Connecticut
Profile Type: Creative Business
NEFA Grant Recipient
Creative Business
Sova Theater

Sova Dance and Puppet Theater celebrates humanity and the environment by engaging audiences through live performance combining the moving body, puppetry, mask, video, dance, and artistic installations. The combined ingredients communicate that which cannot be described in words, and therefore are accessible to communities around the globe.

“Sova” means “owl” in Slovak and also refers to an asteroid belt named by a Czech astronomer.

Adelka Polak, founder of Sova Dance & Puppet Theater, based in CT & mainly serving schools, arts venues and community organizations in New England and NYC, including recent performances at Madison Square Park and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Adelka is a dancer, puppeteer, mask-performer and movement director whose work has brought her to Denmark, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Turkey.

In an original theatrical production of "Ajijaak on Turtle Island” at the New Victory Theater she worked with puppets from the Henson Creature Shop in a show led by artists Heather Henson, Jim Henson’s youngest daughter, and Grammy-Award winner Ty Defoe. She also worked with Squonk Opera who went “from junkyards to Broadway” and performed at Lincoln Center Outdoors and LaMama, E.T.C. with the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater of NYC. Ms. Polak was featured on CPTV’s “Spotlight on the Arts” with Masque Theatre & Larry Hunt in a segment nominated for a cultural Emmy in 2010 and produced by Ed Wierzbiecki.

She shares her knowledge of dance, puppetry and crossing artistic disciplines with audiences across the U.S. and abroad, especially in NYC, CT, and the Hartford Public Schools where she has worked with children to make over 1,000 frog puppets every year since 2016 through Hartford Performs. She also assists the Jim Henson Foundation in Professional Development training for teachers at the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC through a grant from Next for Autism. She has worked as a professional puppeteer now for nearly two decades, since she graduated from Chatham University with honors with a B.A. in Theatre and Cultural Studies in 2002.

Additional Links: 
Performed by Adelka Polak with Mask/Puppet by Justin Perlman. Music by Rick and Cynthia Quintanal.

I Have Worked With

  • June 2021

    Sova Dance & Puppet Theater is a business registered with the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.  Sova Theater Artistic Director was awarded a Virtual Innovation Grant in 2020 to develop an online Professional Development series for teaching puppetry to educators & parents who need an added tool for both virtual and in person learning sessions during these challenging times when we all need an added boost of friendship, which we bring in the form of the puppet.  We also successfully created an online "Art of the Mask" course for the winter in order to engage adults creatively during the isolation of the CoVid-19 pandemic.

  • September 2016 to March 2021

    La Mama, E.T.C. & La Mama Kids! of NYC have presented Sova Dance & Puppet Theater work in various forms both live in person and virtually now within the safe CoVid-19 pandemic presentation forms that we developed more recently as working together from 2016-2021, including short works, full length productions and variuos puppet & mask-making workshops to reach audiences around the world for global premeires!

  • March 2021

    We began teaching a puppetry class for many of the youngest community members in Newtown, CT at the Newtown Community Center that is a state of the art facility funded by GE wanting to create a safe place for the town to gather after the tragedy of the Sandy Hook shootings.  The intention for us is to build joy, laughter and curiousity through our weekly workshops.

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  • NEFA Grantee
  • Creative Business

Contact Information

First Name: 
Adelka
Job Title/Position: 
Artistic Director & Teaching Artist
Physical Address: 
4 Chestnut St.
Bethel, CT 06801
Last Name: 
Polak
Phone: 
203-313-7285

About

Profile Type: 
Creative Business
Primary Discipline: 
Theater - Puppet
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - General
Multi-Disciplinary
Theater - Children's
Theater - Devised / Artist-Led
Theater - Solo / One-Person Show
Theater - Storytelling
Visual/Crafts - General
Visual/Crafts - Experimental
Year Founded: 
2013
Populations Served: 
Adults
Businesses
Elders
Families
General Public
Immigrant Populations
LGBTQ Populations
Native American Tribes
Nonprofits
People with Disabilities
School Groups
Teens
Youth-At-Risk
Institution/Business Type: 
Performing Groups
Activities and Services: 
Community Arts
Performance / Concert / Reading
Professional Development / Training
Public Art Projects (In Free, Public Spaces)
Residency - Community
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
42
Seasons Active: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Geographic Reach: 
State
Multi-State Region
National
International

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
UNIMA
Puppeteers of America
CT Guild of Puppetry
Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County
Education: 
B.A. in Cultural Studies & Theater with honors, magna cum laude, Chatham University 2002
Awards: 
Puffin Foundation Grant Award 2021
NEFA Public Art Award 2020
Artists Respond Grant Award 2020, CT Department of Economic and Community Development
Virtual Innovation Award 2020 from the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County
CT Office of the Art PD Mini-Grant Award 2020
Soze Foundation, TaskForce & Invisible Hand Artist Relief Award 2020
Puffin Foundation Grant Award 2018
Puffin Foundation Grant Award 2016
Puffin Foundation Grant Award 2011
I am a NEFA Grant Recipient

Accessibility of Services

I work with The Henson Foundation & Wonderspark Puppets in order to offer teachers, teaching artists and parents Professional Development training in puppetry technique in order to gain skills to better serve audiences, children & students with autism. All of the training is currently being conducted online, so we have participants from NYC and across the entire country with one in Canada as well. As an organization we come to where you are as we do not have our own theater space. Also, we are currently in the process of getting fully vaccinated by April 21, 2021 in hopes to reach more audiences safely. Puppetry is a visual and tactile medium, which can be experienced on many different levels and works especially well in small groups. When we create a performance we also develop some kind of interactive workshop in order to further engage audiences and imaginations on a variety of levels.

I am a Touring Artist

Technical Requirements: 
Space Minimum 15'x15' with access to electricity for our PA
Fee Range Minimum: 
$400
Fee Range Maximum: 
$1,500
State of Residence: 
Connecticut
Minimum Number of Performers: 
1
Maximum Number of Performers: 
4

I am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Settings: 
Afterschool Program
Arts and Cultural Center / Venue
Community Site / Center
Corporate Business
Healthcare Facility
Private Studio
School / University
Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - English Language / Literacy
Arts Integration - Foreign Languages
Arts Integration - Health
Arts Integration - Physical Education
Arts Integration - Science / Technology / Engineering
Dance
Theater
Visual/Crafts
Ages Served: 
Pre-Kindergarten-age
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age
College-Age
Adults
Seniors
Fee Range Minimum: 
$50
Fee Range Maximum: 
$1,250