For anyone who loves the performing arts, Blair Thomas & Co. provides magical theatrical experiences and illuminating connections to unique cultural traditions by combining live music, narrative literature and handcrafted objects.
As co- founder of the highly successful Redmoon Theater, Blair spent a decade leading a vision to create large-scale spectacle theater. He was the principal creator behind all of its productions, parades and pageants, including Frankie & Johnny, Moby Dick, Frankenstein, the Winter Pageant, and the All Hallow's Eve Halloween parade until he left in 1998. Blair then served as co-curator for both of Chicago's International Puppet Festivals in 2000 and 2001 and became an Associate Adjunct Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 2002, Blair founded Blair Thomas & Co. to create a distinctive Chamber Puppet Theater. With the company, Blair has toured to Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Tampa, Atlanta, Phoenix, Madison, Bloomington, Mexico, and Spain, and has built a repertoire of work for adults and for children. He was awarded the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for New Performance in 2002 and 2004, and was hand-picked to serve in the inaugural position of Jim Henson Artist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland in College Park for the 2006-07 academic year. For more information, visit blairthomas.org.
Blair Thomas (Adapter/Puppet Design/Performer) most recently completed a 7 stop neighborhood tour of Hard Headed Heart last fall, which culminated in a sold-out performance at the Richard Christiansen Theater. Victory Gardens’ audiences also know Blair as co-creator of the theater’s smash hit holiday musical The Snow Queen with folk music legend Michael Barrow Smith and director Frank Galati. Last fall he conceived, designed and directed The Ox-Herder’s Tale, a Buddhist parable and Cabaret of Desire, a staging of six short works by Federico Garcia Lorca. For the past few years he has been performing an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant that he and Michael Smith created for Chicago Children’s Theater. His other recent credits include A Rabbit’s Tale, a puppet pantomime staged to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, and Master Pedro’s Puppet Show with Chicago Opera Theater. Currently, Blair is developing a stage adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick as a chamber puppet cantata. He has also been commissioned by Chicago Children’s Theater to develop an adaptation of award winning Brian Selznick’s book Houdini’s Box for production in January 2010. Blair, a graduate of Oberlin College, is currently an adjunct Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Dawn Akelis (Stage Manager) has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing from Millikin University and was awarded the Professional Intern Program for Stage Management at The Julliard School, NY. Her professional career in Stage Management has led her to work with The Red Kite Project, Chicago Children’s Theater, Blair Thomas & Co., American Girl Theatre, The Goodman Theater, R.Ed.I. Arts and Education Foundation along with other Chicago theatres and projects.
Performanc ScheduleJuly 8 - August 8, 2010
“...the technique and commitment on display is nothing short of staggering."
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
Please check back for more press coverage closer to the first performance.