A digital puppetry project which uses abstract speech visualization to create shapes that are made into puppets. Inspired by Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings, these "speech monsters" serve as containers for meaning making and world building. The project explores how our voice shapes our identities and the realities we create.
Music: Shu Odamura, Ji Sun Myung Monster
Costume Design and Fabrication: Lexy Ho-Tai
Videographer: Theo Cote
This iteration of Manifesting Monsters is a narrative performance featuring shadow puppetry and animation. Based loosely on Kafka's Metamorphosis, we follow a character who has woken up one day transformed and disfigured into a monstrous humanoid, and must journey to find the source of his disfiguration. He encounters an ancient twisted-tongue monster that is the source of all languages lost and yet to be spoken, who has the ability to re-shape reality through its garbled speech. This performance is one example of a way to use the speech monster shapes as tools for play-making, however the larger aim of the Manifesting Monsters project is to serve as a template that anyone can access and use in their own practice. Anyone can generate shapes and see what an abstract, physical manifestation of their voice would look like, and use that in any way that inspires them.
Chris Ignacio is a Filipino-American theater artist, musician, puppeteer, producer and educator. He has toured nationally and abroad since graduating from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Theater/Interdisciplinary Media from Arizona State University. He was a Culture Push Fellow for Utopian Practice, and Queens Council on the Arts: Community Engagement Commissioning grantee for his self-produced project Co-written, which involves collaborative songwriting with young people of color. In addition to producing his own solo work, Chris produced the NYT Critic’s Pick TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever at JACK, and previously served as Associate Producer for the Off-Broadway run of KPOP. As a performer, Chris often shares the stage with resident theater artists and puppeteers at La MaMa. He made his debut recently at the Metropolitan Opera as a puppeteer in Florencia en el Amazonas directed by Mary Zimmerman.