ARTICHOKE HEART creates original visually and theatrically provocative puppetry works. We are interested in what base emotions, drives, thoughts exist within us all – what connects us to one another at our core. We strive to be accessible by storytelling without spoken language; we favour the language of visuals combined with physicality, using movement and emotion to guide the story and audience. We are creating opportunities for ourselves and other emerging artists with similar interests, with the intention of furthering the art form and pushing the boundaries of what is commonly presumed from the word “puppetry.”
Tijiki Morris is a queer theatre artist who was raised in Pakistan and came to Canada after secondary school. She graduated from Humber College’s Theatre Performance program. Tijiki was the assistant director for Caucasian Chalk Circle (Humber College/ dir. Maja Ardal), director for Cirqular (Artichoke Heart/ Toronto Fringe and Best of Fringe 2014), We Walk Among You (Artichoke Heart / Montreal Fringe Festival), Elusive (Artichoke Heart/ Artscape), Hope Blitz (Theatre Passe Muraille: Beyond the Walls) and puppetry coach for Macbeth (Shakespeare in High Park/ Canstage). Performance credits include Have You Lost Something (Des Colores Festival/ Alameda Theatre Company), Kitchen Party Nervous Breakdown (Cabaret Company), Seeded (Potluck Festival/ fu-GEN Theatre), and Autogeddon (Pandemic Theatre). She has built puppets and shadow puppets for Pandemic Theatre, Humber Theatre, Suitcase Theatre and Banjo Puppets. As Co-Artistic Director of Artichoke Heart she is an artist in residence at Mermaid Theatre and was part of the Cahoots Theatre’s Playwrights’ Hot House 2012/2013. She is currently an assistant teacher of puppetry at Humber College and is the TD Administrative Intern at fu-GEN Theatre Company.
Michelle Urbano: co-founder and co-artistic director of Artichoke Heart Collective. She is a producer, puppeteer, puppet builder and actor. She is currently the publicist/media contact for the Puppet Allsorts performance series. Recent performing credits include You Can Sleep When You’re Dead (Theatre Lab), shadow puppeteer for Pierrot and the Moon at the Puppets Up! Festival in Almonte (Metaphysical Theatre, David Langlois). In 2012, she was a member of the Hope Blitz team (creating and performing in both shadow puppetry and clown shows), an installment of Theatre Passe Muraille’s Theatre Beyond Walls initiative. She has built puppets for Suitcase Theatre’s children’s musicals, Pandemic Theatre’s Tjorvi the Flaccid, completed an internship with Banjo Puppets and attended the New England Puppetry Intensive hosted by the Old Trout Puppet Workshop; where she was hired to remain an extra few days to build several masks for a dance show performed at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Past theatre credits include Autogeddon (Pandemic Theatre/Steven Bush, Fiona Griffiths), The Pageant (fu-GEN/Nina Lee Aquino), Year 25 Vigil (Humber Theatre/Raymond Bobgan, Karin Randoja) and wasted on the young (Humber Theatre/Nina Lee Aquino) for which she not only acted but also composed and performed the musical score. She is a recent graduate from the Humber College Theatre Performance program and holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University, where she won the McMaster School of the Arts’ Best Female Actor award in 2007.
Also check out our Artichoke’s Company History Here.