Producing Artistic Director Caroline Reck was working as an actor/ puppeteer in Paris, France in 2004 after completing her physical theatre training at Ecole Jacques Lecoq, when the opportunity arose to become the caretaker of a chaotic old houseboat on the River Seine. The landlady agreed to let her turn “Le Clochard” (The Hobo) into “Cabaret Le Clochard” (Hobo Cabaret), and Glass Half Full Theater was born.
Glass Half Full Theatre has collaborated with performers from around the world to create original, multilingual works of theater for adults and for children, employing a range of physical theater and puppetry techniques. Since relocating to Austin, Texas in 2011, Glass Half Full Theatre has received multiple grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and the City of Austin to create new work, and received dozens of Austin theater award nominations, earning multiple Outstanding Original Script, Direction, Acting and Puppetry from the B. Iden Payne awards, and The David Mark Cohen New Play Award, Visionary Vivifier Award, and Sound Design and Acting Awards from The Austin Critic’s 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, we offered our first full season of Austin productions (The Orchid Flotilla and FupDuck), which received wide critical and audience acclaim, earning 15 theater award nominations and winning 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 prestigious 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 (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 the collaboration with Teatro Vivo to create a bilingual, one-woman puppet version of Cinderella (Cenicienta), for which we wrote the script, directed, and performed. Cenicienta received the Austin Critic’s Table Mark Cohen New Play Award, Best Actress, and the B. Iden Payne Outstanding Puppetry Awards. We then collaborated with the Lionheart Youth Theater and the pop orchestra Mother Falcon to create a brand new puppet adaptation of Peter and the Wolf, called Petra and the Wolf, that 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.
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.