est. July 2009

Lisa Krause's Artwork (2003-Present)

Monday, October 6, 2014

POTATOES OF AUGUST -October 9-26 (Thurs-Sun) 8PM

EMP Collective: 307 West Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD (Between Eutaw and Howard Street)

The latest theatrical masterpiece from EMP Collective RISES THIS OCTOBER.

by Sybil Kempson

Two middle-aged couples are sent into spiraling existential crises when they discover a growing sack of sentient potatoes. These potatoes have brains, have read their Swedenborg, and DON’T. PLAY. FAIR. 

Rapidly growing in number and intellect, the potatoes unravel the couples' carefully curated realities.

Parts kitchen sink drama, musical comedy, intimate biographical portraiture, museum educational presentation, opera, Renaissance fair, science fiction, science fair, and phenomenological debate, Potatoes of August swells and swirls on a vision quest for a different kind of understanding of the world around us.

Directed by Evan Moritz
Featuring Kelvin Pittman, Mattie Rogers Kroiz, Amelia Carroll, Ruben Kroiz, Connor Kizer, Sarah Jacklin, and Vii Lee.

Music Composition || Mike Iverson and David Crandall.
Lyrics || Sybil Kempson
Puppet and Potatoes Design || Lisa Krause and Gina Denton
Props || Katya Villano
Set Design || Emona Stoykova
Costume Design || Stephanie Parks
Lighting Design || Rick Gerriets
Projections Design || Dan Zink

On NPR: "Baltimore’s EMP Collective is getting ready to stage an experimental play by Sybil Kempson, and to call it ‘experimental’ is an understatement. When The Signal’s Aaron Henkin dropped in at a rehearsal, all he knew about the play is that it features a trio of sentient potatoes. After his visit, he understood even less. Here’s Aaron’s attempt at a preview of The Potatoes of August."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Puppet Design for POTATOES OF AUGUST at EMP Collective Oct '14.

Rehearsal Photo

After the closing of "We Are All Strangers Here" I was approached by Carly Bales, Artistic Director of EMP Collective, to be the Puppet Designer for their upcoming production: POTATOES OF AUGUST.

EMP Collective has since won Best Of Baltimore Award for Best Multiuse Space for Arts and Entertainment.  This will be their first show since receiving the award.

EMP COLLECTIVE 307 W. Baltimore St., (410) 244-0785,

Maquette: Potatoes God- Random
Maquette: Potatoes God- Stacked


Drying in the sun
Couch Potatoes

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help out!

Friday, June 27, 2014


From EMP's event write-up:

Our latest gallery show, We're All Strangers Here, opens Friday, June 27th. 

Inner worlds collide into extraterrestrial landscapes as artists create new terrains to be interpreted, reinterpreted, and to get lost in. 

We're All Strangers Here features the installation works of Gina Alexandra Denton, April Camlin, Hoesy Corona, Nikki Painter, Lisa Krause, and Laure Drogoul. 

This show is organized by curator Sara Barnes and EMP Artistic Director, Carly J. Bales. 

EMP Collective  *  307 West Baltimore Street  *   Baltimore, MD 
Opening night: June 27, 7-10PM   Closing Event: Friday, July 25, 7-9PM

"Relics of a Disappearing World"


Eamon and I wheat-pasting during installation

Gina Denton

April Camlin

Laure Drogoul

Hosey Carona

Nikki Painter

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ishi's Brain Puppet Show with Eamon Espey

Photo: Michel Anderson

Ishi’s Brain is a show by Lisa Krause and Eamon Espey that incorporates shadow puppets, a marionette, masks and a liberal use of painted cardboard. It is based on a chapter in Eamon Espey’s new graphic novel, Songs of the Abyss published by Secret Acres. The initial inspiration comes from the true story, but is by no means a historical re-enactment.  Krause and Espey’s performance focuses on a lone spirit in his final days and an alien shaman who helps guide the dead into the next world. Original soundtrack by Stephen Santillian of Baltimore bands Ghost Life and Thank You.

Photo: Michel Anderson

Eamon Espey is a cartoonist based in Baltimore whose books include Wormdye (2008) and Songs of the Abyss (2012). Both were published by Secret Acres.  His work has appeared in art shows in such places as Los Angeles, Istanbul, and New York and in print in Sweden’s Galago Magazine and Washington DC’s Bash Magazine.  

Songs of the Abyss further examines and diagrams all things spiritual and grotesque. Ancient Egyptian gods birth Biblical giants, Santa Claus is an agent of the Devil and a scientist performs sadistic experiments in search of enlightenment. All is rendered in black ink with scalpel like precision. The cover remains true to the hand crafted aesthetic in that it is a stained glass design handmade by the author specifically for the book.

Link to Songs of the Abyss reviewed on IndieReader

Lisa Krause is a trained sculptor and has been an Associate Artist with Black Cherry Puppet Theater since 2009. She has studied traditional marionette carving in the Czech Republic and recently just spent a month living and performing with the anarchist theater group, Bread and Puppet.  Krause facilitates puppetry workshops and has performed with Black Cherry at schools, recreation centers and community festivals across Maryland, Virginia and at the National Theater in Washington D.C.  She has also performed in the streets of Prague and the beautiful hillsides of Vermont.

Photo: Michel Anderson

and Ishi's Brain Performance Dates (Spring 2013):

There was a national tour in April 2013- May 2013 which included 15 bookings and appearances at Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, OH and Stumptown Comic Festival in Portland, OR.  

Future Book Relase/Performance Dates TBA
... Check back for more info!

* * * * * * * * * * *

Past Book Release/Performance Dates:

Baltimore MD
Saturday November 3rd, 2012 * 9p
Windup Space- 12 W North Ave

Saturday January 19th, 2013 * 7pm & 9:30pm
Worlds Collide! Puppet Slamwich! 
Black Cherry Puppet Theater -1115 Hollins St

Brooklyn NY
Friday November 11th, 2012
Tomato House- 301 Saratoga Ave
Joint book release with Dongery's Just Sayin' retrospective (Norway) 
As part of Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

Washington DC
Thursday February 7th, 2013 * 7:30PM
La Casa Community Center -3166 Mt. Pleasant St. NW
w/A Police State Cabaret (mbrs of Bread and Puppet/Flying Donkey)
Presented by Puppet Underground

Pittsburgh PA
Friday April 12, 2013 * 8PM
Puppet Happening to be held at ModernFormations -4919 Penn Ave w/Pittsburgh artists Tom Sarver & Mike Cuccaro doing excerpts from "Aristophanes' Peace" 

Columbus OH
Saturday, Sunday, and Monday April 13-15, 2013
SPACE (Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo)
Book table w/J.T. Dockery and Mark Rudolph!
Performance * 8pm Sat Apr 13 at S.P.A.C.E. Cartoonist Polymaths After Party Pageant w/The Smacks! (J.T. Dockery & Brian Manley) Leela Corman and Maddie Fix 
-Kafe Kerouac  (2250 N High St.)
Workshops on Monday night at Short Stop Youth Center and Ohio Shorts Film Festival at Ohio State University: Shadow Puppets, Block Printing Patches (Non-Silkscreen Method)

Detroit MI
Tuesday April 16, 2013 * 8PM
Trumbullplex -4201 Trumbull St. 
w/shadow puppets by Patrick Eakins (MI) and Jerry Fels and the Jerry Fels

Chicago IL
Wednesday April 17, 2013  * 8:30PM
Roxaboxen Exhibitions -2130 W. 21st. (Pilsen)

Minneapolis MN
Saturday April 20, 2013 * 4PM
Moon Palace Books 2820 E 33rd St

Missoula MT 
Tuesday April 23, 2013 * 7:30PM
Zootown Arts Community Center 235 North 1st St. West

w/Local Theater group Lost Dog Productions presenting a short play entitled "The Musical Stylings of Sigmund und Amalia Freud: Mother und Son"   

Seattle WA
Thursday April 25th, 2013 * 7PM
Richard Hugo House - 1634 11th Ave (Capitol Hill) 
presented by Short Run 
w/Tess Martin, Tim Miller, and Erin Tanner  

Portland OR
Saturday and Sunday April 27th-28th, 2013
Stumptown Comics Festival  Oregon Convention Center- 777 NE Martin Luther King Blvd
Gridlords 12 monthly comics performance/reading series presents:
Ishi's Brain performance Saturday April 27th, 2013 9:30PM

San Francisco CA
Thursday May 2nd, 2013 * 8pm
Alter Space 1158 Howard Street (SOMA District)
w/ Tim Giugni of Il Teatro Calamari, Liz Mayorga, and Charlatan Stories

Los Angeles CA
Saturday May 4th, 2013
The Velaslavasay Panorama 1122 W 24th St.  90007
Brown Paper Ticket link
PERFORMANCE * Saturday 5/4 8pm with Christian Cummings
WORKSHOP * Sunday 5/5 1pm: Shadow Puppet Workshop 
at Avenue 50 Studio 131 N Avenue 50, Highland Park, CA 90042.  

Santa Fe NM
Saturday May 11th, 2013
WORKSHOP 2p: Shadow Puppet Workshop 
at Wise Fool New Mexico -2778 Agua Fria Rd, Ste D
PERFORMANCE 7p: with Flying Wall and Human Beast Box
at Santa Fe Arts Center 314 S. Guadalupe -Santa Fe NM 87501

St Louis MO
Tuesday May 14th, 2013 * 8pm

Bloomington IN
Wednesday May 15th, 2013 * 7pm
Boxcar Books 408 E. 6th St. 

Lexington KY
Thursday May 16th, 2013 * 7pm
Institute 193 193 N Limestone
joint book release: J.T. Dockery's Despair and Eamon Espey

Chicago IL
Saturday May 18th, 2013 * 9pm
at BRAINFRAME performative comix reading series 
The Orphanage - 643 W 31st St, Chicago IL 2nd Floor

Songs of the Abyss Tour Posters and Flyers!

S.P.A.C.E. Afterparty (Columbus OH) flyer by J.T. Dockery

Short Run (Seattle WA) poster by Eroyn Franklin/Kelly Froh

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Alter Space (San Francisco)

The Velaslavasay Panorama (Los Angeles)
BRAINFRAME 12 (Chicago)

Portland- Stumptown Comic Fest and Gridlords: SONGS OF THE ABYSS tour

We arrived at the Hollywood Theater on Friday afternoon to unload our show for Saturday’s Gridlords 12 performance.  The Hollywood is an impressive old art-deco theater from the early 1900s.  

We got there a little early and saw the show listed on the marquee, as well as our photo on the upcoming events poster.   

After meeting some of the theater’s staff, we were shown around.  The room where we would perform seats around 300 people, and has a stage and large screen for film/projection.  We were led through a dressing room area past the mirrors and makeup lights to the back stage area.  The room had ancient wooden floors and old cinema equipment with the large letters for the marquee stacked in neat piles on tables.  We picked a safe space to store all of our stuff and headed out to start unloading the car.

During that time, we met Sean Christiansen- the organizer of Gridlords, Emily Nielson who would co-M.C., and several of the other artists who would be performing with us.  

Sean and Emily during Gridlords 12.
Sean had been amazing the whole time preparing for the show.  He arranged for interviews and did amazing publicity for the show.  As more people arrived for tech meetings, we all got more excited.  Having an event at a venue this large was a first for both Gridlords and us- and it was looking to be a really great show.  I really admired Sean’s excitement and ability to organize such a huge ongoing event series for Portland’s comics community. 

We unloaded into the theater and spread our things across the stage.  We began building our puppet stage so that we could spike the projection screen to make setting up for  Saturday’s show as easy as possible.  We were one of 4 acts performing, but the show also included projections and live music. Lots to stage manage!

We chose to go first because of our setup/breakdown time and stored our things before going to check in at Stumptown Comic Fest.  I grabbed the poor broken Ishi marionette and we headed over to Oregon Convention Center in our much lighter car.

busted marionette.
After checking in, Eamon returned to the car with our badges- remarking about how huge the place is.  This was our first time on the west coast for a comic convention, and we were excited to be there in support of Eamon’s new book, our tour, and Secret Acres.  Next to fix the puppet.  We then headed to the hardware store near Scott Harrison’s house, where we would be staying for the weekend.  Scott Harrison is a renowned tattoo artist, painter, and raconteur.

I was excited to meet Scott, because Eamon has talked about him so highly over the years.  He had been an influential teacher for Eamon when he was in school, but their relationship flourished over the years as penpals.  Sharing work and ideas through writing, they’ve discussed everything from technique to personal politics to health issues and the joy and pain of following your artistic goals.  Scott swung open the door and gave Eamon shit immediately, in the manner of one of my favorite type of Chicago smartass friends.  He then got me to work immediately fixing my marionette in his impressive basement woodworking studio.  In a short while we headed out to get some drinks while the glue dried.

It was a nice evening meeting Scott and his wife Jennifer.  They were very warm and welcoming, and we were able to really relax with them.  During our stay we got to see some of Scott's most recent paintings, as well as some older work. 

so good it hurts

Scott Harrison

Saturday morning we left for the convention.  We’d heard that “Stumptown ain’t what it used to be” but we were still looking forward to the convention.  I always find the comic fests to be pretty fun, because there are always really excited people there and lots of interesting things that people make.  They can be exhausting, but its fun for me because I get to talk about the great work by all the artists Secret Acres publishes and explain the things I like about each of the books. I imagine its harder if you actually are one of those artists representing yourself.  Its also great to see old friends from across the country. 

Eamon and I at Stumptown.
The fest had a really positive atmosphere. While there were a few weird costumes of mainstream superheroes or steampunks, they kinda kept us from getting bored because it was unusual to see people in costume at any comic show I’ve ever been to.  Plus they kept acting weird so it was pretty funny.

Steampunks IRL- featuring awesome home-made costumes.

I had a lot of fun and Eamon sold many books and a ton of T-shirts.   We promoted the Gridlords show while talking to people about our wares and many people were excited about coming to the event.

The show that night was insane.  Nearly 200 people came to watch.  We went first.  By the time we’d gotten to Portland, we had performed the show 10 times and felt totally ready.  It was very exciting to do our show in such a professional venue.  It was also very meaningful because while many people there were friends others were also comic artists familiar with Eamon’s work that may not have known what to expect when hearing that he’d co-created a puppet show.

Before we started, I noticed Scott sitting front and center as well as a few other friends. 
I was excited to perform with Chelsea Kamm, a friend from last year’s Bread and Puppet internship.  I had invited her to join the show, and couldn’t wait to see her shadow puppetry with Many Fur Puppet Troupe. 

Photo by Kinoko

Photo by Kinoko

Many Fur Puppet Troupe


Highlights of the show included seeing Chelsea’s beautiful shadow puppetry live, Lori D’s animation and Wally C & Alex Chiu’s incredible Marsuplala!

At the convention on Sunday, many people came to our table remarking about how much they loved our show.  It meant so much to me.  We have a lot of respect for the independent comics community in Portland- especially those closest to Dylan Williams.  I’m happy that they enjoyed our performance.

Here's what Scott Harrison had to say about our show on Instagram.

Sheep on the way to Eugene.
After the convention we headed to Eugene to stay with Chelsea.  We had a fun night talking with her, and said goodbye in the morning as she headed to teach her German students. 

We went to breakfast at a hippie place in town. As we were paying for parking, a serious burnout was leaning over a newspaper box near the train station.  He was intently staring at his ticket.  Without looking up he said  “…Hey. hey dude.  …What does this mean: ‘RETAIN during trip’…does that mean they’re going to be watching me?”   Wow.  It was like he was hired to fulfill the stereotype of Eugene.

Everything in Eugene seemed to move at that pace, and as we drove we felt we were on a spiral of some sort, until we found the Jiffylube where we obtained the fastest most non-bullshit customer service of our lives.  The people that worked there were seriously running from car to car- shouting information and recording things as if it was an Emergency Room.  I couldn’t believe how they worked.  It was as if the entire life force of city’s population was demonstrated by the 5 people working there.

We headed out of town for a strange trip down the California coast, made stranger by a slowly developing head cold that Eamon first attributed to the strangeness of Eugene, and later Eureka.

Next up: Northern California into San Francisco and Los Angeles to Joshua Tree.
Including shows: Alter Space in San Francisco Thursday May 2nd and The Velaslavasay Panorama in Los Angeles Saturday May 4th