Schweinehund is a live puppetry and animation piece inspired by the life of Nazi concentration camp survivor, Pierre Seel. An international collaboration between Kentucky-based artist Andy Gaukel and puppeteer Myriame Larose from Montreal, Schweinehund employs several styles of puppetry integrated with projected stop-motion animation to create a choreographed movement piece set to music. Schweinehund weaves snapshots of a brutal past with memories of yesteryears into a moving story about love, loss and resilience.
Schweinehund was initially created and developed by Andy Gaukel as a ten-minute workshop performance for the 2011 Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT) program at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA. The story was inspired by I Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual—the memoir of Seel, a Frenchman, arrested in France by the Gestapo in 1941 on suspicion of being gay and subsequently imprisoned in a concentration camp near Strasbourg, where he was subjected to countless atrocities.
Following its premiere at XPT, Schweinehund was presented during the National Puppetry Conference in 2012, In 2013 Gaukel was invited to undertake a creative residency L’ Institut International de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières, France, during which he and Larose began the process of develop Schweinehund into a full length piece. With the subsequent combined generosity of the Jim Henson Foundation, The Awesome Foundation, L’Institut International de la Marionnette and private donations, Gaukel and Larose have now developed Schweinehund into a full-length piece, which they intend to begin touring in 2015.
“the artists' dark evocation of painful memory, the telling of an often forgotten or elided story through silent puppets, made a powerful case for the form.”
– Creative Loafing
PERFORMANCE AND DEVELOPMENT HISTORY
Xperimental Puppetry Theater Program,
Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA.
Performance of Original Ten-Minute piece
National Puppetry Conference, Atlanta, G.A.
Performance of Original Ten-Minute piece and post-show discussion
Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Cincinnati
Performance of Original Ten-Minute piece
Institut International de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières, France
Creative Residency, research and development
Workshop and Showing
Les Sages Fous' Micro-festival de marionnettes inachevées,
30-minute performance of Schweinehund
Les Trois jours de Casteliers
12-minute performance of Schweinehund
Schweinehund has been developed with the additional support from:
Jim Henson Foundation Project Grant
L'Institut International de la Marionnette
The Awesome Foundation
“the best was indeed saved for last. Schweinehund was a beautifully told, and technically innovative …mixed animation and puppetry seamlessly; the audience was amazed.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
ANDY GAUKEL - Originally from Kentucky, Gaukel has more than 20 years of experience working as a puppeteer, actor, and director in television, off-Broadway, and regional theatre. As an actor his credits include A Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Much Ado About Nothing and The Merry Wives of Windsor, among others, at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company where he was a Company Member 2009-2011. As a puppeteer he has toured with Madcap Puppets, Cincinnati, and performed in the world premiere of Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home at Trinity Repertory Company and Long Wharf Theatre; Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique, New World Stages and Twist Festival D.C., University of Maryland and Mabou Mines' development of La Davina Caricatura. Gaukel's original work Schweinehund and Leukos were presented at Cincinnati Fringe Festival and Xperimental Puppetry Theater Program, Atlanta. Gaukel founded his own puppet touring company, The Wee Giant Puppet Company, in Glasgow, Scotland, which toured original works Sweet Life and Absolutely Fabulist to schools and festivals. As an Educator specializing in theatre and puppetry, Gaukel has also worked with Tron Theatre Company, TAG Theatre Company, Theatre Nemo, Puppet Animation Scotland and Fife Council in Scotland and the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Kentucky Science Center, Alliance Theatre, and The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati. In April 2013, Gaukel undertook a Creation Residency at the Institut International de la Marionnette in Charleville-MéziÈres, France. Gaukel is a graduate of the University of Kentucky's Department of Theatre and has a Master in Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Theatre from Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island.
Myriame Larose - Ms. Larose graduated with a Diploma in Contemporary Puppet Theater at the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2009. For the best part of the last 10 years, she has worked as a performer in various theater, dance and puppetry companies. In 2010, she presented Burials, her first solo production, at the Festival Casteliers in Montréal and joined the team of Théâtre de l'Oeil for their 24th show, The 3 Legged Tale. In 2011, she developed a second solo piece (You stick to my skin) with the artist Noë Cropsal and joined the cast of the legendary show The Starkeeper (Théâtre de l'Oeil). She is the co-founder of the group Les Ironistes whose first show, Ratatatarats!, was presented at the International Puppet Festival of Dublin (Ireland) in September 2007. In 2013, she toured in the Québec version of the show Les petits pains oubliés presented by Les Sages Fous and Créatures compagnie and she worked with the Théâtre de l'Utopie for the show Léonce et Léna directed by Cristina Iovita. She joined the Schweinehund team in Charleville-Mézières in April 2013 and has been working on it ever since.