“9000 Paper Balloons” Availability Extended Through January 31

9000 Paper Balloons

Thursday, November 4 until Monday, January 31 (AVAILABILITY EXTENDED!)

Video Available Online

Tickets: $10-$50

HERE presents a look at a failed Japanese mission during World War II. The story of the Fu-Go balloon bomb begins streaming on November 4.

About 9000 Paper Balloons

Inspired by the stranger-than-fiction secret weapons that floated over America during World War II, 9000 Paper Balloons is a poetic and eerie performance that examines distance: the distance between two friends, two enemies, two cultures, and two generations.

Japanese artist Maiko Kikuchi and American puppeteer Spencer Lott blend puppetry, animation, and masks as they weave their own family histories into a surreal and visually stunning collage that speaks to the past and the future.

Aya Ogawa is director and dramaturg.

Purchasing a ticket grants you access to a private link to view the show on demand until January 31, 2022. (Note: HERE extended the deadline from its original date of December 31, 2021.) You may watch the show as many times as you would like during the time frame. To purchase your ticket, please visit HERE’s website.

Artists’ Statement

Our creative team is interested in creating a theatrical event inspired by traditional Japanese ghost stories. We feel this is the most dynamic genre to explores themes of fear, vulnerability, hysteria, and cultural isolation that led to President Roosevelt’s executive order authorizing the internment of American citizens.

Within our ghost story we believe puppetry provides the greatest opportunity to explore scale, rhythm, and magic. By embarking on this new project, we are seeking proactive ways to tell stories that speak to our current political and social climate. For our creative team, a cross-cultural examination of a shared history was the perfect place to start.”

About Maiko Kikuchi

Maiko Kikuchi is a Brooklyn-based artist who received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Musashino Art University, Japan, in 2008 and her M.F.A. in Sculpture from Pratt Institute in 2012. She has extensive, multifaceted, professional experience in the areas of illustration, painting, drawing, collages, sculpture, animation, and puppetry/performance.

Her recent self-direction object theatre piece Daydream Tutorial has shown at LaMaMa as part of their 57th Puppet Festival program and in theaters across New York City including St. Ann’s Warehouse, Japan Society, Dixon Place, FiveMyles, JACK, and Wild Project.

As a visual artist, Kikuchi has created music videos for several musicians and bands. Her artwork has been exhibited at Ca’d’ Oro Gallery, HERE, Parasol Project, Jamestown Art Center (RI), Gallery HANA (Tokyo), and the Crown Heights Film Festival. She is currently an Artist in Residence at HERE, collaborating with artist/writer Spencer Lott.

About Spencer Lott

Spencer Lott is a maker, writer, and puppeteer based in Brooklyn. His puppetry credits include A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (starring Tom Hanks), Sesame Street, The Relationtrip (Hulu/SXSW 2017), and more. His plays include Campfire (Trusty Sidekick Theater Company at Lincoln Center), Blossom, and The House of Atreus (Multicultural Theater Initiative).

Lott is the recipient of multiple Jim Henson Foundation Grants for his original work and was the first recipient of the Jim Henson Foundation Puppetry Residency at the O’Neill Theater Center with collaborator Liz Hara. He has been a Works in Progress Artist at the Children’s Museum of the Arts, a Guest Artist for Theater Development Fund’s Stage Door program, and a member of the teaching artist ensemble at BAM and the New Victory Theater. He is the Associate Artistic Director of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company.

About Dream Music Puppetry

One of few programs in the country to grow and commission contemporary, adult puppet works, Dream Music provides performance opportunities to puppet artists and encourages multidisciplinary collaboration to develop new puppetry techniques. The inaugural program was the premiere of Basil Twist’s OBIE-award winning Symphonie Fantastique in 1998. Under the artistic direction of Twist and produced by HERE co-founder Barbara Busackino, the Dream Music aesthetic is geared toward puppet works that feature live music as a collaborative element.

Dream Music curates regular Puppetry Parlors to showcase excerpts from developing works both from within Dream Music and the puppetry community at large. Each year, Dream Music commissions new full-length puppet works, develops new puppet works by emerging puppet artists through Puppetry Parlors and at HERE RAW, provides educational outreach through its partnership commissions for the legendary Village Halloween Parade, and offers national and international touring/presenting opportunities.

About HERE

Since 1993, HERE has been one of New York’s most prolific arts organizations. Today, it stands at the forefront of the city’s cultural scene, producing and presenting daring, new, multidisciplinary performance experiences.