due to David Michael Friend... The Illusionist Will Randall dazzles all while risking personal bodily harm... The mad late-night ravings of camp girls gone wild come alive in the shadow puppetry piece Haunted Projectile by the artist collective Carrionettes ...I Put a Spell on You thanks to Emily DeCola's sexy rod-puppet interpretation... We're treated to Coffina's Haunted Sideshow, a musical spooktacular in the gothic victorian style... Puppet Junction brings us a comedic look at good versus evil in The Claw... "Swallowed" has Lindsay-Abromaitis Smith exploring with puppets, if you were swallowed by your own soul, what would you find there?... Shoddy Puppet Productions brings The Frankenstein of Everyday Life from Philadelphia (now that's a frightening thought!)... AND Drama of Works illustrates a giant cockroach's nightmare in Puppet Kafka... plus film, dance, and the band HAUNTED P*SSY... Hosted, as always, with accordion and puppets by our infamous emcee BoneDaddy (aka Jonny ClockWorks)

Kamikaze Puppet Alice  | Open: 10/06/07 Close: 10/07/07
The last performance of the festival will be a hoot! Crazy puppet artists from all over the city will come together to put up the most insane production of Alice ever staged. Each artist has been assigned a chapter from the book and can do with that chapter whatever they want. They have no idea what the rest are doing and they shouldn't care. Then, we perform the pieces back to back in order of the story and see what happens! Artists on board already include The Josh & Tamra Show, Howie Leifer, David Michael Friend, Evan Laurence, the Puppet State Players and Claire Beaudreault, with many more to come...

For festival information: http://www.dramaofworks.com/alice

Leakey's Ladies -- Play About Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey & Birute Galdikas  | Open: 01/12/12 Close: 02/04/12
Take a multidisciplinary expedition with three extraordinary women and the apes they followed, loved and fought for. These three short plays weave together the struggles, achievements and relationships of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas as they seek to understand and empathize with their primate cousins: the chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan. Innovative puppet design coupled with original music and text create a landmark theater experience that has been carefully crafted by a dozen professional theater women.

Leakey's Ladies has received multiple grants from The Jim Henson Foundation.

"[Gretchen] Van Lente and Drama of Works, however, consistently produce work that satisfies on multiple levels.”
— Frank Episale, Performing Arts Journal

Directed and designed by GRETCHEN VAN LENTE
Assistant direction by MOLLY KOHL
Ape puppets and masks by DAVID VALENTINE
Original music by STEPHANIE RICHARDS
Featuring MEGHAN WILLIAMS as Jane Goodall, TATIANA PAVELA as Dian Fossey, AMY CARRIGAN as Birute Galdikas, SCOTT WEBER as Louis Leakey

Puppet Kafka  | Open: 04/22/09 Close: 05/10/09
PUPPET KAFKA delves into the work, life and peculiar perspective of Franz Kafka as imagined for performance by traditional Czech marionette, found object, and shadow puppets along with an ensemble of actors. Within Gregor Samsa’s tiny bedroom, three versions of Kafka are manipulated by forces from the outside. One is Gregor-Bug, a transforming creature who is losing sense of the human being he once was as he learns to use his many new legs. A second version is Franz Kafka himself, a sickly man and the cynical, suspicious center of his own works. And finally, the small letter ‘k’, a permanently young and reticent character haunted by an authoritarian father figure. Using the The Metamorphosis as the main framework along with references to The Trial, numerous Kafka short stories, his letters and diaries, PUPPET KAFKA examines the many parallels between life and art.

PUPPET KAFKA features marionettes by Miroslav Trejtnar (winner of the 1996 Bayerischen Design Award at the Munich International Crafts Fair), with additional puppets by Gretchen Van Lente, lighting by Jeanette Yew, sound by Matt Tennie, set by Markus Maurette and Meghan Williams, video by Pete Dimas, assistant direction by Rita Kompelmakher, and performances by John Ardolino, Deborah Heshaw, Jason Howard, Tatiana Pavela, Adam Sullivan, and Scott Weber.
B. Walker Sampson’s plays include: Silent Steps: A Play with MacGuffins, Alceste, Assistance Absence of a House, Roosevelt Island, Clear Across, and Full View. In New York, his plays have been seen at American Theatre of Actors, HERE, and Jean Cocteau Rep. He was a member of the 2004 Writer/Director Lab at Soho Rep, and additionally has had readings of his plays at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, Theatre of NOTE in Los Angeles, and The Flea. He received his MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College.

Founded in 1999, DRAMA OF WORKS is known for its innovative productions that blur the line between actors and puppeteers. Past works include Doctor Faustus, The Sid & Nancy Punch & Judy Show, The Ballad of Phineas P. Gage, WARRIOR (The Sword of Yamato, On the Backs of Fishes, the Book of Ojin), TITUS!, WARHOL™, Sleepy Hollow and Puppet Kafka. Led by Artistic Director Gretchen Van Lente (also president of UNIMA-USA), their work has been seen in New York at venues including P.S.122, Henry Street Settlement, The Culture Project, HERE, Arts At St. Ann’s, and Brooklyn Museum of Art. Drama of Works has performed abroad at international theater and puppet festivals in Serbia, Canada, Finland, and Prague. At the prestigious World Festival of Puppet Art in Prague, WARRIOR won Best Original Adaptation and was nominated for both Best Original Creation and Best Actor; WARHOL™ took home the prize for Best Original Performance. For more information visit www.dramaofworks.com.

Sleepy Hollow  | Open: 12/07/05 Close: 12/08/05
Based on the tale by Washington Irving, and inspired by his sparse dialogue, lush imagery and vividly drawn mood, Sleepy Hollow is a large-scale shadow puppet re-telling of the classic story, featuring original live music written by Vivian Fung, which focuses on how one's vices can overtake them when faced with their wildest dreams and most overwhelming fears. The piece will play on a gigantic quilted screen, borrowing stylized movements and shapes from silent horror films, melodrama and Victorian silhouette; use lighting effects, costume, and natural materials, as well as traditional shadow puppetry to create a landscape unlike any other.

Presented by Drama of Works as part of the Culture Mart Program at the Here Art Center

The 7th Annual Carnival of Samhain  | Open: 11/06/08 Close: 11/08/08
What a perfect time for extending the Halloween holiday! On November 6th through the 8th, Drama of Works will do it again (returning to the event's home - HERE), either adding to the horror from Election Day or continuing the party! We'll spook, stun, scare and possibly titillate the pants off you regardless with Halloween-inspired puppet pieces, dance, magic, burlesque, comedy and live music.

Read about the shows and a complete schedule here: http://www.dramaofworks.com/carnival/2008

Warhol  | Open: 04/28/05 Close: 05/01/05
Before the nose job and legal name change, Andrew Warhola was a sweet gifted boy who loved his mother. Society would love to believe he was a sex-obsessed, druggie, party-hopper. But with pop icons, the truth doesn't really matter, does it? In their latest puppet-theatre piece, Drama of Works probes into the double life of this consumerist icon, where a soup can plays his mother and his life is literally boxed up into his signature Brillo Pad
curiouser & curiouser  | Open: 09/19/07 Close: 10/07/07
"curiouser & curiouser" is written by Gretchen Van Lente, using text from Lewis Carroll, Charles Dodgson and Alice Hargreaves. The piece is directed and designed by Gretchen Van Lente. Lighting design is by Jeanette Yew; with costume assistance by Vita Mechachonis and set assistance by Markus Maurette. The piece stars Amy Carrigan as Alice, *Talaura Harms as Mrs. Liddell, *Jason Howard as Dodgson, Adam Sullivan as Carroll and Meghan Williams as Miss Prickett.

* Actors appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

"curiouser & curiouser" was written and adapted using text from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Dodgson's diary entries and Alice Liddell's memoirs. The piece surrounds Lewis Carroll, Dodgson's alter ego, who investigates what could have possibly gone so wrong between Alice and Dodgson to destroy the very friendship that created him. The Alice puppet plays chess with tables in outrageous hats, is scolded by white rabbits made from handkerchiefs and takes boat rides with playing cards. Alice Liddell is represented by a sweet and disjointed doll-style puppet made from doll parts. All other characters come to life through toys, objects and furniture, and the occasional piece of cheese. Drama of Works uses puppetry, original music and songs, object theatre and physical theatre to create the landscape of curiouser & curiouser.

"Gretchen Van Lente's ‘curiouser & curiouser' is a wonderful deconstruction of the Alice in Wonderland story, illuminating the complex and mysterious relationship of its author Lewis Carroll/Reverend Charles Dodgson and his muse Alice Hargreaves. With actors and puppets Gretchen has created a theatrical production that is extremely engaging, insightful and ultimately very entertaining!" —Richard Termine, former artistic director, The O'Neill Puppetry Conference

For festival information: http://www.dramaofworks.com/alice