A Live Arts World Premiere!
Three Performances: Friday, May 6, 8:00pm; Saturday, May 7, 8:00pm; and Sunday, May 8, 2:00pm
History, memory, and imagination collide in this new work of puppet theater about the possibly true life of Poppy, a Russian Jewish refugee raised in China. Created and performed by the writer and puppeteer, Sam Jay Gold, All Vows features five hand-carved wooden puppets, each modeled after Sam’s own grandfather at different ages in his life. The show explores what it means to suddenly realize you’re both an inheritor and active participant in your family history—and that that history is a mess.
“We didn’t talk much about my grandfather growing up, but I was proud of what I knew about his life: how he grew up in China after his family fled the Russian Revolution, how he taught himself Italian while in medical school in Bologna, how he became a surgeon in a Jewish ghetto in Shanghai before fleeing again, this time for America at the dawn of the Cultural Revolution. His was a story of resilience, worldliness, and drive. And since he died when I was four, I was content with its broad strokes—until an old photo re-surfaced last year, leading me to question my relationship to every memory I had of the man—and to create All Vows, an investigation into the powerful, fragile truths we turn into the stories of our lives.”
—Sam Jay Gold
All Vows was first developed at St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab with Matt Acheson and Lake Simons as Lab Co-Directors at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY, in 2019. Additional development was made possible with the generous support of The Jim Henson Foundation.
All Vows was created partially in residence at Live Arts at the Morris Museum.
About the Artist and Collaborators
Sam Jay Gold is a puppeteer, theater artist, and writer. With the support of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Sam studied traditional forms of puppetry around the world. He trained in marionettes in the Czech Republic, Noh and Bunraku in Japan, and Wayang Kulit in Bali, while exploring empathy, imagination, and projection across the animate/inanimate divide. These experiences cemented Sam’s belief in the primal power of the puppet, of the shadow, of the not-quite-lifelike, as vessels for surprising, delighting, and challenging audiences with transformative storytelling.
Sam’s original work has been supported by the Jim Henson Foundation and featured at venues including St. Ann’s Warehouse, BAM, and the New York State Puppetry Festival. He is co-founder of The Brothers Campur, a Balinese-American shadow puppet company performing classic and contemporary Wayang Kulit throughout the US and Indonesia. Sam is also a longtime collaborator with Roman Paska, assisting in the development of and performing in works including Fall Of The House of Usher (Mass MoCA) and Echo In Camera (Watermill Center, La MaMa, Palais de Tokyo, DIALOG Festival).
Sam has performed in shows at Lincoln Center, HERE Arts, The Merry-Go-Round Theater, The Eugene O’Neill Theater, La MaMa, Dixon Place, and The NYC Highline, as well as toured works in France, Poland, and Indonesia. His writings on theater and puppetry have been featured in Bauhaus Magazine, Puppetry International, and Mime Journal.
Ali Goss (performer) is a Philadelphia based multimedia artist and puppeteer. Since 2017, they toured and performed with Australia-based giant puppet troupe Snuff Puppets and German director Steffi Oberhoff, most recently at the Basel International Figure Theatre Festival. Since 2018, they’ve worked for Basil Twist, most recently performing in Book of Mountains and Seas at St. Ann’s Warehouse. Their own work spanning performance, puppetry and live-feed projection has been seen at The Tank, La Mama, Dixon Place, Coney Island Sideshows, Puppet Showplace Theatre, The Wassaic Project and in internet chatrooms. Projects forthcoming with Liz Oakley include Parades for All Occasions at the NYS Puppet Festival and Package Day at Wunderbarn.
Liz Oakley (performer) is a puppeteer, designer, performance-maker, and teaching artist. Her original performance work has appeared at Dixon Place, the Wassaic Project, the Art In Odd Places Festival, the Object Movement Festival, The Tank, Coney Island USA, The Painted Cloud, AS220, Judson Memorial Church, and various living rooms and street corners. Most recently, her puppet designs have appeared at 59E59. She works as a teaching artist with Spiral Q and Puppetry In Practice. Liz grew up in New York and currently lives in Philadelphia.
Chris Carcione (projection/live-feed video design) is a theater artist, arts administrator, and educator. His work aims to incorporate live and digital media into performance in surprising, interactive, and meaningful ways. As a projection designer and live-feed operator, Chris has worked on Dan Hurlin’s Demolishing Every with Amazing Speed, Shayna Strype’s Antrak, and numerous projects with Tom Lee including Place(no)place, Sounding the Resonant Path, Shank’s Mare, and the upcoming Akutagawa, developed with and featuring Koryu Nishikawa V. Chris is an Adjunct Professor of Theater at Manhattanville College and Westchester Community College, and the Director of Communication at CO/LAB Theater Group.
Ian Coss (sound design, interview consultant) is an audio producer whose work spans music, podcasting and sound art. His original series “Forever is a Long Time” was named one of the best podcasts of 2021 by The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Apple Podcasts. A founding member of PRX Productions, Ian produced and scored “Ways of Hearing,” “The Great God of Depression,” “Over the Road,” and “Blind Guy Travels” for Radiotopia, and launched the Antiques Roadshow podcast, “Detours.” His work has appeared on Snap Judgment, Studio 360 and 99 Percent Invisible; been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival; and received multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards, as well as a nomination for Podcast Academy’s Podcast of the Year.
Avery Bargar (artistic consultant) is a Brooklyn based actor, musician and composer, born and raised in Boston, where he was last seen as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing (Actors Shakespeare Project) and as an improviser and music director at ImprovBoston. In NYC you can frequently find him behind the keys as an improv music director for the PIT NYC, Story Pirates, and more. His debut piano EP, Hammers & Felt, comes out this summer.
Ticket & Visitor Information
General Admission is $40.00. Member tickets are $35.00. Students tickets are $25.00 (25 and under with valid ID). Become a Morris Museum Member today.
All patrons 12 years and older must provide proof of full vaccination, currently 2 shots of either Pfizer or Moderna, or one of Johnson and Johnson, and corresponding ID. All sales are final. All patrons are required to wear a face mask in the Bickford Theatre.
To purchase tickets over the phone, call the box office at 973-971-3706.