On the Eve of Abolition


Papel Machete is a radical theater and puppetry collective that produces and performs original work throughout the Puerto Rico and the US.

Artist Bio

Papel Machete proposes a bilingual play in Spanish and English that tells the speculative fiction story of the last prison in the U.S. Using letters from incarcerated people, prison radio shows, puppets, masks, music, and picture storytelling, they present events preceding the final day of the last prison, and the movement which made abolition a reality.


Discipline
Puppetry, Theater
Award Year
2020
Status

In Progress

Papel Machete in the streets for the May 1st march in San Juan, Puerto Rico. At the center-front of the image, a woman in a red tank top and black shorts waves a large black flag. She is flanked by two other woman in black, waving large red flags with the word

Papel Machete

San Juan, PR

Papel Machete is a radical theater and puppetry collective that produces and performs original work throughout the Puerto Rico and the US. The collective started on May 1, 2006 during the government shutdown, in response to the economic and political crisis generated by the status of Puerto Rico as a colony of the US. Since then, they have established a body of work inspired by a commonly shared aesthetic and values. Using papier mâché as a medium, Papel Machete explores a wide range of artforms and styles including toy theater, cantastorias, shadow theater, table-top puppetry, masks, performing objects and giant puppets.  Papel Machete has brought theater to new audiences and venues to denounce exploitation, build solidarity, and agitate for action in the struggles of frontline communities. They are co-founders and part of the organizing committee of Titeretada, a yearly independent puppetry festival in Puerto Rico.

Photo: Tina Orlandini