Handspring Puppet Company

founded in 1981 in South Africa, is headed by Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones. Originally the creators of children's shows which toured in southern Africa, their first adult production, Episodes of an Easter Rising, in 1985 gained the company exposure at the International Festival of Puppet Theatre in Charleville-Mézières, France. Subsequent productions include collaborations with South African directors Malcolm Purkey on Tooth and Nail for Junction Avenue Theatre and Barney Simon of the Market Theatre on Starbites!, a fable of renewal after Nelson Mandela's release. Woyczeck on the Highveld launched a ten-year collaboration with artist William Kentridge which explored puppets and film animation. Handspring has been presented in New York at the Henson International Festival of Puppet Theatre, the Next Wave Festival at BAM, at the Kennedy Center, in San Francisco and Chicago and internationally in numerous cities and festivals including the Avignon Festival in France, Theatre der Welt in Germany and Festival d'Automne in Paris. Their most recent collaboration, Or You Could Kiss Me, with playwright Neil Bartlett and designer Rae Smith, premiered at the National Theatre this past fall. Adrian Kohler, Handspring's Artistic Director and puppet designer, has exhibited at the South African National Gallery, Cape Town, and the Museum for African Art in New York. His puppets are represented in the collections of the Stadtmuseum Munich, the South African Constitutional Court, Johannesburg, and the Old Mutual Art Collection in Cape Town. Thys Stander is Handspring's chief puppet maker, having developed the complex cane sculpture techniques required for the horses and is responsible for ongoing training at the horse factory in Cape Town. www.handspringpuppet.co.za