He won a 2007 Jeff Award for his puppet creations in Writer’s Theatre’s “The Puppetmaster of Lodz.” In fact his disturbing creatures great and small have taken the stage many places: Piven, Next, Lookingglass.
But Michael Montenegro, 57, doesn’t just work behind the scenes.
“I’ve spent most of my theater career performing solo,” he says. “But there are two separate prongs to my efforts. The solos are usually darkly comic and very flexible. But I also felt an ambition to make larger, more developed works, which is why I started Theatre Zarko ten years ago.”
Zarko’s current production, running through Sunday at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston, is a poetic, often chilling double bill complete with a small crew of puppeteers, live sound effects, and Jude Matthews’s original live music. Montenegro co-adapted and directed “Falling Girl,” and he wrote and directed “Haff, the Man,” which literally divides a soul in two. NOT recommended for children…
Montenegro started his career in puppetry at 7 or 8. Basically, his parents wanted to get their four boys out of their hair.
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