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 as being a leader in puppetry excellence in the Chicagoland area. Over the past 5 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.
(Board member, Puppeteers of America)
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 Committee liaison. Under her leadership Kat organized the transfer of our archives from Detroit to the new offices in Minneapolis and is leading the project to digitize the Puppetry Journal.
Under Kat's direction Sea Beast has initiated a number of exciting puppetry projects including a series of original works including “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 2013.
Besides performing Kat has experience in company management and flexes these muscles by hosting the "Puppet Meltdown Puppet Slam" and presenting out of town artists in such events as "Oddities: A Collection of Curious Puppetry". 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 (2013-2014), The National Puppetry Festival (2013), Potlatch Puppetry Festival (2009,2011), Port City Puppet Festival (2010), UNIMA Congress (Perth 2008), and the Illinois Story Telling Festival (2009,2010).
She has been published multiple times in the Puppetry Journal and writes a regular column for the publication titled "Time Machine." Her work has been showcased many times in print including being a featured artist in Puppetry International’s issue of “40 under 40.” Currently Kat serves the P of A as a board member, is on both the Archival and Scholarship committees, and is an active member in the Chicago Puppetry Guild. She very much hopes to continue serving the PofA for years to come.
MARY KATE JENKINS
Mary Kate Jenkins is a Chicago area puppet builder, puppeteer and props designer with a BFA in Drama from New York University's Experimental Theatre Wing. She has interned 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 current projects include puppeteering for the children's eco-based television pilot Mr. Furry Fur Fur and His Friendly Earth Friends as well as Sea Beast Puppet Company.