PAst Events

Surprise! Death is Not the End: An Evening of Puppetry, Song, and Celebration

What was it?

It was a birthday party for everybody. THAT MEANT YOU.

It was a funeral for deceased dogs, cowboys, and our innocence. It was a baptism for nostalgia and therapy for isolation, and it was emceed by death itself.

FOUR unforgettable sold out evenings featuring virtuosic performers, tear-jerking melodies, bizarre characters, tap dancing, and indelible images; audiences can expect serenading, birthday cards, ice cream and unexpected surprises.

the event Featured the world premieres of:

The Death and Life of Billy the Kid

Written by Seth Bockley, music by Liz Chidester, directed by Frank Maugeri

Behold, Where Stands the Usurper's Cursed Head

Written by Mickle Maher, directed by Vanessa Stalling and Frank Maugeri

And the triumphant return of:

Laika's Coffin

Written by Seth Bockley, music by Kevin O'Donnell, directed by Frank Maugeri

The Deep Dark, created by Laura Heit

Projected by Evan Barr, with original live music by Angela James and Annie Higgins

Artistic collaborators and performers included:

Liz Chidester, Lindsey Noel Whiting, Nicole Laurenzi, Samuel Taylor, Andrew Yearick, Cynthia Castiglione, Danielle Nicholas, Mike Oleon, Andy Sjostrom, Greg Hardigan, Kasey Foster, Dexter Ellis, and Time Brickey

Puppet and object design by:

Kass Copeland, Andres Lemus-Spont, Mike Coon, Coco Ree Lemery, Tom Robinson, Jesse Mooney-Bullock, Jackie Valdez, Evan Barr and Ellie Terrell

"Our vision for The Actors Gymnasium Winter Circus has always been combining multi-disciplinary arts into the productions. Storytelling through dance, live music, clowning, circus arts, and now, puppets. I have been a huge fan of Frank Maugeri’s work with puppets and pageantry forever. I am thrilled to have had the stars finally align to make it possible for him to bring his special brand of poetry with inanimate objects to our stage."
          -Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi


Design Consult for University of Chicago Gaming Project

2017: The University of Chicago employed CoCE to support the design of the national’s largest interactive alternative reality game and to act as a consultant to professors.

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Parading Hats on the 606

 2017: The 606 hired us to complete their procession image for the annual block party held in June of 2017. Cabinet of Curiosity Events developed 300 individual engineering activities that resulted in unique illuminated parade hats.

“It was so beautiful to see people of all ages joyfully wearing their lighthouse hats. They truly did light up the trail as folks made their way home. Looking forward to working together again.” – Bonnie Tawse, 606 Community Outreach 

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Illumination 2017

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If you missed 2017's Illumination... It was a dream we got to dream in our full and wild wakefulness. Even (and most importantly) in the grand gestures of this vital fundraising event, inspired by Frank Maugeri’s historic Boneshaker party, Cabinet of Curiosity diligently maintained the glory of furious intimacy and unrelenting detail... as we believe, event can and should be a holy encounter. Through the creative direction of CoCE, Illumination 2017 shined brighter than ever.


Walk with Light

In December 2018, CoCE was commissioned to create original intimate installations that spread across the 606’s 3 mile trail. The installations included 7 meditative vignettes, 20 performers, a bubble apparatus, projected images, and many illuminated devices spread across the lengthy terrain. It was a sweet, soft, meditative, and hopeful gesture for thousands of Chicagoans who partook in this public art spectacle.

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ShortsTV, an Oscars pre-party

ShortsTV commissioned David Carlson to gather a collaborative team to design spectacle equipment for a pre Oscar ceremony celebrating the 2018 short films in the Animated, Live Action and Documentary Categories. Cabinet collaboratively created three mobile vehicles for honorees to process upon and adorned the red carpet with our mobile chandeliers.

Mack Sennett Studio, Los Angeles, March 4th, 2018


NAvy Pier's Holi Celebration

Cabinet of Curiosity Events was honored to provide colorful and interactive devices and performances to Navy Pier's inaugural Holi celebration. Over 2500 guests celebrated with CoCE's Incense Helmet Procession, Flower Necklace Delivery, Prayer Offering, and Bubble Parade. CoCE importantly continued its tradition of collaborating with significant cultural institutions like Mandala Arts and the producing team of Navy Pier. The event included other performance guests like DJ Krush, Ishti, and Funkadesi.

“Frank and CoCe is a very professional and detailed oriented group. They added engaging moments for our audience of all ages and helped elevate the overall experience of the event.” — Daniel Crane, Navy Pier Program Coordinator

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Journey for the Sun

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Cabinet is delighted to return to a medium Frank developed across Chicago for over two decades - the art of pageantry. A community, art inspired, collective event inspired by a simple story, fantastic images and unusual objects and an opportunity for emerging artists to perform alongside the city’s finest singers and clowns. Kasey Foster, Yuri Lane, Jean Carlos Claudio, Seth Bockley, Kevin O'Donnell, and Sylvia Hernandez are joined by 15 members of The Actors Gymnasiums Teen Ensemble for a sci-fi circus cartoon romp. 

"Our vision for The Actors Gymnasium Winter Circus has always been combining multi-disciplinary arts into the productions. Storytelling through dance, live music, clowning, circus arts, and now, puppets. I have been a huge fan of Frank Maugeri’s work with puppets and pageantry forever. I am thrilled to have had the stars finally align to make it possible for him to bring his special brand of poetry with inanimate objects to our stage."
          -Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi