Ashland Center for Theatre Studies
Theatre Teacher Training Faculty
Called "one of the most original and talented political satirists
working in the theater" by the New York Times, performance artist and
puppeteer Paul Zaloom has written, designed and performed twelve solo
spectacles, including Fruit of Zaloom, Velvetville, and his latest spectacle, The Mother of All Enemies.
His highly idiosyncratic work utilizes techniques such as overhead projection, government document expose, "picture performance", and hand, rod, shadow, found object, and dummy puppets. The many places he has performed include the Kennedy Center; Lincoln Center; Walker Arts Center; Spoleto Festival USA; UCLA Performing Arts Series; American Repertory Theater; L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art; King Tut's Wah-Wah Hut;as well as nine international tours including Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Scotland; Les Semaines de la Marionette, Paris; the UNIMA World Congress, Dresden; and Vienna Festival.
Paul is the recipient of an OBIE, a BESSIE, an American Theater Wing design award, an L.A. Weekly Theater Award, four National Endowment for the Arts grants, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Since 1992, Paul has appeared on the Emmy winning TV show Beakman's World as Beakman, the wacky scientist who answers viewers' questions about science, nature, and the world around us. He also tours the stage show, Beakman Live!
Zaloom co-wrote and narrated an official selection at the 2003 Slamdance Film Fest, In Smog and Thunder, a humorous mockumentary about a fictional war between L.A. and San Francisco, based on paintings by Sandow Birk. A second collaboration with Birk and director Sean Meredith also premiered at Slamdance in 2007: the film is a high def, toy theater, feature length puppet version of Dante's Inferno, which stars Dermot Mulroney and James Cromwell, and is currently touring film fests all over North America.
"The wit and wacky whimsy of Zaloom's found-object puppetry sustains one's faith in the power of human imagination and childlike wonder." Village Voice
Photo by Howard Wise