2012: Chicka-BOOM!

The Nineteenth Annual BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza

Co-Directed by Esther Ouray and Lynette La Rue

October 20, 21, 27, 28, and 31, 2012

Once upon a time, 13.75 billion years ago, out of the immeasurable, time began. Tick tock.

Our universe, the size of a grapefruit, was a fireball containing all energy, matter and light. It surged with energy so dense it could crush your bones! It surged with energy so hot it could vaporize your muscles!

Then, Chicka-BOOM! Galaxies burst into existence! In the blink of an eye, our Mother Star was born, exploded into a Supernova and cooled down...to stardust...the same stardust that has formed, exactly, each one of us.

It was time! Everything made of this same star stuff exploded out of that grapefruit sized ball at exactly the right moment, under exactly the right conditions! We were all born into being, through a womb the size of a grapefruit... tick - tock... with a brain the size of a grapefruit. Tick-tock. And now...? What do we each do with our own march of time? We are Alive! What a mystery this journey is from Supernova through the portal of death!

Had the universe expanded more quickly, atoms could not have coalesced into stars. Had the universe expanded more slowly, it may have collapsed into itself before human life could have evolved. Life as we know it, and each one of us made from stardust, would not be. The physical properties of everything we know are balanced on a thin knife edge. Here at All Hallow’s Eve time, when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead thins, we invite you to slice through this mystery with us. We reach out with yearning towards those who have moved on through the portal. Maybe they can shed their starlight on this strange journey we walk together. At the very least, our longing for them reminds us that someday, we too will die. Our heartfelt longing reminds us to embrace this rare opportunity called life to be exactly who we are and fully ALIVE! -From the Artistic Co-Directors: Lynette La Rue and Esther Ouray

Art by Munir Kahar, Design by Giuliana Ciabo

Images from BareBones' 19th Halloween Extravaganza, Chicka-BOOM!

Photography by Jayme Halbritter, October, 2012

View more photos from Jayme at Barebones Facebook page:

An explosive “Thanks!” to the cast and crew of Chicka-Boom!

The following 286 known Aerialists, Artists, Board Members, Builders, Carpenters, Choreographers, Cooks, Coordinators, Dancers, Directors, Editors, Fire Performers, First-Aid Providers, Fundraisers, Graphic Designers, Kid Wranglers, Kitchen Hands, Lighting Designers, Managers, Musicians, Organizers, Painters, Papier-Maché Hands, Parking Lot Hands, Photographers, Police Officers, Performers, Puppeteers, Riggers, Site Hands, Sound Engineers, Stage Hands, Stilters, Storyboarders, Ushers, Videographers, Visiting Artists, Writers and various Helpers, Collaborators, and Supporters of all kinds, plus another dozen or two unable-to-be-printed Excellent Others all helped to create the 19th Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza:

Alex, Angela, Autumn, Fiona, Nanette, Paul, Tick, Waffle, Wilda, Jami A, Christopher Allen, Calder Alspach, John Alspach, Shaylie Alspach, West Alspach, Erie Altenberg, Emma Alves, Nicole Amaris, Emily Anderson, Spencer Anderson, Amber Ashes, Beth Atim, Julia Babb, John Babcock, Alex Backer, Angelina Ball, Amy Ballestad, Lilith Bandargog, France Barbeau, Christina Barber, Pam Barragan, Justine Baumgartner, Erin Belfry, Bruce Blacher, Justin Boeke, Angela Brewer, Mikelle Brown, Brian Brugioni, Corrine Bruning, Mandy Bower, Malia Burkhart, Roger Cain, Todd Caldwell, Katie Capistrant, Alex Capitaine, Joan Capitaine, Juan Capitaine, Lisa Carlson, Susie Carlson, Sheila Casey Best, Tony Chapin, Laurel Chapman, Sarah Chapman, Allen Christian, Dana May Christensen, Giuliana Ciabo, Nicolas Collard, Paige Collette, Jason Colvin, Kevin Cosgrove, Angie Courchaine, Nick Cousley, Tina Decker, Sharon Dill, Mitchell Dose, Tona Dove, Devon Drosdeck, Ila Duntemann, Alicia Dvorak, Seth Eberle, Ea Eckwall, Heidi Eckwall, Ulli Eckwall, Ari Edes, Jan Elftmann, Sandee Elftmann, Miranda Elliot Rad- er, Scott Evanssmith, Tara Fahey, Jonah Finkelston, Andy Fischer, Chelsea Fisher, Brenna Frank, Yana Frank, Kris- tin Freya, Katie Fritz, Michelle Funk, Flora Gaard, Greta Gaard, Chris Gamm, Korey Garvey, Elle Gilbert, Patty Gille, Lisa Goese, Clint Goetze, Anna Goldammer, Peter Goldammer, Steve Goldammer, Susan Goldammer, Renee Goneau, Joseph Gonzalez, Jana Goodermont, Sam Granum, Flora Greenwald-Gaard, Janet Groenert, Chad Guerrero, Jayme Halbritter, Scottie Hall, Whitney Haltes, Cynthia Hamre, Sarah Honeywell, Natalie Hanson, Brent Harring, Mike Harris, Maryanna Harstad, Starri Hedges, Madeline Helling, Erik Heimark, David Heitzman, Chanel Hennessy, Carrie Hesse, Alyssa Hill, Eric Hofstad, Chloe Hollister-LaPointe, Willow Hollister-LaPointe, David Hoyt, Johanna Huber, Mike Huber, Xena Huff, Matt Ides, Julie JAO, Rosie Jablonsky, Raymond Jackson, Jinny Jacobson, Ynes Jennings, Ja- net Johnson, Olli Johnson, Oliver Kilgore Jones, Brie Jonna, Munir Kahar, Katie Kaproth, Andy Kedl, Kathlyn Keilty-Lucas, StacyLee King, Harry Kingham, Ian Knodel, Rah Kojis, Jim Koplin, Leah Koster, Robert (Bob) Kucera, Lynette La Rue, Charlie Laikind, Tracey LaPointe, Matt Larson, Sarah Larsson, Mong Lee, Avram Leierwood, Greg Leierwood, Mina Leierwood, Gustav Leinbach, Nick Lethert, John Lozoya, Marc Lovejoy, Billy Luetzen, Elise Lyon, Elissa Mann, Isaac Martin, Laura Matus, Derek Maxwell, Carol Michalke, John Michalke, Paul Michalke, Pasha Milbrath, Maggie Miller, Debbie McGovern, Mollie Rae Miller, Bryan Millner, Stephanie Molstad, Amber Moore, Henry Montplaisir, Billy Mullaney, Nell Nere, Robare Nickey, Mary Jo Nikolai, T.J. O’Connor, Alan Olson, Kevin Opatz, Craig Otto, Esther Ouray, Thomas (Tom) Owen, Richard Parnell, Nick Pawlowski, Lora Pedersen, Barbara Peterson, Isaac Peterson, Soma Peterson, Tracey Peterson, Joel Peyton, Tom Phelan, Daniel Polnau, Olivia Quintanilla, Abraham Rafowicz, Charles Rafowicz, Rachel Rafowicz, Sally Rafowicz, Eric Raven, Leesh Rearick, Kevin Reinke, Shanana Rene, Rebekah Rentzel, Nickey Robo, Jason Rodney, David Rosen- thal, Angelina Roslik, Spencer Roth, Ben Ruby, Nicole S, Devon Sayers, Noah Schafer, Andy Schultz, Beth Schultz, Mark Safford, Douglas Saldana, Anna Salerno, Noah Schafer, Essie Schlotterbeck, Alex Schrocter, Andy Schulte, Peter Schulze, Stacey Schwebach, Kurt Seaberg, Donna Sellinger, Kari Setterholm, Zeb Shaffer, Sara Shaylie, Tabu Simbi, Andrew (Drew) Smith, Osmar Smith, Zakyra Smith, Isaac Sondquist, Jackon Sondquist, Kellen Sondquist, Ramon Sota Martinez, Violet Soule-Fahey, Sandy Spieler, Rose Spieler-Sandberg, Calvin Stalvig, Patrick Strauss, Davey Steinman, Emily Stephenson, Jon Steven, Huckleberry Stoike, Nicole Sunsuki, Amanda Svendsen, Joel Swearingen, J.R. Syverson, Amy Taylor, Emily May Taylor, Elle Thoni, Linda Thoni, Rick Thoni, Stefan Thust, Dawn Tipka, Rhiannon Tippery, Joe Toth, Duane Tougas, KaleyJo Tousley, Nick Tousley, Ruby Tresch, Serena Tritsehler, Amanda Turanski, Fred Tyler, Andrea Urei Nelson, Brittany Van Hove, Jami Viergets, Maren Ward, Julie Weflen, Kat Weisberg, Arwen Wilder, Johnny Williams, Inga Wing, Laurie Witzkowski, Carlos Wong, Alexandra (Sasha) Zavyalova, Forrest Zoll, Nadeja Zoller

Dedication to Andrew Wagner

Chicka-BOOM! is dedicated to the life of Andrew Wagner who entered the woods on May 3rd and "crossed the veil" thereafter. Andrew was a friend, colleague, and mentor to hundreds in the Twin Cities theater scene and elsewhere and, among other personal and professional pursuits, was a respected actor, lighting designer, and director.

Andrew was Sound & Light Technican on “Foretold” in 2005, Technical Director on “The Uninvited Guest” in 2006, Technical Director on “As Muck Would Have It” in 2007, and Artistic Co-Director on “Carnetheria” in 2010. Andrew's last romp with BareBones was as a bike puppeteer, a “Sheriff” astride the Jackalope with the BareBones unit in the 2011 State Fair Mall Parade.

In BareBones circles, Andrew is especially fondly recalled by those who were there for crawling around the perimeter of the stage in a cardboard “alligator” suit to hand-spotlight creeping puppets five years ago in “As Muck Would Have It”.

Tonight, call Andrew's name, crawl around the woods a bit on your own when you have a chance and then stop and listen for a gentle voice exhaling slowly from behind a cigarette, with a chuckle and a wry smile you can almost see beneath a pork-pie hat, crossing over the shortest distance between here and the farthest place that love will always reach.

Andrew Wagner
Andrew Wagner
Epitaph By Merrit Malloy

When I die give what ‘s left of me away
to children and old men that wait to die,
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give to me.
I want to leave you something,
something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ ve known or loved,
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind.
You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love does not die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.

About the Co-Directors

Lynette La Rue studied commercial art, theatre and improv, and has worked as an artist, actor, puppeteer, writer, and director with companies and colleges in WI, FL, TX, and MN. She was an improv actor, mime and puppeteer in Milwaukee, was Producing Director of "Enchanted Journey", a Halloween extravaganza that played five years in Gainsville, FL and Austin, TX and was Producting Director for large youth events at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul. Since 2009, she has been a Lead Artist for the People's Parade & Pageant at Milwaukee Public Theatre and, since 2010, Ceremony Stage Manager for the MayDay Parade & Festival at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre in Minneapolis where she is also a rostered teaching artist and the Touring Manager.

Esther Ouray has worked as a puppeteer, actor, director, choreographer, and dancer in Minneapolis and regionally for over 30 years. She has performed with numerous companies including In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Illusion Theater, Interact Theater, and At the Foot of the Mountain Theater Company in Minneapolis. Her most recent work is “The Hebrew Lesson”, a one-woman show created as part of the Jerome Naked Stages series and supported by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Esther is a company member of zAmya Theater Project at St. Stephen's Human Services in Minneapolis and on the Board of the War Plays Project in St. Paul.

About the Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza

The Halloween Extravaganza was founded by artist and puppeteer Alison Heimstead as her senior thesis at the University of Minnesota in 1994. The organization that has since evolved into BareBones Productions has continued to present The Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza, a community- created spectacle pageant of larger-than-life puppetry, drama, stilting, dance, fire, music, and song that honors the circle of life by celebrating its arc of death through the seasonal metaphors of Fall. The themes of our collaborative and original storyboards have included such myriad sources as the Russian folktale of “Baba Yaga and her Fearsome Trials”, the idea of “Rot and Compost as Creative Forces”, the ancient Summerian myth of “Inanna’s Descent to the Underworld”, and Ray Bradbury’s novel “Something Wicked This Way Comes”.

The pageant always includes a section where members of the audience are invited, through a public name-calling ceremony, to honor friends and relations who have passed on. Everyone has a chance afterward to honor the dead privately with the help of artistic installations such as a walking labyrinth of raked leaves and the “Hungry Ghost Altar”, an ofrenda set up at the edge of the pageant site. After the performance, the audience joins the cast and crew in enjoying hot food and drink served by Sisters’ Camelot, Minneapolis’ free organic food distribution collective, and raucous dancing with live music performed by local bands, this year including The Poor Nobodys, Jack Brass Band, Brass Messengers, and Ukrainian Village Band.

BareBones presents the popular “Halloween Show” each year as a grassroots Halloween community arts event, appropriate for all ages, that takes place in a Twin Cities neighborhood park. Over 275 artists, builders, musicians, puppeteers, performers, technicians, ushers, and helpers of all kinds are involved in the creation of each performance. During the past nineteen years, the Show has grown from one performance to five, and our combined audience has mushroomed from around 100 to over 6,500. The Halloween Extravaganza until 2010 was built on the West Bank in Minneapolis in rented space and with the generous help of our key collaborator and spiritual twin sister, Bedlam Theatre, then for two years running in Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis with the generous help of our other long-time collaborator, Sisters’ Camelot. Now, for the first time, BareBones has its own build space this Fall at the back of the Karmelita Central building in the heart of Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis through the generous support of Sabri Properties.

Reviews

Special Thanks

to the Following Collaborating, Cooperating, and Supporting Organizations and Key Individuals Who Helped Make Possible the 2013 Halloween Extravaganza:

  • Bedlam Theatre, Minneapolis: John Bueche, Maren Ward, and Ian Knodel (Kitchen Equipment & Lighting Equipment On-Loan, Strike Party Venue)
  • The Big Blue Box, Minneapolis: Charlie Longbella (Container Rental)
  • Brass Messengers: Ryan Billig (Audience Reception Band)
  • City of St. Paul Department of Safety & Inspections: David Bergman, Fire Inspector and Phil Owens, Assistant Fire Marshall, Dan Moynihan, Chief Electrical Inspector (Fireworks/Pyrotechnic Display Permit, Propane Permit, Generator Grounding Permit & Inspection)
  • City of St. Paul Division of Parks & Recreation: Stacy Williams, Citywide Special Events Coordinator, Cindy Morrison, Park Permit Office, Terri Timmons, Buck Johnson & Diane Voyden, Park Maintenance (Large Event/Community Festival Permit, Security Arrangements, Performance Site Maintenance, Logistical Arrangements, Special Arrangements)
  • City of St. Paul Police Department Community Services Division, Sgt. Stacy Sanborn,Cdr. John Loyoza: Block Party & Community Festival Permit, Volunteer Uniformed SPPD Traffic Officers, Contract Off-Duty SPPD Uniformed Officers)
  • Community Gardeners, Minneapolis: Ila Duntemann (Straw Bale Re-Use)
  • First-Aid Tent: Jason Colvin (EMT), Nick Aguirre (First-Aid Stand-By)
  • Hiawatha Reddy Rents, Minneapolis (Truck Rental)
  • In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Minneapolis: Sandy Spieler, Loren Niemi (Rehearsal space, Curtain and Lighting Equipment Loan)
  • Legal Ledger Printing Services, Minneapolis: Bill Wolfe, Louie (Tabloid Program Printing)
  • Leuer Farms, Corcoran: Peter Leuer (Straw Bale Seating)
  • Merchandise Tent: Maryanna Harstad, Mina Leierwood, Tara Fahey, Munir Kahar, and Janet Groenert (BareBones Recycled T-Shirt Printing, Merch Tent Logistics and Sales)
  • Minnesota Conway Fire & Safety, St. Paul: Bill & Steve Anderson, Debbie Bultman (Fire Extinguishers On-Loan)
  • Nonprofit Insurance Advisors, St. Paul: Andrew Morse, Cindy Yang (General Liability and Umbrella Liability Insurance (Policies and Certificates)
  • On Site Sanitation, St. Paul: Christine Dunn (Portolet Rental)
  • PostNet - Highland Village, St. Paul: Matt Danko, Emily, and crew (Halloween Letter, Posters)
  • Quality Propane/Quality Power, Burnsville: Rob Smith, Ted Ewing, Russ Head (Power Generators, Music Tent Heater)
  • Sabri Properties: Basim Sabri (Build Site Donation)
  • Sherwood Tree Care: Aidan Blank (Aerialist and Equipment & Rigging)
  • Sisters' Camelot, Minneapolis: Clive North, Eric Gooden, and crew (Cast & Crew Hospitality Food Donation, Propane Cylinders On-Loan, Audience Reception Catering)
  • Siwek Lumber, Minneapolis: Tom Siwek (Lumber and Building Materials Donation)
  • Smart Set, Minneapolis: Kevin Brown (Postcards)
  • Stones Throw Farm (Food Donation)
  • The Poor Nobodys (Audience Reception Band)

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