Compiled by Janet Hamilton
Corpus Christi College in Cambridge owns a small theatre called the Playroom in which student plays are performed. In November 2000, the late show was called "Transplant". The program was in the form of the traditional Fortune Teller/Salt Cellar with the name of the show emblazoned on the top four squares and the titles Good, Evil, Thanks and Playroom on the interior flaps. Unfolding the flaps lead to further details about the production. If nothing else it kept the audience occupied while waiting for the play to begin.
The play "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes" was performed at the House Theater in Seattle on September 6, 2003 as a benefit for the Book-It All Over! touring program. http://www.book-it.org/
Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2005 - A photograph in the paper about Susanne Sulby's interdisciplinary one-woman piece, Sanctuary, shows her balancing several origami cranes on sword blade. In this one-woman show, multiple characters "expose the connections between fear, bigotry, power, religion and battle, and the women have played throughout time in these issues. It's an energetic a multi-media exploration of the struggles and tragedies of warfare, and humanity's need for sanctuary." The show played at the Society Hill Playhouse, Red Carpet Cabaret and Theater Cataylst in September 2005.
May 2000 - A production of 'Centerstage' had a folded modular unit hanging on one of the dorm room walls.
A play called "HECHIZO" (Spell), features origami in one of the more romantic parts of the play. "Once, a little boy had a crush on a little girl, but he didn't know how to let her know. One day, in a flash of inspiration, he made a paper plane. After school, he went up to her and said, 'Here. This is for you.' She smiled puzzled. 'What's this?' 'It's my paper airplane. I want you to have it.' 'But why me?', she asked, already delighted. 'Because you're my sky.' "
Scheduled November 25, 2005, at the Maltings Arts Theater in St. Albans, UK, is "The Paper Boat Show". "In 2003, Perrier Best Newcomer Nominated comedian Tim FitzHigham broke a 383 year old world record by rowing a boat made entirely of paper down the whole length of the Thames in 8 days. In the process he raised over £10,000 for Comic Relief. His adventures were televised all over the world and across all the newspapers but now, for the first time, the full story of the paper boat is told in this brand new unique mix of sketches, stand up and gaffer tape." http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/leisure/events/front.php?item_code=1283
The London (UK) based theater group Oily Cart have a performance called
"If All the World Were Paper". Aimed at children aged 2-5, it is
written and directed by Tim Webb. The story is about a little paper girl who is
separated from her sisters. She embarks on a series of adventures through a
magical world of paper, during which she learns how to sing and dance and
discovers color. The key theme of the show is how exploring new places and
learning new things can be fun, not scary. http://www.oilycart.org.uk/
"The Spencers Come to New Brunswick [NJ]" describes the magic act scheduled for 10/13/2006 at the State Theater: "Their tricks include: Split Personality, a modern-day sophisticated version of cutting a woman into two pieces; Origami, in which a woman is placed inside a 26-inch box and then folded up--with the woman inside--to a 12-inch box; and, The Spencer's unique Windshear trick, in which the magician visibly penetrates the whirling blades of an industrial fan." http://www.upstagemagazine.com/articles/getarticle-new.php?ID=3248&wherefrom=mainpage
A play called "1000 Cranes" was performed in Columbia, South
Carolina (USA) 11/6/2006 at the Hand Middle School. Cranes folded during
the play were sent to Japan. Caption for the photo below: "Jad Sheehi shows
one of the Origami cranes he made for the play 1000 Cranes."
English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker, a collaboration between the choreographer Christopher Hampson and the cartoonist Gerald Scarfe. "Scarfe’s invention spills between the acts. The inhabitants of the Land of Snow fly out of a gigantic refrigerator. Clara and her now-humanised Nutcracker (Arionel Vargas) depart it on the wings of a giant origami bird." http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk:80/article/0,,14936-2498736,00.html
A review in Stage Edinburgh of Rebecca Drysdale's show "Baby Belly" calls it "a satirical take on her own Bat Mitzvah, a skit in which a space traveller ends up stuck in Ancient Rome arguing with her boyfriend on their spaceship, a hapless assault victim fighting back with origami and a song asking “When we can make fun of 9/11?” " http://www.thestage.co.uk/edinburgh/reviews/review.php/17935/rebecca-drysdale-is-one-woman-in-several
October 2007 - Australia’s BalletLab dance group performs an original piece called “Origami”. "Company director Phillip Adams enlisted Australian architects, visual designers and an origami expert to create a movable, tessellated dance floor. So the floor itself became a part of the art, with the mosaic complementing the expressiveness of the dancers’ movements. (That mosaic, by the way, ingeniously suggested the intricacies of origami, the Japanese art of folding squares of paper into representational shapes.)"
March 5, 2008 - The Martin City Melodrama & Vaudeville Co. in Kansas City stages “The Wolfman, or, Another Bad Hair Day” (written by Dan Hall), starring Clint Griffey in his "calculatedly ridiculous performance" as Dr. Sigmund Origami, a scientist from the East who knows that juice from the Maraphasia flower is the only known cure for lycanthropy. http://www.kansascity.com:80/entertainment/performing_arts/story/518093.html
2008 - The set design by Fang Chyi for "Okiku: A Tragedy Retold" was
nominated for the Boh Cameronian Arts Award for Set Design. The play,
based on a 400-year-old Japanese story about a ghost , uses sets inspired by
origami. “It’s like origami as it folds and unfolds to become something else
and I thought of Pandora’s box because every time it opens up, it reveals
something new,” said Fang..."
"The Life of Paper - An Origami Theater Event" is planned for May
23-June 1 2008. "The Life of Paper is a theatre event featuring
the work of word-class origami artist Joseph Wu and theatre artists from East
and West. Join us for a live theatrical journey through time and cultures,
uncovering the ancient art of paper folding; you will never look at paper the
same way again." Sculptures, costumes, props, set, masks, puppets, and
musical instruments will be made of folded paper. http://www.pangaea-arts.com/lifeofpaper/ http://www.flickr.com:80/photos/josephwuorigami/2514197036/
May 2009 - The Theatre Royal's egg theater for children (Bath UK) presents
Mimirichi's Paper World, "a fast-paced, physical comedy show with
uproarious slapstick, incredible origami and the biggest paper fight in
May 2008 - The Oddfellows Playhouse Stage (Middletown CT) Two Players present "A Thousand Cranes," a play by Kathryn Schultz Miller based on the true story of a Japanese girl who survived the bombing of Hiroshima.
July 2008 - Second Stage Theatre in New York City presented "Animals Out of
Paper", A play about life, love, and origami, by Rajiv Joseph (directed by
Giovanna Sardelli with Utkarsh Ambudkar, Kellie Overbey, and Jeremy Shamos). All three
of the play's characters are origami folders, and origami is a central theme and
metaphoric device throughout the script. "When a world renowned origami artist opens her studio to a teenage prodigy
and his school teacher, she finds that life and love can't be neatly arranged in
this drama about finding the perfect fold." In one scene, Ilana
explains that a piece of paper, once folded, is never the same again, that it
has memory. Eventually it “probably feels like too many things have happened
to it.” “It’s all twisted into something so far from what it used to
be,” she adds. After all, “folds leave scars.” More than 20 members from
OrigamiUSA donated or lent origami models for the play, including Jeanine
Mosely's Orb and Bud, Saadya Sternberg's horse, Rona Gurkewitz's dimpled
dodecahedron, and modulars folded by Delrosa Marshall. http://www.2st.com/seasonShow.php?show=5&menuItem=5
August 2008 - Chicago's Quest Theatre Ensemble produced "The People’s History of the United States", vignettes of 400 years of American history presented through song, movement and puppetry. One scene shows portrays a young victim of Hiroshima, who sings Pete Seeger’s “I Come and Stand at Every Door” as dozens of white origami cranes float in "like angels." http://www.timeout.com:80/chicago/articles/theater/44061/the-peoples-history-of-the-united-states http://www.questensemble.org/
August 2008 - Bonnie Duncan and Tim Gallagher performed "Poste Restante", which includes acrobatics, puppetry, and theater. Duncan says, "We play with the notion of boxes and envelopes and what kind of surprises people find inside. Our evening-length version of the piece includes stop-motion animation, in which a letter folds itself into an origami bird and flies to the next mailbox."
October 2008 - The play 'Porcelain' by Chay Yew features origami. A young man sits cross-legged on the ground, methodically folding origami cranes from sheets of blood-red paper. The results of his labors lie spattered around him, mimicking the red blood spatters on the walls.... http://www.latimes.com:80/entertainment/news/arts/la-et-stage17-2008oct17,0,393347.story
Comedian Ennio Marchetto and director Sosthen Hennekam created a show mixing mime, dance, music and quick change costumes made out of card-board and paper, including origami quick-change techniques. Check out some of Ennio's videos on YouTube! http://www.enniomarchetto.com/
February 2009 - Neta Pulvermacher choreographed a performance called "Fold" at the Danspace Project in New York City. The dancers fly origami shapes like kites and roll their bodies in sheets of white paper to explore the transformations created by the acts of folding and unfolding themselves inside the paper. “When my son was little, I used to take him to West 79th Street to the boat basin,” Ms. Pulvermacher said. On Sundays, they would sit on a bench and make paper boats, setting them free on the water.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/arts/dance/28air.html?_r=1
April 2009 - Kris Eitland writes of about the dance show 'Life is Just a Bowl
of Cherries' in San Diego "Tonnie Sammartano and Erica Buechner were
riveting as giant chrysalides struggling to break free from their cellophane
wrappings. The crunchy sound of the plastic and their flopping hands protruding
from their cocoons was eerily fascinating, as was their transformation to busy
women in gowns who fussily folded giant origami wings.
Sammartano seemed to be channeling a perfect June Cleaver as she and Buechner exchanged glances in their face-off to see who could fold the best and form the finest crease. Sequences with heavy heads leaning back, orgasmic contractions, soft shoe grapevines and an exotic percussive journey suggested that life is too short to waste on folding paper, or laundry."
July 2009 - Antony Gornley's Forth Plinth in Trafalgar Square (UK) featured a one hour slot where DAILY Post Arts Editor Laura Davis folded origami birds. Fourth Plinth runs 24 hours a day for 100 days, with people using their one hour however they wish.
1993 - Chay Yew's Porcelain was directed by Richard Hamburger at the
Dallas Theater Center. The play focuses on a young, Asian homosexual who is
charged with shooting his lover in a public lavatory in London.
October 2009 - Magician Rob Lake performs an illusion called the origami box,. He places a girl in a paper box that folds like origami paper into a tiny box that no girl could fit into. Yet when Lake unfolds the origami box, the girl emerges out of it.
David Copperfield performs a trick where he makes a wad wad of paper dance
and levitate. Then he makes an napkin rose, makes that float in the air, sets it
on fire, and it becomes a real rose. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfeVa0bqqaM
December 2009 - "Civil Elegies" combines Dennis Lee's poetry with music by actor, singer and songwriter Mike Ross. "With the help of an overhead video camera, Ross also performs some surprising origami with a Tim Hortons coffee cup..." http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/a-tuneful-taste-of-dennis-lee-but-alas-no-alligators-or-pie/article1394811/
Kathy Kroll, of Stroudsburg, PA is the owner of "Kathy Kroll Dance and Paper Theatre" Much of the choreography Kroll develops for her dance company is based on origami, the art of paper folding. Kroll's husband, Hiro Okamoto, a member of Origami USA, helped Kroll adapt origami for the stage. "On stage we're folding and unfolding origami, or it's a prop we use," Kroll said. http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100106/NEWS14/1060301/-1/NEWSMAP
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