“An extraordinary and heartbreaking piece.” – The Theatre Times
“Chimpanzee is in itself a master class in puppet manipulation” – MonTheatre
An hour in a theatre, a day in a biomedical facility, a lifetime in the mind of a chimpanzee.
Chimpanzee is based on the stranger-than-fiction stories of chimpanzees raised as children in human homes, in a series of cross-fostering experiments conducted in the United States.
In this “deeply felt nonverbal memory play” (New York Magazine), a chimpanzee reminisces about the comfort, curiosity and freedom she had growing up in a human family, a contrast to her bleak present-day reality in a biomedical facility.
Shifts in time and place are conveyed through exquisite, lifelike bunraku style puppetry and haunting sound and lighting design.
Created and Directed by Nick Lehane
Puppeteers: Josh Rice, Andy Manjuck, and Emma Wiseman
Lighting Designer and Associate Set
Designer: Marika Kent
Lighting Associate: Jonathan Cottle
Sound Designer: Kate Marvin
Associate Sound Designer and Stage
Manager: Avery Orvis
Puppet and Set Designer: Nick Lehane
“To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about both animals and us.”
– Frans de Waal, primatologist and ethologist
Chimpanzee premiered at HERE Arts Center through Basil Twist’s Dream Music Puppetry Program, with the support of The Jim Henson Foundation and Cheryl Henson.
Join us for a post-show talk with puppet artist and theatre maker Nick Lehane to learn more about puppetry styles, accompanied by a short demonstration.