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June 24 at 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA) presents Thing Theatre, a program featuring work from Maryland puppetry artists Schroeder Cherry, Dirk Joseph, and Colette Searls. Susan Stroupe will host the event and moderate a live Q&A session with the artists.
The program features three short films celebrate the power of objects to express our shared humanity:
- The Civil Rights Children’s Crusade (Schroeder Cherry) — A young boy discovers that his strict grandfather went to jail as a child.
- Material Witnesses (Dirk Joseph) — A transformation of the disposable.
- I Don’t Need That Anymore (Colette Searls) — A piece of trash discovers the strange world of “away.”
Schroeder Cherry is a Baltimore-based artist who captures everyday scenes of African diaspora life. An award winning artist, his recent Barbershop Series received an exhibition at The Walters Art Museum in 2019 as a Sondheim finalist, and a one-man exhibition at Baltimore City Hall in 2020. He was awarded the 2020 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize for research in Bahia, Brazil. His works are found in private and public collections across the US.
Dirk Joseph has been based in Baltimore for the last 16 years. For three decades he has worked as a visual artist, art teacher, performing artist (puppetry and theater), and a graphic designer. He founded String Theory Theater in 2016 and has been performing children and adult puppet theater with his daughters and in collaboration with other artists. He is currently engaged in community arts via partnerships with The Youth Resiliency Institute, and Free Up Village Homeschool Coop, and other organizations.
Colette Searls is associate professor and chair of theatre at UMBC, where she teaches acting, directing, and puppetry, and has devised award-winning object theatre performances. She has received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and Puppeteers of America for her original works in object theatre, and published and lectured internationally on the intersections between animation, puppetry, and special effects for film. Her book, A Galaxy of Things: the Power of Masks and Puppets in Star Wars and Beyond, is forthcoming with Routledge Press.
Susan Stroupe is a generative theater maker, primarily working as a director, ensemble deviser, and teaching artist, who specializes in interdisciplinary, devised, and immersive theater. She is an artistic associate of Subversive Productions and a long-time teaching artist for Baltimore Center Stage, in addition to being a freelance director for many companies in Baltimore and beyond. She is an adjunct lecturer for the UMBC theatre department.
This event is supported by the Maryland State Arts Council through a Maryland Traditions Folklife Network Grant.