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Handspring Puppet

Ubu and the Truth Commission

May 1–3, 2015


Conceived and Directed by William Kentridge
Written by Jane Taylor
Puppets by Adrian Kohler

Co-commissioned by Cal Performances for the show's timely remount, this landmark work "casts a surreal light on the heart of darkness-and still manages to leave you with hope" (Washington Post). Collaborating with artist William Kentridge, South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company (creators of the puppetry for Broadway's War Horse) combines animation, live actors, music, and puppets. The play examines the apartheid regime through the findings of the Truth Commission, exploring justice and reconciliation in a deeply immersive work.

Please note: contains mature subject matter

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Handspring Puppet Company/
Cal Performances Residency

April and May, 2015
Handspring Puppet Company is in residence at Cal Performances April 22–May 3, 2015. Members of the company, including Executive Producer Basil Jones, Janni Younge, Lead Artist on Ubu and the Truth Commission, and playwright Jane Taylor, will participate in a series of public and campus activities.

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Major support for public programs provided by Bank of America.

Mon, Apr 13, 6 pm
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall
Please join us for the Townsend Center's Una's Lecture with South African playwright and cultural critic Jane Taylor. Drawing on texts ranging from the early modern period to the present, Jane Taylor's lecture, Balancing Acts: Truths, Boasts, and Videotape, will consider the arts of memory and the will to reconciliation in recent history.

Una's Lecturer Jane Taylor is the Wole Soyinka Chair of Drama and Theatre Studies at Leeds University. A South African who has both creative and scholarly interest in puppetry, she is the author of the play Ubu and the Truth Commission. She is in residence at the Townsend Center until early May and will be featured with Handspring Puppet Company in the upcoming Impossible Machines: Puppets, Politics & Truth Commissions symposium.

Donor Event: Behind the Scenes with the Handspring Puppet Company
Sat, May 2, 2015
Zellerbach Hall
(Donors of $750+)

South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company (creators of the puppetry for Broadway's War Horse) comes to Cal Performances for the 20th anniversary remount of their landmark production Ubu and the Truth Commission. Go behind the scenes with us to learn about how the Handspring Puppet Company brings to life their work with animation, live actors, music, and puppets.

Membership benefits like these are our way of thanking our supporters for their much needed contributions. To find out how you can become a Donor, please call 510.643.8783 or visit our Support section.

Program Notes

Program notes are available online. [PDF]

Purchase Tickets

Fri, May 1, 8 pm
Sat, May 2, 8 pm
Sun, May 3, 3 pm
Added Performance!
Sun, May 3, 8 pm