SEA BEAST PUPPET COMPANY MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of Sea Beast Puppet Company is to promote excellence in puppetry as a theatrical art form. We provide an opportunity for people of all ages to view puppet performances and enrich the community through imaginative storytelling.
Founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Kat Pleviak with current company member Mary Kate Jenkins, Sea Beast Puppet Company is known for being a leader in puppetry excellence in the Chicagoland area. Over the past 9 years Sea Beast has created a variety of original touring productions for both adult and youth audiences. Some of these productions include “Surf and Turf,” “Hans My Hedgehog,” “Little Red Rosie and the Dragon of Dümm,” “The History of Light,” “The Shadow Puppet Conspiracy” and “Méfiez-Vous de la Vache-Garou.” Besides their touring shows, Sea Beast offers workshops to students of all ages and professional development classes in areas of puppetry performance, design, construction, and writing. When they aren't teaching or performing Sea Beast is dedicated to presenting out-of-town puppet artists to the Chicagoland area through the curation of their puppet slam Puppet Meltdown and their puppet festival Oddities: A Curious Collection of Puppetry. The talented artists at Sea Beast are very proud and take great joy in presenting the art of puppetry and look forward to doing so for many years to come.
Kat Pleviak has been a professional puppeteer and member of the Puppeteers of America since 2002. She has an MFA in Youth Theatre and Puppetry from the University of Hawaii Manoa (2009) and is the founder and Artistic Director of Sea Beast Puppet Company in Chicago, IL.
She currently serves the Puppeteers of America as a member of the board and works as the Archival Commitee liason. Under her leadership Kat organized the funding and digitization of the PofA archives which are now available for purchase as DVDs.
Under Kat's direction Sea Beast has initiated a number of exciting puppetry projects including a series of original works such as "The Shadow Puppet Conspiracy," "The History of Light, " and their most recent production "Méfiez-Vous de la Vache-Garou" which won best in show at the Chicago Fringe Festival in 2013.
Besides performing, Kat has experience in company management and flexes these muscles by hosting out of town artists for Sea Beasts curated "Puppet Meltdown" and "Oddities" events. Kat's work has been seen at regional, national and international festivals including the Motor City Puppet Blast (2014), the Chicago Humanities Festival (2014), the Chicago Improv Festival (2013-14), the National Puppetry Festival (2013), Potlatch Puppetry Festival (2009/11), Port City Puppet Festival (2010), UNIMA Congress (Perth 2008) and the Illinois Storytelling Festival (2009/10).
She has been published multiple times in the Puppetry Journal and writes a regular column in the publication titles "Time Machine." Her work has been showcased many times in print including as a featured artist in Puppetry International's issue of "40 under 40." Currently, Kat serves as a PofA board member, is on both the Archival and Scholarship commitees, and is an active member of the Chicago Puppetry Guild.
Mary Kate Jenkins
Mary Kate Jenkins is a Chicago area freelance puppet builder and puppeteer with a BFA in Drama from New York University's Experimental Theatre Wing. She has worked with several New York area production companies such as Basil Twist and Encyclopedia Pictura, where she worked on Bjork's music video for "Wanderlust." Props Design credits include “Buddy Holly” at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, “Sylvia” at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center, and “Iolanthe” at Light Opera Works. Her television puppetry credits include puppeteering for the children's eco-based television pilot "Mr. Furry Fur Fur and His Friendly Earth Friends." She currently works as a founding member of Sea Beast Puppet Company.
Jill grew up in Michigan and attended Cranbrook Kingswood where she began her art addiction. She has a Bachelors of Art in European History from Northwestern University and also studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Jill currently is a member of Seabeast Puppet Company and runs the Little Puppet Company. She has been creating masks and puppets professionally for almost 25 years. She has been a voiceover actor since 2003. Additionally, Jill has worked in a variety of industries including dental insurance, real estate, film (yes, she has an IMDB listing), renaissance faires and theater. She has lived in Michigan, Chicago, Los Angeles, Taos, New Mexico and currently resides in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Jill is married to the wonderful writer and performer Eric Frederickson.