The company was founded in Paris, France in 2004 by graduates of the physical theatre training program Ecole Jacques Lecoq. An opportunity arose to become tenant caretakers of a houseboat on the River Seine. “Le Clochard” (The Hobo) became “Cabaret Le Clochard” (Hobo Cabaret), and the company began devising original multilingual works featuring actors, objects, and puppets.
Glass Half Full Theatre has since collaborated with performers from around the world to create original, multilingual works of theater for both adults and youth, employing a range of physical theater and puppetry techniques. Since relocating to Austin, Texas in 2011, the company has received multiple grants from the Jim Henson Foundation to create new work, and received dozens of Austin theater award nominations, earning multiple Outstanding Original Script, Direction, Acting, Design and Puppetry Awards from the B. Iden Payne awards, as well as The David Mark Cohen New Play Award, Visionary Vivifier Award, and Design and Acting Awards from The Austin Critics Table.
In collaboration with Trouble Puppet Theater, Glass Half Full initiated an annual puppet series in 2011 called The Austin Puppet Incident, which features local performers and continues to bring in national talent to perform in Austin. In 2012, the first full season of Austin productions debuted with The Orchid Flotilla and FupDuck, which together earned 15 theater award nominations and a win for Outstanding Direction of a Comedy and Outstanding Original Script from the B. Iden Payne Awards.
From 2013 through 2014 we focused on the creation of Once There Were Six Seasons, which was awarded a Jim Henson Foundation grant and was the subject of a PBS/ Arts in Context documentary, won the Austin Critic’s Table Visionary Vivifier Award, and toured to the National Puppetry Festival in 2015. We also launched our queer physical comedy series, Missionary Position: Pleasure Journeys for the Intrepid Lady Explorer, which has toured in the state of Texas and has three separate installments between 2014 and 2017. (Sessions 1-3).
In 2015, we debuted Simple Sundries, a human comedy about the commodification of Austin’s “Authenticity.” We also began a series of collaborations with several theaters for young audiences in Austin. Zach Theater commissioned a “theater for youth” adaption of Once There Were Six Seasons, which performed in January and February to 5,000 children. Zach then invited us to join in collaboration with Teatro Vivo to create a bilingual, one-woman puppet version of Cinderella (Cenicienta). Cenicienta received the Austin Critic’s Table Mark Cohen New Play Award, Best Actress, and the B. Iden Payne Outstanding Puppetry Awards. We collaborated with the Lionheart Youth Theater and the pop orchestra Mother Falcon to create Petra and the Wolf, which was presented by the Paramount Theater in December of 2015 and 2016. Petra went on a 17 state national tour in 2017 – 2018, represented by Holden Arts & Associates.
In February 2017, we debuted Don Quixote de La Redo, a post-apocalyptic response to the threat to Build a Wall! at the Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, Texas. In 2017- 2018, we were commissioned by The Kindness Campaign to create a bilingual puppet show called Las Aventuras de Enoughie, again in collaboration with Teatro Vivo and Zach Theater. The show won local awards for Theater for Youth acting and direction.
Also in 2018, Caroline Reck and Indigo Rael co-created Polly Mermaid: Apocalypse Wow, a queer, sci-fi fable set in the a trash-filled ocean, which won awards for Puppetry and and Outstanding Ensemble. Gricelda Silva, Caroline Reck, and Jesus Valles began work on The Cucuy Project, an original piece in progress blending childhood fear of the boogeyman with the strain of ICE raids on immigrant communities in central Texas. The show, set to debut in 2020, has been postponed to 2022 due to the global pandemic. In 2020-2021, the company has focused on digital content, debuting a new filmed version of Cenicienta in the Kennedy Center Digital Streaming series, as well as an online performance for youth about the waste cycle called Trash Talks, featuring Polly Mermaid and her puppet sidekick, Basurana.