A Requiem for 20 Years

The Twentieth Annual BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza
Co-Directed by Maren Ward and Alison Heimstead

October 26, 27, 31, November 1, 2, 2013

Tonight we celebrate twenty years of bringing people together to honor death. Twenty years of a big outdoor nighttime puppet spectacular. Twenty years of community building and collaborative creation. Twenty years of MAGIC. Twenty years of feeding Hungry Ghosts. Twenty years of singing songs and spinning fire and cups of hot soup and pumpkins and ushers waving flashlights and climbing in trees to hang lights and circling up for announcements and twenty years of calling the names of the beloved dead. Twenty years by the Mississippi in October. Twenty years of PUPPETS!!!!!!!! We're so delighted you've come.

As pageant co-directors, we met in the Spring to talk about what we wanted to bring to this year's Halloween Show. Both of us had had a very recent very big loss in our lives. We both felt that the power of BareBones Halloween Show had given us some capacity to deal with this loss. And yet we were both recognizing that we are carrying deep grief which is always lurking, ready to pounce or surge. And how a lot of the time it feels like it's not ok to be grieving… Ideas, experiences and images contributed by the artist team and community members formed the outline for a transformative journey that looks something like this –

“We are all mourners seeking refuge in a kitchen belly cave. Temporary refuge comes in sharing stories, in a cup of tea, in a child spider's cheer, in shedding tears. But the grief is still howling at the window. The vulture-inhabited cuckoo clock beckons us to "Carry on': It tells us "Time Heals All Wounds': It's tempting to want to turn back the clock, to create replacements and distractions. But we can't. The cycle of the moon triumphs. The tear-pot spills a river of tears and those tears tear down the curtain holding back the grief. The near-extinct bats have a moment of glory. The fearful predators who've been lurking are our allies as they force us to shed the gears and face the grief monster. In the act of surrendering to the grief monster we become one with the cosmos that creates and destroys us. And for a moment we can feel the connection to our loved ones in the stars. From the ashes of our grief a flower blooms. This makes us want to sing and dance.”

Thank you for coming out tonight. To travel with us. It's an honor and a blessing to make this and to share it with you. May we all carry on. Carry on creating and making and grieving and dying and singing and dancing and blooming and surrendering and working and struggling and being together. Happy Halloween.

-Maren Ward and Alison Heimstead, 2013 Artistic Co-Directors

Barebones Halloween Carry On


This year's show is dedicated to following members of the BareBones extended community who have recently crossed through the veil. Their lives have touched us and this show and We Remember. Andy Heimstead. Louis Ervin Hirschmugl. Jim Koplin. Elyse Stern. Robert Ward.

Photos by Farrington Starnes:

Thank You to the Cast and Crew of Carry On!

The following known 215 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-Mache 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 20th Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza.

Bruce Abbott, Steve Ackerman, Nick Aguirre, Alan, Alex, Christopher Allen, Spencer Anderson, Bahiyyih, Angelina Ball, Amy Ballestad, Lela Horst Baumann, Jackie Beckey, Bee, Erin Winter Belfry, Andrew Bendzick, Catherine Biringer, Calla Blaney, Aidan Blank, Amber Phelps Bondaroff, Amy Borgman, Angela Brewer, Joe Bridge, Lelis Brito, Brian Brugioni, Alex Cafarelli, Katie Capistrant, Susie Carlson, Tony Chapin, Sarah Chapman, Kim Christensen, Giuliana Ciabo, Jason Colvin, Bahiyyih Comeau, Willow Cordes- Eklund, Patrick Costello, Angie Courchaine, Nick Cousley, Jessica Cram, Sam Cramer, Autumn Cunningham, Rob Czernik, Emily Dantuma, Dave, Tina Decker, Mitchell Dose, Tona Dove, Siri Dove, Logan Drill, Ryan Dunlop, Alicia Dvorak, Ulli Eckwall, Heidi Ecl<wall, Asher Edes, Marian Kimball Eichinger, Kimoja Emeka, Tara Fahiey, Fiona, Andy Fischer, Madeline Fisher, Caitlin Fowles, John Francis, Yana Frank, Kristin Freya, Sophie Frost, Greta Gaard, Flora Gaard, Chris Gamm, Lucy Geach, Patty Gille, Lazer Goese, Renee Gonneau, Scottie Hall, Jayme Halritter, Brent Harring, Mike Evenson (Harris), Maryanna Harstad, Starri Hedges, Lacey Prpic Hedtke, Lacey Hedtke, Alison Heimstead, Madeline Helling, Dan Herman, Alyssa Hill, Soozin Hirschmugl, Mike Hitzel berger, Aaron Hoffmeister, Eric Hofstad, Sean Hokland, Alana Horton, Alisa Hoven, David Hoyt, Xena Huff, Izzy, Rosie Jablonsky, Jane, Julie Jao, Jane Jefferson, Ynez Jennings, Couch Surf John, Ron Johnson, Olli Johnson, Owen Jones, Oliver Jones, Lucy K, Paulette Kawalewski, Rebecca Kelly, Kelly, Jonathan Kennedy, Lucy Kerzin, Bill King, Jane King, Rah Kojis, Kirstin Kooda, Jo Krause-Johnson, Bob Kucera, Kurt Seaberg, Chloe La Pointe, Willow La Pointe, Pamela Laizure, Sarah Larrson, Matt Larson, Sarah Larsson, Lynette LaRue, Sam Lee, Mina Leierwood, Greg Leierwood, Aaron Lewis, Charlie Longbella, M Looze, Andy Looze, John Loyoza, Elyse Lyon, Jeff Maas, Angela MakiJones, Mindy Matten, Matty, Julian Mc Faul, Lindsay McCaw, Crystal Meisinger, Zoe Michael, Paul Michalke, Pasha Milbrath, Jason Misik, Natalie, Nell Nere, TJ O'Connor, Allison E. Osberg, Paul, Amber PB, John Pearson, Marti Pearson, Roger Peet, Liz Petersen, Isaac Peterson, Tracy Peterson, Tracey Peterson, Soma Peterson, Barbara Peterson, Junauda Petrus, Sean Petteway, Kendra Pollock, Olivia Quintanilla, Kari Rightfoot, Riva, Nickey Robare, Nickey Robo, Anna Rodell, Marky "Baby" Rossow, Spencer Roth, Erik Ruin, Eric Ruin, Mark Safford, Douglas Saldana, Soma Samathi, Stacy Sanborn, Friede Sander, Rachel Schreiner, Alex Schroeter, Richard Schulze, Peter Schulze, Seamus, Donna Sellinger, Kait Sergenian, Kat Sheva, Song, Violet Soule-Fahey, Nicole Stanich, Sarah Steinman, Huck Stoike, Emrys Stramer, Natalie Taber, Anwen Taber-Buley, Amy Taylor, Kristi Ternes, Joe Toth, Joseph R. Toth, Serena Tritscher, Juliette Trujillo, Andrew Turbes, John Velie, Waffle, Beth Wagner, Maren Ward, Matt Weathers, Kat Weisberg, Justin Wells, Carly Wicks, Eddie Wilburs, Wilda, Arwen Wilder, Inga Wing, Cindy Yang, Ahmed Yusuf, Sasha Zavyalova, Nadeja J. Zoller

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 "lnanna'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 walking the labyrinth of raked leaves and leaving a message or lighting a candle at the "Hungry Ghost Altar."

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.

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 second year BareBones has its own build space at the back of the Karmelita Central building in the heart of Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis through the generous support of Sabri Properties.


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)

The Co-Directors

Alison Heimstead is the founder of the Halloween Extravaganza. Her 1994 senior thesis at the U of MN, "Sam Hain's Flaming Pavement Puppet Show", was the original Halloween spectacle performance that eventually became the Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza. Alison is an artist, puppeteer, and puppet theater director.  She is Performance Curator at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis.

Maren Ward helped present "Hullaballoo" in 1996, what was the first "Halloween Extravaganza" under the banner of BareBones Productions. She has been involved as a performer or director in every Halloween Extravaganza since. Maren is a stage actor and theater director.  She is a founder and Producing Director at Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

BareBones on SPNN Forum

Published on Oct 2, 2013

Host Sanni Brown talks with Maren Ward and Mark Safford of BareBones Productions about the 2013 Halloween extravaganza, Carry On - A Requiem for 20 Years.

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