Manual Cinema's September Visit

Monday, August 31, 2015
Manual Cinema's September Visit

Theater Studies is looking forward to Manual Cinema's visit, both for residency activities and the presentation of Mementos Mori, their latest multimedia feat. Join us in Sheafer Theater Friday, September 11th at 8 pm to see the group Time Out New York Times calls "talent incarnate."

Ben Brantley of The New York Times, in a Critics Pick article, recently referred to the Chicago-based performance collective as “the uncanny coven of young sorcerers who operate under the name Manual Cinema.”

Manual Cinema delivers its sorcery by combining handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques and innovative sound and music to create immersive stories for stage and screen. Using vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live feed cameras, multi-channel sound design and a live music ensemble, Manual Cinema  transforms the experience of attending the cinema and imbues it with liveness, ingenuity and theatricality.

In Mementos Mori, Manual Cinema’s most ambitious show to date, a cast of six puppeteers uses hundreds of paper puppets, seven overhead projectors, two cameras, and three screens to create a live “movie” in front of the audience. Accompanied by four musicians and live sound effects, the result is a rich mosaic of cinematic storytelling all performed live with puppets.

In Mementos Mori when Death takes an unexpected holiday, an elderly film projectionist finds a new lease on life; a ghost explores the afterlife with her iPhone; and a seven-year-old girl discovers her own mortality. Mementos Mori is a lively, beguiling meditation on death and dying.

Company members will visit several theater classes while in residence at Duke.

Coming off a much-touted residency at the 3LD Art & Technology Center in Lower Manhattan, Manual Cinema has also been featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), The Tehran International Puppet Festival (Iran), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Noorderzon Festival (Netherlands), The O, Miami Poetry Festival, Handmade Worlds Puppet Festival (Minneapolis), The Screenwriters’ Colony in Nantucket, The Detroit Institute of Art, The Future of Storytelling Conference (NYC), the NYC Fringe Festival, The Poetry Foundation (Chicago), the Chicago International Music and Movies Festival, the Puppeteers of America: Puppet Festival (R)evolution, and elsewhere around the world.
A video trailer can be found at