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Welcome, Shoppers!

Welcome to The Plastic Bag Store in Ann Arbor. Use this page to explore behind-the-scenes work with Robin Frohardt, browse program notes, and discover more resources about the effects of single-use plastics.

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Ann Arbor’s grand opening is making headlines! Enjoy a video playlist of clips from the University of Michigan, The Associated Press, USA Today, and more:

From the Artist

STORY

Dear Most Valued Customers…

Read a message from Robin Frohardt, the artist and creative mind behind The Plastic Bag Store.

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STORY

Robin Frohardt: The Magic of the Mundane

The Plastic Bag Store creator Robin Frohardt joins U-M’s Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series.

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STORY

Growing a Long-Lasting Tomato 🍅

Robin Frohardt shares how a tomato is made for The Plastic Bag Store.

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Show Notes

The Plastic Bag Store is co-presented by UMS, UMMA, and the Graham Sustainability Institute, in partnership with the U-M Arts Initiative.

Conceived, fabricated, written, & directed by Robin Frohardt.

Flip through the program guide above or download it as a pdf.

Creative Team
Creator, writer, and director / Robin Frohardt
Collaborators / Nick Lehane, Admiral Grey, Rowan Magee, Andy Manjuck, Tyler Gunther, and Emma Wiseman
Music / Freddi Price
Sound Design / Chad Raines
Producers / Linda Brumbach, Robin Frohardt, and Alisa E. Regas
Production Management / Pomegranate Arts
Technical director / Jeremy Lydic
General manager / Rachel Katwan
Director of photography, filmed elements / Robert Kolodny
Producer, filmed elements / Caitlin Mae Burke
Sound design and mix, filmed elements / Lawrence Everson
Sound engineer / Chad Raines
Originating puppetry lighting designer / Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew
Production assistant / Tyler Gunther
Scenic Construction / Silovsky Studios, Lydic! Design and Production
Props construction support / Admiral Grey, Tyler Gunther
Illustrations, graphics, and costume design support / Tyler Gunther
Production manager / Nate Lemoine
Company manager / Michelle Yard

The Plastic Bag Store was commissioned by Times Square Arts with generous support provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the National Endowment for the Arts; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional commissioning support has been provided by Carolina Performing Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was developed with support from: MANA Contemporary, The Made in NY Women’s Film, TV & Theatre Fund by the City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment in association with The New York Foundation for the Arts; Olson Kundig; The Jim Henson Foundation; and is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). The Plastic Bag Store is a project of Creative Capital. The Plastic Bag Store film segments were commissioned by UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance with additional support by the Adelaide Festival. Co-Produced by Robin Frohardt and Pomegranate Arts. The Plastic Bag Store gives special thanks to Paul Lazar and Morgan Jenness for dramaturgical and directorial consultation.

Artist Bios
Robin Frohardt (creator, writer, and director) is an award-winning theater and film director. Her narrative-based film, puppetry, and sculpture use recognizable materials, often trash, to create richly detailed worlds that make magic of the mundane and highlight the trivialities of daily life. Her theatrical work has earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Creative Capital Award, and multiple Jim Henson Foundation Grants. Her play The Pigeoning, hailed by the New York Times as “a tender, fantastical symphony of the imagination,” debuted in 2013 and continues to tour at home and abroad. Her follow-up project The Plastic Bag Store premiered in Times Square in 2020 and has since toured to Los Angeles, Chicago, Adelaide, and Austin. Her films have been official selections at The Telluride Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, The One Earth Film Festival, and BAM.

Freddi Price (composer) is a multi-disciplinary performing and recording artist, musician, multi-instrumentalist, band leader, composer, actor, and voiceover artist. Over the years he has collaborated, composed, and performed with bands, artists, and stage productions on both US coasts in addition to touring in the US and Europe with his talents and music having been featured by the likes of David Byrne, Eric Burdon, Ann Magnuson, among many others on stage and on recordings. His compositions, performances, and voice have accompanied theater productions in San Francisco and New York. For his original music for Robin Frohardt’s previous NYC puppet theater piece, The Pigeoning, he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play. Besides providing music for theater and some commercial work, Price also performs on many instruments and voice in a variety of forms and genres, from solo to large groups, blues to rock and soul, brass band, and cabaret.

Chad Raines (sound design) is a sound designer and composer from Dallas, TX. For theater he has collaborated with Rachel Chavkin, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Robert Woodru, and many others. As a performer he has shared the stage with David Byrne, Amanda Palmer, White Denim, Weasel Walter, Ra Ra Riot, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, and many others. At the moment he performs with the bands Holy Hell and The Simple Pleasure.

Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (originating puppetry lighting designer) is a designer for theater, opera, dance, music performances, and installation. Her designs have been seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Rose Theater Jazz at Lincoln Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), HERE Arts Center, St. Ann’s Warehouse, La Mama ETC, The Kitchen, ArtsEmerson, Manhattan School of Music, Joyce SOHO, Bard Music Festival, REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, and internationally at Havana; Prague; Lima; Edinburgh; Tokyo; Graz, Austria; and Bloemfontein, South Africa. Jeanette received the Bel Geddes design enhancement award for her lighting and projection design for Ludic Proxy. She was the recipient of the 2009-2011 NEA/TCG Career Development Program and was the 2006 Gilbert Hemsley Jr. lighting intern. Jeanette currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and advises at Barnard College.

Caitlin Mae Burke (producer for filmed segments) is an Emmy-winning producer. An inaugural inductee into DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 and alumna of Berlinale Talents, Caitlin’s award-winning films have received accolades at top-tier festivals including Sundance, Berlinale, and Tribeca Film Festival and have been broadcast across the US and around the world. Her work has screened at MoMa, The Museum of the Moving Image, and in movie theaters internationally. Caitlins non-film projects include producing the Webby- nominated podcast OTHER MEN NEED HELP. She is the supervising producer at IF/Then Shorts, a fund and mentorship program for short documentaries via Field of Vision.

Robert Kolodny (director of photography for filmed segments) is an Emmy-award winning director and cinematographer. He has contributed cinematography to film works by David Byrne, The Safdie Brothers, Laura Poitras, and Robert Greene; for projects that have screened at the Sundance Film Festival and the Criterion Channel. Robert has created and publicly displayed site-specific video installations that have been shown on exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Fine Art Boston, and the Lehmann Maupin Gallery. His short film Fly on Out was screened at the Court Métrage at the Festival de Cannes. He garnered a Vimeo Sta Pick for his short Allo Allo.

Admiral Grey (performer, props) is a multidisciplinary artist who has presented original and collaborative theatrical works as a performer, writer, deviser, director, composer, designer, and puppeteer at LaMama, University Settlement, The New Ohio, SoHo Rep, HERE, Rubulad, Dixon Place, Irving Plaza, Judson Memorial Church, and many others. She has created modern theatrical performances with The Nerve Tank, The Drunkar’s Wife, Psychic Readings, Sister Sylvester, and Snake In The Boot Collective, as well as solo performative work. As a vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist she has toured with her bands nationally and internationally, as well as performed at NYC venues Saint Vitus, The Bowery Electric, Trans Pecos, Death By Audio, Northsix, Glasslands Gallery, Rockwood Music Hall, Silent Barn, and Baby’s All Right. Currently she is a puppet lab artist debuting new work at St. Ann’s Warehouse this June and is vocalist and bassist for the new band Holy Hell.

Tyler Gunther (performer, props, design and production assistant), originally from Arkansas, moved to New York after attending grad school for costume design at the University of Maryland. He has designed costumes for theater, opera, and dance and has assisted designers at The Santa Fe Opera and Liceau Opera in Barcelona. Tyler has also worked as a studio assistant for artists Robin Frohardt and Duke Riley. When not building medieval pageant wagons he also freelances as an illustrator.

Nick Lehane (performer in film segments) Select puppeteer credits: Robin Frohardt’s The Pigeoning (HERE); Petrushka (Giants Are Small, NY Philharmonic, Barbican Centre); Islamic Solidarity Games Opening Ceremonies (Baku, Azerbaijan); Doug Fitch’s El Retablo de Maese Pedro (American Symphony Orchestra, Bard SummerScape); Little Red Fish (NYC Children’s Theater/Puppet Kitchen); Pip’s Island; James Ortiz’s The Little Mermaid; “Lore” (Amazon). Select puppet design: PigPen Theatre Co.'s The Tale of Desperereaux (Old Globe, Berkley Rep) and The Phantom Folktales (Virgin Atlantic); Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn’s Hood (Asolo Rep, dir. Mark Brokaw). Select acting: This Is Our Youth (Broadway); The Old Man and the Old Moon (PigPen); Fidelis (The Public); The Electric Baby (Two River); Set in the Living Room... (TRE). Lehane’s puppet play Chimpanzee premiered at HERE Arts Center through the Dream Music Puppetry Program and has toured to the World Puppet Theater Festival (Charleville-Mézières), Casteliers (Montreal), and the London International Mime Festival at The Barbican Centre.

Rowan Magee (performer in film segments) is a puppeteer from Troy, NY and a curator for the Object Movement Festival, a winter residency and spring showcase of experimental puppet artists in NYC. He has puppeteered on international tours with Phantom Limb Company, Robin Frohardt, Nick Lehane, and Dan Hurlin, and in New York City for American Opera Projects, Trusty Sidekick, Chris Green, Spencer Lott, and the National Theater in the 2018 Tony Award winning Broadway revival of Angels in America. This summer Rowan performed the reference puppet for the titular character in the upcoming feature Clifford the Big Red Dog, in theaters fall 2020. He has designed puppets for The Dalton School, St Mark’s School, and Lincoln Center Education, received a Jim Henson Foundation Grant for his marionette show No 1 Chinese, and teaches for CO/LAB, Marquis Studios, and Story Pirates.

Andy Manjuck (performer in film segments) is a Brooklyn-based puppeteer, director, and voiceover artist. Recent work: Puppetry: Chimpanzee (Nick Lehane); The Pigeoning (Robin Frohardt); Made in China; Baby Universe; Saga (Wakka Wakka); UAE 48th National Day (Betty Productions); Petrushka (NY Philharmonic Orchestra, Giants Are Small), VO: Adam Ruins Everything (TruTV); Unavowed (Wadjet Eye Games); Whispers of a Machine (Clitop Games); MooseTube (GoNoodle). Andy is the co-artistic director of the theater company Eat Drink Tell Your Friends whose show, Lectures, recently had a residency at the Jim Henson Carriage House. He is also a company member of the award-winning Wakka Wakka. His new puppet play, Bill’s 44th, a recipient of a Henson Foundation Production Grant, is currently in development. It is part of Puppet Lab at St. Ann’s Warehouse this June, and will be performed at the New York State Puppetry Festival before premiering at Dixon Place this October. Further information may be found at andymanjuck.com

Emma Wiseman (performer in film segments) is a multidisciplinary theatermaker with a particular interest in puppets and objects. She has been a resident artist with Mabou Mines and the Puppet Lab at St. Ann’s Warehouse, and her original and collaborative works of performance have been seen at venues including St. Ann’s Warehouse, Dixon Place, the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Abrons Arts Center, CATCH performance series, and the INSITU Dance Festival. As a performer, Emma has worked with David Neumann, Jeanette Yew, Megan Murtha, Dan Hurlin, and dance/music collective The Space We Make. Emma has toured internationally with Robin Frohardt’s The Pigeoning and Nick Lehane’s Chimpanzee. She served as lead puppeteer for the Emmy-nominated “Animated Life”, a New York Times Op-Doc series created by Sweet Fern Productions, and has worked on puppet videos for the World Wildlife Fund, singer-songwriter Nellen Dryden, and the band Mipso. Further information may be found at Emmawiseman.me

Pomegranate Arts (executive producer, production management) For the past twenty-three years, Pomegranate Arts has worked in close collaboration with a small group of contemporary artists and arts institutions to bring bold and ambitious artistic ideas to fruition. Founder and director Linda Brumbach, along with managing director, Alisa E. Regas produced the Olivier Award-winning revival of Einstein on the Beach, the multi award-winning production of Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, and the North American tour of Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch’s Shockheaded Peter featuring The Tiger Lillies. Since its inception, Pomegranate Arts has produced over 30 major new performing arts productions and tours for Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Lucinda Childs, Dan Zanes, London’s Improbable, Sankai Juku, Batsheva, and Bassem Youssef and collaborated on new productions with the Kronos Quartet, Leonard Cohen, Robert Wilson, and Frank Gehry. Pomegranate Arts hopes to continue to build a community of institutions and individuals that are inspired by the artists who help bring beauty and truth into the world, ask important questions, and take bold risks. For more information please visit pomegranatearts.com

Nathan Lemoine’s (production manager) eclectic background has given him the opportunity to work with numerous independent and commercial artists, theaters and dance companies across the country and internationally. Some of those companies, artists and venues include Baryshnikov Productions, Lviv Theater Voskresinnia, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Big Dance Theater, Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, Frank Ocean, Christine Jones, Mimi Lien, Bergdorf Goodman, Jeff Becker and ArtSpot Productions, Rebecca Mwase, Tina Satter and Half Straddle, Every House Has A Door, and Susan Marshall, among many others. Before moving to New Orleans, LA in 2016 he was the technical director at Paper Mache Monkey Art and Design Studio in New York. While there he was a lead project manager working with a variety of renowned clients from the worlds of dance, fashion, theater, music, and visual arts. Nathan is currently creating a new, NOLA based design and fabrication startup called SuperGay Design Workshop.

Brooklyn native Michelle Yard (company manager) stands firmly on her Caribbean foundation. Ms. Yard is a performing artist and an arts administrator, happily navigating between the two at any given time. Yard was a member of the world-renowned Mark Morris Dance Group, where she enjoyed an illustrious twenty-year career performing critically acclaimed dance works. After leaving the company, she attended CUNY/Baruch College and received an M.A. in Arts Administration. She continues to dance professionally, performing with both Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group and Vanessa Walters. Yard, serves as company manager for Pomegranate Arts projects, The Plastic Bag Store and Glass Etudes, and The Blanket’s production of Lucinda Childs' DANCE.

 

Related Events

The Plastic Bag Store Family Art-Making Activity
Family Friendly
Free
Installation
No Safety Net
Public Workshop

FREE EVENTS

The Plastic Bag Store
Family Art Making Activity

Saturday, January 21 - Saturday, January 28

Families are invited to visit The Plastic Bag Store and participate in a guided hands-on workshop.

Talking Trash: an Interactive Discussion Inspired by The Plastic Bag Store
Free
In Person or Digital
No Safety Net
Talks & Discussions

Turn inspiration into impact with insights from researchers, scientists, artists, and activists tackling the question: What can we do about single-use plastics?

Resources

Use the following Padlet links to discover organizations addressing issues of single-use plastics in our communities, plus ways to get involved at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, and across the state.

Plastics, Policy, and Changemakers in Your Community

K-12 Student Resources

Ways for Kids to Get Involved

 

Beyond the Safety Net


Beyond the Safety Net, a zine created by The A.W.E. Society and inspired by No Safety Net 3.0, offers prompts for experiencing the world in new ways. Reflect upon experiences, griefs, and desires, making new realities nested within our lives – even if just for a moment.

 

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Title Sponsors

Rachel Bendit and Mark Bernstein

Office of the President Arts Initiative

Presenting Sponsors

UMMA logo

Principal Sponsors

Max Wicha and Sheila Crowley

An anonymous gift supporting programming in climate change and a sustainable environment

Destination Ann Arbor

UMCU Arts Adventures

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Oxford Companies

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