Joe Mazza's

The Hyperbolist

Tickets: $15/$5 for students, seniors, and artists
Click here to buy tickets to The Hyperbolist via

Thurs, February 24 11:00pm
Sat, February 26 5:00pm
Sun, February 27 2:00pm
Wed, March 2 9:30pm
Fri, March 4 6:30pm
Sun, March 6 5:00pm


The Hyperbolist is a grandiloquent farce of tiny proportion.  In what the Chicago Tribune called, “an archly conceived puppet show,” Joe Mazza uses a gaggle of grotesque puppets, film, and interactive live performance to probe our definition of love.  The show is Shakespeare meets Dr. Seuss; Leo Buscaglia meets David Lynch-- the Brothers Quay-- only live. 


Joe Mazza (Writer/Performer/Puppeteer) Over the past 25 years Joe Mazza's work has been performed in venues from tavern-vaults and art galleries to nationally syndicated radio. He likes to create all the elements of his shows-- hopping from playwright, to puppet-creator and set-builder, to film-maker and live performer. The Hyperbolist (“One of the most inventive productions at this year's Fringe.” —Jon Sobel, was part of FringeNYC 2010 at HERE, Dorothy B. Williams Theatre-- and was extended at The Red Room. Joe's puppet films have been seen in a tiny toy movie-house, Eyeball Disport, as part of the 2010 Great Small Works Temporary Toy Theater Museum at St. Ann's Warehouse, NY, and in the Heartland Exhibition at the Smart Museum, University of Chicago, last winter. In 2009, he created and performed the interactive lobby installation at the Steppenwolf Garage for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s (Jeff Nominated) production of The Walls, which included his puppets and choreography. Later that summer he curated the show In Absurdum, with his own selected works and invited guests at the Building Stage, Chicago. XXX, his first solo-show with puppets (1999) which Bay Windows called, “a bizarrely entertaining and provocative must-see” was performed at the Boston Center for the Arts and again at The Theatre Coop (Boston) in 2000. His work with Boston's Catbox Cabaret-- where he wrote and performed experimental works on a weekly basis-- was called “intelligent lunacy...from the wildly hilarious to the deadly serious” by the Boston Globe. His two-act satire, Art and Her Ugly Sisters, is a 2008 Eugene O'Neill semi-finalist.


Susan Ask (producer/director), the other half of the bang-bang-fou! creative team for the past 4 years, has a diverse background that spans from the sciences to the arts. Susan has co-directed and produced Joe's solo-pieces, the tiny O of long, Man and Variations, In Absurdum, and now The Hyperbolist. She uses a combination of complex algorithms and deductive reasoning to help steer the bow of bangbangfou! into the creative future. Outside of theatre, she is an ecologist and educator working on urban wildlife and conservation projects.


Dan Kerr-Hobert (director) A former fellow of the Folger Shakespeare Library and an alum of The Theatre School at DePaul University, Dan passes his time in the Chicago theatre as a company member of Blair Thomas and Company, Artistic Director of Sans-culottes Theater, and a regular collaborator with the Chicago Neofuturists. As a director, deviser, performer, and puppet designer, his work has been seen at the MCA, The Garage at Steppenwolf, The Pritzker Pavillion, The Smart Museum of Art, The Storefront Theatre, Dad's Garage in Atlanta, the Neofuturarium, The Puppet Gumbo South Eastern Puppetry Festival, and more. He is a Resident Artist at Children's Memorial Hospital through the Snow City Arts Foundation and works as an arts educator through CAPE and the Theatre School at DePaul University.

"Like a well-made cocktail, a skillful blend of various potent elements, this entertainment will slide down easily, refreshingly, but upon digestion, can deliver one hell of a kick. Frankly, amazing."

"Susan Ask and Dan Kerr-Hobert are also to be commended for directing Joe through such a wide range of material and emotions."

"Mazza delightfully questions the present pop-culture assertion about that beguiling and bewildering, definition-less emotion, offering his own bizarre but captivating take that's certainly worth a gander."