Artist Spotlight: Kalob Martinez creates “El Beto”

“My time at UConn has been great, and has been the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life.”

Meet Kalob Martinez, an MFA Puppet Arts candidate set to graduate in May 2016. For his MFA project, Kalob has created “El Beto,” a one-man hand puppet version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth molded into the world of the Mexican drug cartel. Kalob is interested in placing classical texts in a modern setting, which not only makes it more relatable to modern audiences, but also evokes questions about our current events.

Kalob has masterfully woven the modern circumstance of the drug cartel into a Shakespearean classic. His creative process included reading and re-reading the play in order to meditate over the characters. From there, the show took shape with thematic ideas and technical details. With the help of Paul Spirito, Lucas Gorham, the 3D printing club, daily meditation, and pre-rehearsal yoga sessions, Kalob created his dynamic solo puppet show. Kalob says starting the processes is the hardest part. “Once I get going, I’m good. But it’s that initial push that’s the hardest for me.”

Kalob plans to take this show on the road and perform it in his professional life. See “El Beto” performed this March in the MFA Puppet Festival.