Laura Heit (USA)

“The Matchbox Shows”

24, 25 and 26 May at 11.30pm (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)

Concept, direction, construction and performer: Laura Heit Photographs: Sean Meredith Technique: objects and video For audiences over: +12 Running time: Approx. 30 min. Language: English


Miniature raconteur and sequined pyromaniac Laura Heit performs teeny tiny puppet shows inside matchboxes… for adults!

Laura Heit walks on stage with a glass of wine wearing a sequined tube top. She takes her place behind a table and begins to bring to life her miniature cabaret. Playing the part of Hostess and star, Heit performs a variety of puppet shows within matchboxes. Each matchbox contains it’s own story, some are dreams being retold, others are circus acts, or nightclub rendezvous, there is a short story of love lost and found, a play written when she was 9 years old, and many others. The tiny matchbox stages come to life with crankies, fire, and pop-up paper engineering. The entire show is projected simultaneously on a screen behind the table making the little tiny details of this portable variety show larger than life.

“What comes out might be a ghost story, or a love story set in a burlesque house, or a story about a forest fire in which Heit actually sets the stage on fire. She’s built a banjo player, a tightrope walker, and the Summer- Side Sausage Fairy, who turns little girls dolls into sausages. ...The matchboxes themselves are little works of art: backdrops unfold and tiny props slide into place. A three dimensional bed pops out of the wall in one set, and a tiny cloth curtains hang from the windows.”
-Holly Greenhagen, Chicago Reader

“…Incorporating stop-motion, live-action puppetry and charming paintings, Laura creates a unique alchemy of imagery. There is a sweet yet sophisticated quality to her drawings and painted typography as seen here in 27 Pictures of Myself Naked
Part of the magic in seeing Laura Heit’s work is the element of surprise, so I hesitate to describe more of the details or even the stories behind them… be sure to attend any performance where Laura is casting her spell.” - Laura Tarrish

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Laura Heit is an artist who works in animated art and performance. She employs stop-motion, live-action puppetry, hand drawing, and computer animation in her short films. Her work has screened extensively at museums and film festivals around the world including; Walker Arts center, Moma, Guggenheim, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, Annecy, Rotterdam, Taiwan, Ann Arbor, and London International Film Festivals, Black Maria, PBS, and others. She also works in puppetry, experimental theatre, and live performance. Her acclaimed puppet-show-in miniature, The Matchbox Shows, in which Heit plays ringmaster to a tiny cabaret, has been touring for over ten years, including Dordrecht, Netherlands summer 2010, REDCAT and Walt Disney Concert Hall Spring 2008. She has been the recipient of awards and grants from; Mac Dowell Colony (2007, and 2009), Channel Four Television London, British Film Council, Durfee Foundation, ARC grant, Jim Henson Foundation, Thames and Hudson, Puppeteers of America, and MTV. She has a BFA in Film from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from Royal College of Art, London. Laura was co-director of the Experimental Animation Program at Cal Arts in Valencia California from 2007-2011. She currently lives and works in Portland Oregon.

The Matchbox Shows from Laura Heit on Vimeo.

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