The invention of actor-turned-puppeteer Heidi Pendergast, Twig is a traveling puppet theater designed to bring delight to the streets. Built into a cabinet on wagon wheels and illuminated by lanterns, this little theater just needs a few more backers to take the show on the road.
We’re utterly charmed, and just can’t resist — Twig is today’s enchanting Project of the Day.
It’s early evening when you catch sight of her pushing a curious wooden cabinet down the road on a pair of tall wagon wheels. A small crowd begins to form as lanterns are lit and hung from the cabinet and illuminated domes are placed on the ground. Suddenly, the doors fly open and the show begins…
The invention of actor-turned-puppeteer Heidi Pendergast, Twig is a traveling puppet theater designed to bring drama to the streets while producing whimsy and wonder. Pendergast is midway through the construction of the theater itself and hard at work on designing characters and props.
Her new Kickstarter project should see this vision through to completion — and backers can bring home a puppet of their own.
If you like eating and you like stories — and really, are there two more universally adored activities? — then Eat My Heart Out is probably something you’d love. A storytelling dinner theater, it collects some of the best performers that New York City has to offer, asks each to tell a personal tale, then serves audience members bespoke courses inspired by the thematic arc of those stories. Their upcoming event will feature names from NPR, the Moth, Jezebel and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and will dish up goodies from chefs trained in the city’s best restaurants (Roberta’s and Grammercy Tavern, among them.) Can you say, yum? How about “Project of the Day”?
Putting a twist on the classic drive-in experience, the Bike-In-Theater invites folks to enjoy classic ’80s films from two wheels in a free, pop-up outdoor cinema event! Can you imagine a more perfect summer evening? The phenomenon to both coasts this year, but backers can pledge $25 to get a Bike-In-Theater home kit. Bike-In right to your driveway! Or, if you’re like us, Bike-In right to our Project of the Day.
What happens when you combine summer with bikes and a love of awesome ’80s movies? According to the Bike-In-Theater, “a damn fine summer evening.” The free, pop-up movie theater launched last July with a night that saw hundreds of riders crowding the Brooklyn waterfront, munching on snacks provided by a local supper club and watching awesome movies, but they want to take it even further! This summer, they’ll host events in both NYC and San Francisco, and they’re even offering backers patented Bike-In-Theater home kits. Better check your local listings — a Bike-In could be coming soon to a driveway near you! Visit their project page for more.
The founder and artistic director of the company, Ross Williams, told me that in large part, it means exploring “how we can get Shakespeare to work for a new generation, for new audiences.” And they’re serious about changing up the setting where necessary: their projects include a Shakespearean pub crawl, where at each location, a scene breaks out. They call it … Shakesbeer. (C’mon. Wouldn’t you?)
The Colonel Mustard Amateur Attic Theatre Company has a history of producing unusually-themed plays, X-Files The Musical and Jurassic Park the Musical! among them, but their latest endeavor is really going to pull out all the stops. Gods of the Prairie takes place in the 1800s, in a United States ruled by Norse gods, and centered around a young con artist with one chance to make it big in his small prairie town. One small catch? Unlike your typical theater going experience, this one invites you to be part of the show: the audience will be invited to explore downtown Lincoln, Nebraska, where they’ll discover scenes, characters, and wandering minstrels scattered about, allowing them to interact with the narrative one-on-one. Phew, sounds like quite the experience doesn’t it? Well, how does it sound as our Project of the Day? Pretty good, we think.
Originally conceived as a live action play, Magic the Gathering: The Musical has grown from a seedling meant for the stage into a sweet short film set to capture the hearts of gamers, puppet enthusiasts, and lovers of all types of Magic. The story begins and ends on tournament day:
Jake’s decision to enlist the Trainer for help could threaten the entire tournament and Jake may find he has a different way of being a winner. Don’t forget about Heidi….I mean Sapphire, the spunky Vampire The Masquerade player and Doofus, whose social insecurities and dreams might be saved by a dark stranger. Just when you think you know how these lovable characters’ weekend unfolds, their journey takes a turn and then it truly is a magic day.
Now read that again, and imagine it all as played by puppets. Even more amazing right?! That’s what we thought, too, so now it’s our Project of the Day.
Inspired by the wonderfully unusual life of Isabelle Eberhardt, Songs from the Uproar is acclaimed composer Missy Mazzoli’s largest and most ambitious project to date. Working in collaboration with a filmmaker, an acclaimed librettist, and a director, Mazzoli will bring Eberhardt’s journals to life as a fully-staged opera — an achievement when one considers the subject matter:
Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904) was one of the most unusual and independent women of her era. She was born in Switzerland but left home at age 19 to travel alone through North Africa. She dressed as an Arab man, joined a Sufi order, fell in love with an Algerian soldier, was nearly assassinated, roamed the desert alone on horseback, and eventually drowned in a desert flash flood at age 27. Her journals [were] salvaged from the wreckage of that 1904 flood.
The massive production is set to premiere at The Kitchen this February, but it premiere’s as our Project of the Day right now.
Blending theater and performance art, Adam Conrad and Ben Kelly are bringing St Paul, Minnesota to life through a multi-faceted stage show that blurs the lines between fact and fiction in an effort to present all sides of a uniquely modern story: the controversial construction of Interstate 94 and the resulting decimation of an old neighborhood in the city. The audience will be guided through six different rooms (thanks to sliding walls!) as they experience original art, poetry, dance, music, and even live painting. A one-of-a-kind show to be sure, and our Project of the Day.
Can you imagine a world with no laughter? We don’t even want to, which is exactly why we can’t wait for Riot LA, a new weekend long comedy festival featuring performances by some of the funniest people on the planet. (Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, Dana Gould, Megan Mullally, and Ron Lynch — just to name a few.) We’ve made it our Project of the Day because we support the laughter.
Lost & Found is more of a theatrical experiment than a true theater piece, but that’s exactly why we find it so fascinating. Put on by a cast of 10 Russian-Jewish immigrants/actors born between the ’70s-’80s in the former Soviet Union, the play aims to explore our contemporary relationship to history and memory through the research and retelling of personal stories. The concept is a brainchild of producer Anna Zicer, who hopes to inspire other New Yorkers to explore their own, likely complex heritage. Consider us so inspired that we made it our Project of the Day!