CIRCA Catalyst: Colette Searls and Lynn Tomlinson

Thursday, May 8 | 4:30 p.m.
CIRCA Catalyst
With presenters: Colette Searls, Theatre, and Lynn Tomlinson, Visual Arts
216 Performing Arts and Humanities Building

CIRCA Catalyst is an ongoing series promoting conversations around transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research that fuses the performing and visual arts with other fields of inquiry and scholarship. A catered lunch, with vegetarian options, will be provided by CIRCA. 

Department of Theater Associate Professor Colette Searls and independent animator Lynn Tomlinson will present their collaborative research uniting Searls’ work in live performance puppetry with Tomlinson’s painterly clay-on-glass animation. The team is working with UMBC’s Imaging Research Center to create a prototype app that animates characters directly through an iPad touch-screen interface. Their prototype digital puppet will be used as a tool to create a short film about a crab that collects sea trash entitled “Hoarder Crab.”

Colette Searls is a stage director with a particular interest in visual theatre and puppetry. At UMBC, Professor Searls has taught acting, directed a mixture of classical and contemporary works, and created award-winning original puppet plays. She has received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and Puppeteers of America for her original work in found-object puppetry aimed at adult audiences, provided puppetry coaching for professional theatre companies, published and lectured internationally on her digital puppetry research, and served on the UNIMA-USA board of trustees. In 2013, she received a grant to work with award-winning animator Lynn Tomlinson and a team of programmers to create a new digital puppetry app for artists.

Lynn Tomlinson investigates expanded animation projects as a scholar, curator, and artist, reflecting her interest in hybrid art forms and interdisciplinary practices. Current projects include digital puppetry, full-dome experimentation, projection mapping, and interdisciplinary collaborations in performing and media arts. Her clay-on-glass animated shorts have been official selections in festivals internationally and have aired on children’s public television, MTV, and Sesame Street. Her half-hour PBS documentary and her artistic direction of both involved using animation techniques in non-fiction forms. Her current work explores environmental change, the subjectivity of objects, and the poetics of scale. She also develops community-based art projects and has led a series of workshops using animation and technology to engage and empower girls and young women. Her work is profiled in The Animation Bible.


Start Date:
Start Time:

End Date:
End Time:

Department Represented:

Venue Name:

Open Year Round:

CTA Text:
CTA Link:

Scroll to Top