Jana Zeller and Kalob Martinez present original hand puppet pieces at The Great River Festival in Saxtons River
July 6 – 8
El Beto by Kalob Martinez is a one man, bilingual, hand puppet version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and is set in the world of the Mexican drug cartel. While the US engages in the war on drugs another war is fought by the cartels in order to gain control of the US/Mexico border. From 2006 to 2010 there were seven cartels fighting over control of the border. 35,000 drug related homicides occurred during that span of time. Details about cartel leaders like El Chapo and El Mas Loco sound so far fetched as if they came from a movie.
Kalob Martinez is an actor, voice artist, fight director, and puppeteer from Houston, TX. He is a member of the company of Babylon, Sandglass’s newest original work, which begins touring in the fall. Kalob has an MFA from the Puppet Arts Program at the University of Connecticut and created El Beto in order to complete his MFA.
Kasper and Gretel
Jana Zeller will be presenting her adult Kasper and Gretel. This raucous hand puppet piece features traditional German hand puppet heroes Kasper and Gretel, as they struggle with the duties of a married couple inside an old shack. The action turns comical, tragic and grotesque as the two juggle the baby, their chores and making money, dream of a better future and hide a dangerous secret from each other. Based in a tradition that first appeared in the fairgrounds in Europe in the seventeenth century, these stock characters survive to this day and continue to comment on their surrounding society.
Jana grew up in Sandglass Theater and started working for the theater in her teens. As a set painter and designer she has worked for the theater, opera, TV, and the movies, and has designed and built a wide range of puppets. In 2001 she founded her own puppet company, Spybird Theater and has performed her works in the US, Canada, Mexico, Germany and India. For the past two years she has been touring with Shoshana Bass, presenting a cherished children’s puppet show that the two sisters inherited from their mother.