Great Small Works Inc

315 W 86th St
New York NY 10024

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GREAT SMALL WORKS was founded in 1995 as a collective of artists who keep theater at the heart of social life. Drawing on folk, avant-garde, and popular theater traditions to address contemporary issues, the company performs in theaters, clubs, schools, galleries, streets, and other community centers. Based in New York City, they produce performance works on a wide variety of scales, from outdoor pageants with giant puppets and hundreds of performers from diverse communities, to miniature "toy theater" spectacles. At a variety of New York venues, including Performance Space 122, Judson Memorial Church, and Theater for the New City, the company continues the twenty-eight year-old tradition of Spaghetti Dinners, variety evenings (founded on the Lower East Side in the late 1970s by veterans of Vermont's Bread & Puppet Theater) that include music, live performance, political discourse, and vegetarian spaghetti. GREAT SMALL WORKS productions consistently reinvent ancient, popular theater techniques: Toy Theater, mask and object theater, circus, sideshow, and picture-show (cantastoria) to name a few. On any scale, GREAT SMALL WORKS productions seek to renew, cultivate, and strengthen the spirits of their audiences, promoting theater as a model for reanimating the public sphere and participating in democratic life. GREAT SMALL WORKS has received a 2005 Puppeteers of America Jim Henson Award for Innovation in the Field of Puppetry, a 1997 Village Voice OBIE Award grant, a 1997 UNIMA Citation for excellence in puppetry, a NYFA Community Assets Grant, and New Theater Advancement support from the New York State Council for the Arts, as well as project-based support from the NEA, NYSCA, NYC-DCA, as well as private foundations and individuals. GREAT SMALL WORKS is a non-profit corporation, whose members are John Bell, Trudi Cohen, Stephen Kaplin, Jenny Romaine, Roberto Rossi, and Mark Sussman. For information about booking the company for performances or workshops, please contact us. During the countdown to the first Gulf War in 1991, members of GREAT SMALL WORKS, inspired by Walter Benjamin's notion of a culture in a permanent "state of emergency, " began performing a surreal serial drama using excerpted texts and images cut from the daily newspapers and manipulated in a miniature proscenium stage. The Toy Theater of Terror As Usual is now in its eleventh episode, "Crusade?" GREAT SMALL WORKS has continued to reinvent the 19th Century Toy (or Paper) Theater format with new works and adaptations of classics for performance in living rooms, community centers, schools, libraries, prisons, and theaters: Toy Theater Faust and Olivier's Hamlet, directed by John Bell and designed by Stephen Kaplin; A Walk in the City, adapted from a story by Italo Calvino, directed and designed by Roberto Rossi; Soil Desire People Dance, incorporating video projection and text adapted from the works of W.G. Sebald, directed and designed by Mark Sussman and Roberto Rossi; Three Books in the Garden, created by Trudi Cohen, John Bell, and Isaac Bell; and, The White Pajamas, directed by Jenny Romaine, created with Toronto-based memory painter Mayer Kirshenblatt. Other shorter productions include B.B. in L.A., adapted from the Los Angeles journals of Bertolt Brecht and performed with objects and a live band; two shows for kids, Our Kitchen, created by Trudi Cohen and Kasper in Metropolis, created by Roberto Rossi and George Konnoff; two cantastorias, The History of Oil, with paintings by Janie Geiser, and The True Story of CHARAS, about Giuliani-era struggles for real estate on the Lower East Side; and Lyzer the Miser, from a story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, created by John Bell, Trudi Cohen, and Isaac Bell. Sparking what has become a full scale revival movement, the members of GREAT SMALL WORKS continue to produce, design, and curate the International Toy Theater Festival & Temporary Toy Theater Museum, which feature the work of close to one hundred artists, many wo