About Us

Over a cup of coffee and a book of poetry by Tim Burton, Paper Doll Militia was born. The child of four artists in Santa Fe,

Paper Doll Militia has roots in circus, original music, puppetry, and dreamy, whimsical, dark storytelling. Read The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and think of us in a cafe in the desert dreaming of circus with a story. That’s who we were, that’s who we are.

Mission

The Paper Doll Militia purpose is to enrich the cultural life of the community through dynamic movement, storytelling and education. We seek to create a total visual and emotional experience. In the creation process, we emphasize interdisciplinary collaborations within the larger artistic community, Our educational programs focus on aerial skill building and theatricality and are designed to instill a sense of discipline. creativity, and empowerment.

History

Paper Doll Militia’s innovative approach to choreography and poignant use of theatricality have gained the company the reputation of being pioneers in original aerial theatre. Their pieces seamlessly weave dynamic physicality, aerial arts, and visual theatre. They emphasize the mixture of modern and vintage mediums as well as invented aerial apparatus to create their signature aesthetic; dreamy, whimsical, and dark. The company was formed in Santa Fe, NM in 2006 producing it’s first and sold out show, Rara Avis. The company then toured their show Tin Can Cabaret to New York and Portland Maine. And in 2008 the company moved to San Francisco. Rooting itself in the San Francisco Bay area they held Artist in Residency positions at both Athletic Playground and Kinetic Arts Center and produced Their Secret Steps and This Twisted Tale as well as reproducing Tin Can Cabaret in 2010 to a sold out audience. This Twisted Tale went on to show in 3 US cities and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it received rave reviews. “The artists show immense skill….Wonderfully poetic, . . . delicate and beautiful…[an] overwhelming production.” Veronika Kallus, Three Weeks ****

The company now has headquarters in Los Angeles, California and Edinburgh, Scotland. The company also works as choreographers and aerial consultants in projects in India, Egypt, Croatia, the UK and the US. Paper Doll Militia maintains a commitment to involvement with high quality and experimental art festivals and events including The High Mayhem Immersive Arts Festival (New Mexico U.S) Installation-Performance-Interactive Festival (New Mexico, U.S.), Sacred & Profane Festival (Peaks Island, U.S.) The company continues to perform and teach around the world; most recent and notable performances include: Moisture Festival, Seattle; Fog Fest, San Francisco; Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival; Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, Edinburgh; Dance Canvas, Atlanta, Revolutions International Theatre Festival, Albuquerque; VAULT Festival, London; and TILT festival, Birmingham. In summer 2014, the company co-produced the highly successful show Exposed which had record ticket sales at 7 Stages theatre in the heart of Little Five Points, Atlanta. A later rendition of that show LoopsEnd sold out at New Orleans Fringe 2014 with raving reviews “Surprisingly delicate and mesmerizing, LoopsEnd takes risks the momentum of the show never diminished when the acrobats touched ground. Rather they seemed propelled with story, pushing and recharging themselves against one another.” Stephanie Garrison, Black and Gold Review

The Artists

Rain Anya

Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director

Aerialist, actor, and dancer Rain Anya holds a degree in “Performance for Social Change.” She has trained extensively in aerial and physical theatre, including immersive programs such as Circomedia (Bristol, UK), NECCA (Brattleboro, VT), and Circle in the Square (NYC, NY). Rain’s aerial career began with the political circus company Wise Fool New Mexico. Out of inspired collaborations there, the seeds for the Paper Doll Militia were sown. With over 20 years of experience on stage, Rain’s life’s work is the integration of circus arts with other performance and movement disciplines. Notable credits include: BALD; Beyond the Veil; Fog Fest (San Francisco); London-based Peter Pan, (US tour), This Twisted Tale (U.S. Tour and Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Circus Luminous (Santa Fe), Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, Moisture Festival (Seattle), Exposed (Atlanta), LoopsEnd (New Orleans) & Manipulate Festival (Edinburgh, UK). Rain has acted as an aerial consultant and choreographer on a number of projects including training Katrina Kaif for her role in the Bollywood box office hit Dhoom3. Rain is also a passionate aerial arts and yoga instructor. She has taught classes, specialty workshops, and private lessons at over 25 different facilities across the US and the UK. www.RainAnya.com

Sarah Bebe Holmes

Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director

Sarah Bebe Holmes’ aerial style is characterized by quality of movement, emotional narrative content, and original innovative choreography. Notable performance credits include: Chicaco Contemporary Circus Festival, Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, National Mallakhamb Championship (Mumbai, India), Treasure Island Music Festival (San Francisco), and Derry City of Culture (Ireland). Sarah also co-founded Structural Integrity Project (SIP), an international aerial film project that challenged the concepts of what an aerial production could be; the SIP filmed aerial in unexpected rural and industrial locations, including aerial silks on a banyan tree outside an abandoned palace in Lebanon, aerial chain suspended from stationary cranes in Edinburgh, and the underside of the onramp to the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. In 2010-2011 Sarah toured as aerialist and puppeteer with London-based threesixty Entertainment’s 1300-seat pavilion production of Peter Pan. Sarah played Luce in This Twisted Tale, (U.S. Tour and Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Sarah is a choreographer and director for circus and aerial theatre productions including Sharashif (Beirut Lebanon), Two and a Half Sisters (Zagreb, Croatia), SnowQueen (Zagreb, Croatia) and RISE (Edinburgh Scotland).

**Colleen McKeown and Westin McDowell are original founding members of Paper Doll Militia

Guest Performers in
Paper Doll Militia Productions

Lena Alani
Sam Aquatic
Windu Sayles
Jordann Baker
Helen Goodrum
Tyler Jacobson
Mckinley MacLean
Amber Monson
Diego Serna
Tanisha Davis
Tim Mack
Claire Crook
Joe Garcia
Phil Hardie
Debbie Reynolds

Associate Artists and Collaborators
in Paper Doll Militia Productions

Circus Gear – Custom Apparatus Fabricator
Paul Holmes – Set Design / Master Carpenter
David Tatu – Lighting Designer
George Tarbuck – Lighting Designer
Ben Exler- Animator
Zdenko Bašić – Animator
Ben Harrison – Director
Mike Estee – Inventor
David Paul Jones – Composer
Anthony Espina – Composer
Corvas K. Brinkerhoff II – Lighting Designer
Santhosh Koneru – Digital Artist (Live photo essay)
Sasha Baskina – Visual Designer
Evan Tracy – Aerial Sculptor
Emily Frost – Visual Artist (Shadow puppets)
Calum MacAskill -Animator
Lee Dotson – Animator
Saye Gbatu – Animator
Annette Holmes – Costume Mistress

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Contact

info@PaperDollMilitia.com Retreats@PaperDollMilitia.com TeacherTraining@PaperDollMilitia.com