An aging, isolated chimpanzee pieces together the fragments of her childhood in a human family. Bleak reality bleeds to vivid memory in this non-verbal puppet play, based on true events.
See it if you’d like to see a lowkey consideration of the care non-human primates deserve, with a remarkable puppet at its core.
Don't see it if you need a living, breathing human being to be the center of the theater you attend.
See it if Ascribing personification to-scale puppetry creates a world of wonderment in its deep soundscape. Attentive care to cost of a life un-lived.
Don't see it if Dialogue-free as the art itself speaks breathtaking volumes.
"The chimp is a puppet, manipulated by three puppeteers. 'Chimpanzee' shows the power of puppetry to elicit emotion for a story that would surely be less effective told in any other way...Kent’s lighting design and Marvin’s sound design are central elements in the telling of the story, but it is the expressiveness of the puppet’s head and limbs that tug at us most exquisitely...If the chimp’s circumstances are not always precisely clear, that just adds to our empathy for this creature."
"The titular simian is bursting with animation, charm, and even a bit of cheekiness. Magnificently crafted and expertly manipulated by three puppeteers, this adorable ape will make a believer out of anyone who might have thought puppetry was just kid stuff…The puppet's face doesn't move, so why does it feel as though she has physically transformed? This is the marvel of puppetry done well…The puppeteers infused her with such sadness and rage, I could hear the audience's stifled breathing."
"For those who are familiar with or new to HERE’s Dream Music Puppetry program, 'Chimpanzee' personifies what they do best: use the inanimate to create reality. 'Chimpanzee'’s story is told in little over an hour with Lehane’s lifelike puppet...The puppeteers curve their hands and body language inferring ugly machines measuring brain patterns. Memories, too, are prodded of the human home she was raised in."