Theatreworks, in collaboration with JParker Arts and Katy Williams Designs, will bring to life the Ukrainian folktale “The Mitten” in a COVID-safe and family-friendly environment during four nights in February at the Ent Center for the Arts.
“The Mitten” will feature music and shadow puppetry through a series of stations outside of the Ent Center for the Arts, telling the story of a child who lost their mitten in the woods and the many animals who find it before it’s recovered.
Patrons should dress for the weather and be prepared to stand for the 35-minute outdoor production. Groups will be limited to 12 people to preserve social distancing. Each show begins in 15-minute intervals from 6 – 8:30 p.m., Feb. 19-20 and Feb. 26-27. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for youth, with a 10 percent discount for UCCS faculty and staff and free admission for UCCS students. Students should contact the box office with their student ID number ready. Tickets will not be available at the door. Visit entcenterforthearts.org for tickets and for more information.
Theatreworks partnered with artists and puppeteers Katy Williams and Julie Parker for the first live production in nearly a year. Originally from Manitou Springs, Williams is a Denver-based creator that specializes in building and teaching puppets, props, and makeup design. She is head of her company Katy Williams Design. Parker works in many media from puppets to costuming, each project is a unique creation utilizing found and recycled materials. The re-purposing of materials is a key tenet of her creative process, along with a fascination for the natural world.
Other lead collaborators include Sean Hennessy, lecturer of film scoring and jazz history, composing the original music; Caitlin Lowans, Theatreworks artistic director, writing the original script; and Cyndi Parr, a Colorado Springs-based theatre artist, as lead puppeteer. Parr will be joined by eight other puppeteers from the Pikes Peak region.
Tickets to “The Mitten” may be purchased online at entcenterforthearts.org or by phone at (719) 255-3232. The event moves around the exterior of the Ent Center for the Arts and is stroller and ADA-friendly. Tickets for UCCS students are always free and can claimed by calling the Ent Center for the Arts Box Office.
About the artists
Julie Parker is a versatile artist with a passion for puppetry. Julie has a masters degree as a fine art conservator, demonstrating both excellent hand-skills and experience with a wide variety of media, as well as an appreciation for many historical art-forms. Her traditional academic training included painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking and photography; all of which coalesced in a passion for the art of shadow puppetry as a designer, performer, and producer. Since moving to Colorado in 2008 she has been active in the Denver artistic community with costume and performance for art festivals, galleries and the Rocky Mountain Puppet Slams; she also utilized her textile arts background in costume work for theater companies such as Opera Colorado and Wonderbound. She was thrilled to train in 2019 with internationally renowned Shadow Puppetry artist Larry Reed in an intensive workshop at ShadowLight Productions in Oakland, California. Julie recently wrapped up production of The Shadows of Sleepy Hollow, a large outdoor immersive shadow puppetry performance in downtown Englewood CO, produced in collaboration with Katy Williams Design. https://www.jparkerarts.com/
Katy Williams is a Denver-based creator that specializes in building and teaching puppets, props and makeup design. Katy is head of her company Katy Williams Design. Her mission is to spread the joy and accessibility of puppetry, and she has been extremely influential in implementing puppetry in theatres all over Colorado. Katy is responsible for starting the Rocky Mountain Puppet Slam in March 2018, successfully producing three slams a year. Through the slam Katy has helped cultivate a strong and budding community of Colorado puppeteers. She is also the founder and president of the newly formed Rocky Mountain Puppetry Guild, and serves on the board for Puppeteers of America. She is currently fabricating and consulting on puppets for many Colorado theaters, was a featured makeup artist at Denver Zombie Crawl, and was recently awarded the coveted True West Award for her work in the Colorado Theatre Community. Partnering with Julie Parker and the City of Englewood, Katy produced “The Shadows of Sleepy Hollow”, an outdoor, COVID-compliant shadow puppetry journey of the classic tale. See more of Katy’s work and info at www.katywilliamsdesign.com
Sean Schafer Hennessy is one of America’s most gifted composer/ instrumentalists. Since winning major competitions since his 12th year, he remains a brilliant protege of the renowned Wynton Marsalis. Beginning his trumpet studies at age 10, Sean made his concerto debut three years later with the Colorado Symphony. Sean has performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall, appeared as a guest soloist at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and moved audiences with his appearance on the Public Radio International’s “From the Top.” Sean is currently composing in Hollywood. Much of his current music for film contains beautiful heartfelt melodies, light jesting humor in comedy, riveting/anticipating suspense in his dramas, as well as both spirited and touching jazz in his jazz scores. His orchestrations are rich, powerful, and dramatic. Continuing to conduct and perform in his own works, Sean touches his audience both through his film music and his performances, with unique musicality and soul. www.seanschaferhennessy.com/
Julie Parker, Designer/Director
Katy Williams, Designer/Director
Caitlin Lowans*, Script Writer
Sean Hennessy*, Composer
Melanie Bindon, Graphic and Puppet Design
Rihana President, Stage Manager
Cyndi Parr*, Lead Puppeteer
Eli Atkins. Puppeteer
Aranxta Chavez*, Puppeteer
Sara Gosses, Puppeteer
Hunter Martin*, Puppeteer
Gilbert Noel Jr.*, Puppeteer
S.B. Parks, Puppeteer
Salvador Placensia*, Puppeteer
Marcelina Ramirez*, Puppeteer
Rachel Fey, Voice Actor
Colton Pratt, Voice Actor
*Denotes UCCS student, alumni, staff, or faculty