"My process usually starts with finding a scrap from the pages of history. While researching the subject I ask myself a series of questions: “Why do I have to tell this story? Why not someone else? Where am I in this story? How could this be my autobiography?” I am interested in the relationship of the solitary individual to the larger social and geopolitical sphere. What I’m looking for is a doorway into all this history we’ve accumulated."

Writer, director, choreographer, actor, designer, puppet/object maker and puppeteer Dan Hurlin wants to “put things into the world that weren’t there before.” Whether he’s investigating the birth of the Dionne Quintuplets, the 1859 unveiling of Frederic Edwin Church’s painting “The Heart of the Andes,” or New York City’s first recorded murder (in the 19th century), or his own gay boyhood in New Hampshire, Hurlin mines historical content as metaphor for personal experience. In both the solo and group work, he scrutinizes the different ways we see (or don’t see) the world. Hiroshima Maiden, an evening-length piece is as much about looking and being looked at as it is about the young women, disfigured by the nuclear blast in 1945, who came to visit to New York. Co-mingling “urban” and “rural” sensibilities and drawing on post-war Americana, Hurlin fashions intimate, intensely visual theatre (even when he’s playing sixty characters himself). Film informs his puppetry with shifts in point of view, jump cuts and cross fades; objects are archetypal distillations; movement and gesture are his sine qua non.

Born 1955, Peterborough, NH
Lives in New York City
1979 B.A., Sarah Lawrence College


2004 Hiroshima Maiden premiered at Arts at St. Ann’s, Brooklyn, NY and tours internationally
2001 Everyday Uses for Sight: Nos. 3 & 7 premiered at the Kitchen, New York, during the Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater and tours internationally (Bessie Award)
2000 The Heart of the Andes (Everyday Uses for Sight: No. 3) performed at Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA, and The Kitchen, New York /td>
1998 The Shoulder premiered at Dance Theater Workshop, New York, toured nationally (American Theater Wing Design Award nomination)
1995 The Day The Ketchup Turned Blue from the short story by John C. Russell, premiered at The Clockworks for Experimental Puppetry, New York, continues to tour nationally
1995 NO(thing so powerful as) TRUTH premiered at Dance Theater Workshop, New York, toured nationally
1992 Quintland premiered at Dance Theater Workshop, New York, toured nationally (Bessie Award to Donna Denis for design)
1991 Constance and Ferdinand created with choreographer Victoria Marks, premiered at PS 122, New York
1990 A Cool Million from the novel by Nathanael West, premiered at Dance Theater Workshop, New York, toured internationally (Obie Award)
1989 Archaeology premiered at Home for Contemporary Theatre and Art, New York, toured nationally
1988 The Jazz Section created with composer Dan Froot, premiered at PS 122, New York
1987 The New Hampshire Duets premiered at J.A.M., New York (Bessie Award to Mary Shultz for performance)
1986 Poison duet with performance artist Jeannie Hutchins premiered at PS 122, New York
1985 The Hunchback of Notre Dame duet with playwright/performer George Sand, premiered at J.A.M., New York, toured nationally

2003 Creative Capital Foundation Project Grant
2003 Rockefeller Map Grant
2003 National Endowment for the Arts Project support
2003 MacDowell Colony Fellowship
2002 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
2002 TCG theater residency grant at Arts at St. Ann’s
2001 New York Dance and Performance award (Bessie Award) for Everyday Uses for Sight No. 7: The Heart of the Andes
1999-00 New York Foundation for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in Performance Art/Multidisciplinary work
1994-95 National Endowment for the Arts Solo Performance Fellowship
1990 Special Village Voice Obie Award for A Cool Million
1990, 92, 97 New Hampshire State Council Individual Artist Fellowship
1989, 90, 94 New Forms Regional Initiative Fellowship from New England Foundation for the Arts

2000 Full-time professorship at Sarah Lawrence College
1992-99 Adjunct contracts at Sarah Lawrence College, Barnard College, Bowdoin College, Princeton University
1980-93 Artistic Director of Andy’s Summer Playhouse, Wilton, NH, a theater by and for Children