Hard Headed Heart: A Chicago Neighborhood Tour is a trio of solo shows performed in one magical evening by puppet master, Blair Thomas. In 2002, Blair founded Blair Thomas & Company to create a distinctive Chamber Puppet Theater. With the company, Blair has toured to Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Tampa, Atlanta, Phoenix, Madison, Bloomington, Mexico, and Spain, and has built a repertoire of work for adults and for children. He was awarded the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for New Performance in 2002 and 2004, and was hand-picked to serve in the inaugural position of Jim Henson Artist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland in College Park for the 2006-07 academic year. He is a graduate of Oberlin College.
Hard Headed Heart: A Chicago Neighborhood Tour includes the following three shows:
St. James Infirmary - Based on the traditional New Orleans folksong, this show is performed with rod marionettes, a motorized paper scroll and a one-man pit band.
The Puppet Show of Don Cristobal -A script by Federico Garcia Lorca. A bawdy telling of the traditional trickster Cristobal's wooing and marriage to the delectable Dona Rosita, performed with wooden hand puppets and a drum kit.
The Blackbird - Based on Wallace Steven's "13 ways of Looking at a Blackbird," The Blackbird is a shadow puppet show performed on a set of four rolling paper scrolls lit by lamplight. Hard Headed Heart has toured to Spain and Mexico and across the U.S. since 2002. Two of its three performances have received UNIMA (international puppetry) awards for excellence in the field.
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