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Evanston local, Michael Montenegro, a Jeff award recipient for his production of “The Puppetmaster of Lodz,” is a designer of puppets, marionettes and masks. Working out of his home studio, Mr. Montenegro has started his own Theater Zarko, a puppet symbolist theater. Sculpting all of his puppets himself, he creates life out of papier-mache and wire. His designs are realistic and abstract, beautiful and terrifying, with the way that they capture feeling and emotion.
Mr. Montenegro will be opening a new production in the fall. Consisting of three parts, the first segment is called “Haff, the man.” Another segment is based on an Italian short story called “Falling Girl.” This story is originally by Dino Buzzati and follows a girl named Marta who falls from a skyscraper. She lets herself fall in slow motion as she contemplates the wealth of the people on the top floors, the work of the people on the middle floors, and on downward.
The story comments on the different levels of society based on wealth. Everyone envy’s what they do not have and the wealthy envy no one. Marta falls to her death hoping for fulfillment and longing for what she does not have, while society does not care.
Mr. Montenegro describes his new production as “surrealistic.” While still a work in progress, the production is set to open at the Noyes Theater in the fall.