Dark Art

Biology graduate student Tom McDonagh is taking shadow puppetry to the next level. One of his latest productions is based on the (true) story of an American doctor and French inventor who took to the skies in a hydrogen balloon and made the first trip — by air — across the English Channel. McDonagh, whose Ph.D. project at Rockefeller University has centered on building a microscope, is also experimenting with shadow puppet production — from laser cut puppets to 3D shadows. McDonagh and puppeteers Jo Jo Hristova, Arlee Chadwick and Emma Wiseman will be performing several of his pieces at Puppet Festival rEvolution on August 6th in Swarthmore, PA.


additional footage by Dylan Steinberg

Meet the Producer

About Flora Lichtman

Flora Lichtman was the host of the podcast Every Little Thing. She’s a former Science Friday multimedia producer.