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June 19 - 21
Created by Iain Gunn and Animal Cracker Conspiracy
A multi-media puppet theater workshop that engages histories of global urban development and transforms commerce, architecture and politics into poetry, movement and sound
La Jolla Playhouse will host artist Iain Gunn, co-founder of the alternative puppet theatre troupe Animal Cracker Conspiracy, for a first workshop of Paper Cities, a hybrid mixed-media/puppet performance.
Created in collaboration with Animal Cracker Conspiracy, Director Lisa Berger, Movement Director Liam Clancy and Playhouse Resident Dramaturg Shirley Fishman, Paper Cities explores the growth of a city and its relationship with and through paper, taking a particular look at contemporary ‘realities’ and the intertwining of archetypal patterns that have both plagued, epitomized and exalted the idea of the city in collective memory. The piece has developed from discussions and research looking into the artist's personal histories living in the country and the mountains, the suburbs and different cities, and feeling the tension between the man-made and the primordial wild. It is an experimental performance based in a hybrid approach to creation of imagery, sound and movement.
Biographies of the creative team can be seen here.
This project was made possible through Creative Catalyst Program and the Ariel W. Coggeshall Fund at The San Diego Foundation. These annual fellowships support the creation and development of new work conceived by San Diego-based artists and focus on creating opportunities for civic engagement or advancing social change through arts and culture.
Meet the Artist
Originally focused on drawing, painting, poetry and printmaking with an eye towards disrupting images, layering imagery and text to explore the depth of memory, Iain Gunn was drawn to performance, dance, and puppetry as a way to extend gesture, making the figurative literal and vice versa, discovering pathways of art that exist within the human form. He is inspired by stretching the boundaries between art forms: puppetry, toy and object theatre, dance, stilt walking, video work, painting, and circus arts. Dedicated to the discovery and support of new ideas by encouraging visionary thought and non-traditional approaches to both art and performance, Iain has worked with Zirk Ubu, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, The San Diego Guild of Puppetry, Spinning Wheel Players, Fern St. Circus and The Ancient Gallery.
Gunn is currently directing, designing, building, and performing as Artistic Director of Animal Cracker Conspiracy. With a shared desire to explore puppetry as a radical art form, Iain and his partner Bridget Rountree founded the contemporary hybrid puppet company that pushes the boundaries of live kinetic performance. They have received support from the Jim Henson Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Sator Arts Foundation, Synergy Arts Foundation, and The Puppet Slam Network.
The creation of artist Iain Gunn and Bridget Rountree, Animal Cracker Conspiracy demonstrates the intersection of fine art, puppetry, performance art, physical theatre and mixed media. It has participated in national and international residencies and has performed at and exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego and Art Power at UC San Diego.
Paper Cities has been funded by The San Diego Foundation’s Creative Catalyst: Individual Artist Fellowship Program, which provides opportunities for local professional artists to create work that advances their careers and increases civic engagement and social capital within San Diego neighborhoods.
Press and Reviews for Paper Cities
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From June 19 – 21 at 8:00 pm, performances of Paper Cities will take place in the Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center (PDC), located in the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse.
Paper Cities Events
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KPBS Arts reporter Beth Accomando goes behind the