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Puppet artist Katie Shook and composer Eric Lindley present the premiere of playwright Erik Ehn’s "Star" at Automata this June. Read more

Los Angeles, CA Theater
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This project was successfully funded on May 22, 2012.

Puppet artist Katie Shook and composer Eric Lindley present the premiere of playwright Erik Ehn’s "Star" at Automata this June.

Los Angeles, CA Theater
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About this project

Katie Shook, Eric Lindley and Sibyl O'Malley are pleased to present the premiere of Erik Ehn's Star at Automata in Los Angeles this June. 

With original music and puppetry, Star conjures the hallucinatory visions of a jazz singer working at a Kansas City Starbucks and bent toward revenge. Insidious cultural and economic appropriations—smooth jazz and Salvadorian/Guatemalan/Rwandan coffee beans—permeate an atmosphere flitting with caffeine fairies, poisoned dogs, and the vague foreboding of consequence.


Star
is the third collaboration between puppet artist Katie Shook and composer Eric Lindley. Last year they presented Lay Science, a puppet musical that explored the literal use-value of art using lay scientific measures at Machine Project in LA. Katie and Eric brought Sibyl O'Malley's play, Total Fox, to life with original music and puppetry last year and she joins them for Star as dramaturg.

Star is one of seventeen plays that make up Erik Ehn’s Soulographie, a durational performance event looking at 20th century genocides in the United States (the Tulsa Race Riots), in East Africa (Rwanda, Uganda) and Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador). Each play is being produced independently throughout the United States, Rwanda and Uganda and then will converge at La MaMa in New York this November as a twenty-four hour theatrical event.

Katie Shook, Eric Lindley and Erik Ehn at a Puppet Summit for Soulographie plays at Brown University. 

We are delighted to premiere Star at Automata, a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation, incubation, and presentation of experimental puppet theater, experimental film, and other contemporary art practices centered on ideas of artifice and performing objects. Automata was founded in 2004 by artists Susan Simpson and Janie Geiser.

We need to raise $10,000 to put up the show in LA and then take it to La MaMa in New York. Any money we come up with beyond our $5k goal for this campaign will contribute to us getting to New York. Thank you so much for your support!

Here's how Katie describes the design for Star: "We’re using table-top puppets, cardboard set pieces and sheets for projecting video to build what we’re calling a “modular box city.” It will be a busy world filled with coffee grinding, steam, noise and chaos, creating a machine of destruction, a machine that drives our protagonist to fulfill her revenge."

Eric describes the musical landscape this way: "Playing with the themes of cultural appropriation and hegemony in the script, I’m aiming to do to easy listening what smooth jazz did to jazz. Steal it, and use it to my own ends: chop up the sounds, and combine them into complex, difficult jazz harmonies and rhythms."

We hope you'll join us for the Los Angeles premiere on June 29 - July 1, 2012.

Our project has been generously supported with an ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation. .

Below are pictures of some of the handmade thank you gifts we'll be giving our supporters!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    14 backers

    That is so nice! We will send you a Star art card (with original art by Katie Shook) penned with a nice note thanking you!

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    Pledge $15 or more

    0 backers

    Eric will perform a cover of your choice over the telephone for you. Maybe 10 people want to get together and we could make a concert out of it?

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    25 backers Limited (10 left of 35)

    An embroidered patch designed by Katie Shook with imagery and heroes from the show!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    For $5 per word (just make your donation level, and select this as your gift—we'll work it out), you can purchase opening remarks during the shows Eric does as "Careful" for the rest of 2012. That is: for $5 per word, he will say your message before he plays, be it humorous, political, edgy... Anything (within the bounds of propriety).

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    Pledge $50 or more

    10 backers Limited (10 left of 20)

    Oh my goodness. An embroidered patch PLUS a hand-sculpted puppet coffee mug!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    3 backers Limited (27 left of 30)

    We're giving you an embroidered patch, puppet mug AND a miniature coffee bean mosaic.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    4 backers Limited (46 left of 50)

    We're so grateful! We're going to send a downloadable MP3 of Eric Lindley's new album.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    One, and only one donor (first-come first-serve), for $200, will not only get a copy of Eric's new album, on vinyl, when it comes out (with digital download as well), but will get a song on ANY SUBJECT composed, performed and recorded by him. Also, you own it. Like, you can sell it to MTV or wherever and get all the money. It's yours. You can bury it in the desert to dig up in the End Times—whatever. It's yours.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    We are jumping for joy! We will give you a hand painted (by us) coffee mug, a bag of coffee, and a pieces of original cardboard art by katie.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    What? Wow! We’re going to make a plaque with your name on it. It’s going to be made of pure love and be very fancy and plaque-y! Plus we’re going to give you all that other stuff too.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Without you there would be no puppets! You are the person behind the puppets and you are gorgeous. We're going to give you one of the dog puppets from the play. We're also going to give you a drawing by katie and an album of eric's music.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (22 days)