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Mariposa Nocturna: A Puppet Triptych

December 16, 2014 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

$5 - $20

Free Street Theater presents Mariposa Nocturna: A Puppet Triptych 

A child’s wish to a Guatemalan folk saint for her dying grandmother to have “a happy sleep” results in a bawdy, Japanese shadow-dream. A pair of bird-headed spinsters suddenly find themselves custodians of a large, glowing egg. A lonely toy carriage embarks upon a jaunty odyssey in search of buried dreams. Employing handcrafted tabletop and shadow puppets, featuring original music and stop-motion film, and showcasing precise, artful manipulation, Mariposa Nocturna explores loss, longing and rebirth in this gently humorous, darkly beautiful and emotionally resonant new work.

The production includes a beautiful, immersive folk-art-inspired community altar and live installation.

Audience members are encouraged to bring a token or memento of a loved one to contribute to the altar.

  • Conceived and created by Stephanie Díaz
  • Original Music by Barry Bennett
  • Film by Jessica Mondres

Not recommended for audiences under age 8.


Stephanie Díaz is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Chicago. She divides her time between acting work, puppetry projects and writing short fiction and poetry. As a puppeteer, she specializes in Bunraku-style tabletop and shadow puppetry, and works primarily with found materials (organic and man-made), paper, papier-maché, wood and wire, and is influenced by the Quay Brothers, Marta Carrasco, Jiri Barta, Guillermo del Toro, silent-era film and Butoh. She debuted Mariposa Nocturna: A Puppet Triptych—which features a total of 30 handmade puppets and manipulated objects—in October of 2013 at the Chicago Cultural Center (developed in residence with DCASE, and in part at the 2013 Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference). Her puppets and masks have been seen at A Red Orchid Theater, O’Neill, Links Hall, Lookingglass Theater, 16th Street Theater, Collaboraction, The Goodman Theatre’s Latino Fest, Prop Thtr, The Paper Machete Show and Proyecto Latina. She is an Artistic Associate at 16th Street Theater, where she presented Mariposa Nocturna to sold-out audiences in August 2014 with collaborators Jessica Mondres and Barry Bennett, and again at Free Street Theater last October. She is a 2014 Ragdale Artist-in-Residence, a 2012 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, and a two-time nominee for Chicago’s 3Arts Award. She is a proud Guatemalan-American.



December 16, 2014
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
$5 - $20
Event Category:


Free Street Theater


Free Street Theater
1419 W. Blackhawk St.
Chicago, United States

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