Abuela is an interactive performance that brings Abuela, a life-sized puppet, to KC Streetcar.  She is an elderly, indigenous grandmother from the Andes mountains who doesn’t speak but communicates with her eyes, her expressions, and her body language.  She holds an antique radio that plays her favorite songs in Quechua, her native language. Part foam and latex, and part genuine emotion, Abuela is on a Kansas City adventure and excited to meet new friends.  Pedestrians and riders on the streetcar become complicit in her world, as Abuela seeks honest interactions like helping her on and off the streetcar, across the street, or perhaps even a dance partner for an Andean jig!

How will people react to this (a)lively Andean grandmother?  Will they participate in her Make/Believe reality? What kind of respect will be shown (or not) to an indigenous, elderly woman in this shared public space?  How will they communicate with her? Abuela is an artistic performance and social experiment at the same time.

This improvised performance is a collaboration by Karen Lisondra as the puppeteer, Warren Ludwig, puppet maker (ludstuff.blogspot.com), with live music accompaniment by Amado Espinoza (www.amadoespinoza.com).


KC Streetcar leaving Union Station, June 28
11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.


Karen Lisondra is a multifaceted performer/director/educator who spent over a decade doing devised theatrical work in South America, touring the globe with two prestigious theatre companies, Fuerza Bruta and Teatro de Los Andes. She co-founded Resonation Music and Arts with her husband, Amado Espinoza, to inspire curiosity and respect for world cultures, stimulate creativity, and promote a sense of togetherness through music and art in the classroom and beyond.