Animal Autumn!

A menagerie takes the mainstage with our Animal Autumn series! Come along on adventures with creatures real & fantastical as we journey into fall.

Animal Autumn runs from Saturday, September 7 - Saturday, November 2. Tickets are $12.50-$16/general admission, $9-$12/members . For individual show descriptions and online ticket purchases visit our mainstage page

Animal Autumn 2019 SCHEDULE
September 7 - November 2: Saturday & Sunday at 1:00 & 3:00 pm.
October 31 - November 1: Thursday and Friday Weekday shows at 10:30 am
Special Holiday Showtimes: Monday October 14 at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm (Indigenous People’s Day).

  • "The Bella Show: BUGS!" by Brenda Huggins and Phil Berman (Sat 9/7-Sun 9/8).

  • "The Three Pigs and Other Tales" by Deborah Costine Nature Puppets (Sat 9/14-Sun 9/15).

  • "The Frog Prince and Other Frogs" by Perry Alley Theatre (Sat 9/21-Sun 9/22).

  • "Animalia" by Hobey Ford’s Golden Rod Puppets (Sat 9/28-Sun 9/29).

  • "Sock Monkey Circus" by Good Hearted Entertainment (Sat 10/5-Sun 10/6).

  • "Sir George and the Dragon" by Pumpernickel Puppets (Sat 10/12-Mon 10/14).

  • "Legend of the Snow Queen" by Puppet Bucket Productions (Sat 10/19-Sun 10/20).

  • "The Fairy Tailor" by Sarah Nolen, Resident Artist (Sat 10/26-Sun 10/27).

  • "Raccoon Tales" created by Paul Vincent Davis, performed by Brad Shur (Thurs 10/31-11/2).

Meet Managing Director Daniel DeLoma!

Daniel DeLoma joined the Puppet Showplace Theater staff in August 2019. Learn more about what brought him to puppetry, his passion for community engagement, and his hopes for his first year as the theater’s Managing Director.

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Dear Friends,

I am so excited to join the Puppet Showplace family! I hope to meet you in person soon at an upcoming show or event. 

A bit about me: I am originally from Connecticut (a state known for its puppetry community!) and now live in Attleboro, MA. I have worked in Boston, New York, and at multi-disciplinary arts organizations throughout the Northeast.

My journey into puppetry began with my interest in philosophy, specifically, the intersections between philosophy, psychology, and art. How can inanimate materials be brought to life? Do puppets have consciousness? As a student at Fairfield University, I explored these topics in my studies and in my graduate thesis, and I remain deeply curious about the ontological underpinnings of this ancient art. 

Some of my most meaningful puppetry experiences have happened all over the world, particularly at street performances and festivals. In London, where I attended a Punch and Judy festival, I felt like I had been transported into a dream. I recall a carnival-like atmosphere, with “Punch Professors” engaging overflowing crowds, puppet booths boasting bright colors, and an astonishing number of variations on a centuries-old play. Later on, in Izmir, Turkey, I remember meeting the famous shadow puppet characters Karagoz and Hacivat in an unassuming alley, accompanied by boisterous music, and surrounded by children and adults who were filled with delight and the spirit of play. 

Early in my life, I realized that art has a unique power to bring diverse groups of people together. I have made it my life’s mission to ensure that everyone not only has access to art, but also has the means to create and express themselves.

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In my previous role as Director and General Manager of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, one of my favorite projects was creating the neighborhood salon concert series. It was very important to me that our orchestra visited and engaged each one of Queens’ diverse neighborhoods. Each neighborhood concert had music tailored to the community and took place in venues that felt welcoming, accessible, and familiar. In the Rockaways, we held concerts on the beach. In Ozone Park, we held concerts in schools. Across Queens, we made music in libraries and senior centers. These concerts were open to every member of the community, and audiences of all ages could touch and try out the musicians’ instruments. This tradition still continues, and I am proud to have been part of this legacy. 

My first few weeks at Puppet Showplace have been a whirlwind, as I have started making connections with families, artists, partner organizations, donors, volunteers, and community members. While just sitting and working at my desk, I can hear the laughter of children in shows or at camp as they learn while having fun. What could be better than that! 

I am so grateful to outgoing Managing Director Cat Meilus for her excellent guidance and for leaving such a strong foundation as her legacy.  Looking towards the future, I am excited to:

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In partnership with our staff, I will work hard to ensure that Puppet Showplace Theater remains a pillar of New England’s cultural community, and a welcoming destination for artists and audiences from across Greater Boston and beyond. 

I hope you will join me in this creative endeavor! Please get in touch if you have ideas or want to get more involved. I will be at all of our “Animal Autumn” Saturday performances, as well as at the Puppets at Night premiere of Flying Lessons (which I saw in development in NYC last fall--it’s amazing!). Please introduce yourself whenever you have a chance, and please share your happy memories, your hopes, and your dreams for our theater. 

Let’s share the joy!

Warm regards,

Daniel DeLoma (He/Him/His) 
Managing Director, Puppet Showplace Theater
business@puppetshowplace.org
617-731-6400 x 102


Thank You and Farewell to Cat!

Cat exploring shadow puppetry in a staff workshop.

Cat exploring shadow puppetry in a staff workshop.

Managing Director Cat Meilus is off on a new adventure! Read her letter below, and stop by this August to say “farewell” in person.

Dear Friends,

When I first applied to work at Puppet Showplace Theater, I had no idea that puppetry would have such an impact on my personal and professional life. I joined the theater in 2012 after working for many years as a freelance stage manager, including a backstage gig on a puppet-filled production of  Avenue Q. My starting position at Puppet Showplace was as a Box Office Associate, where I directly helped thousands of people experience joyful, transformative puppetry productions every year. From there, I became the Audience Services Manager, and finally, the theater’s Managing Director, a position I have happily held for the last four years.

Cat at Puppet Showplace in 2014, in her role as Audience Services Manager.

Cat at Puppet Showplace in 2014, in her role as Audience Services Manager.

In this role, I have been proud to lead our team towards several major administrative accomplishments that I would not have thought possible when I first walked through these doors. While I had no formal training in fundraising, I worked with our staff and board to research and identify new grantors, create a clear planning calendar, and hone our proposal writing process. In four years, we have more than doubled our grant revenue.  This included a major Cultural Facilities Fund grant through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which awarded us the funds needed to upgrade our air conditioning systems. I hope you think of me on a hot summer day as you cool off in our theater and lobby!

I am also incredibly proud of my work with our HR committee to create the theater’s parental leave policy. While Puppet Showplace has always been deeply dedicated to the families in our audience, we lacked a clear road map for conferring  benefits to our staff. As the first full time staff member at Puppet Showplace to become a parent while employed here, it was important to me that I use my personal experience to advocate for a policy that went beyond minimum legal requirements and honored our values by supporting families both on and off stage.

Beyond my professional accomplishments at Puppet Showplace, one of the things I have always loved about this theater is that I can share it with every single member of my family. Mainstage performances have provided fun weekend outings for me and my sister to share together with our children. My mother has become a huge Puppet Slam fan, hardly missing a single one in years. Puppets at Night shows have been memorable date nights for me and my husband. But, nothing has been as special as watching my daughter, Reilly, grow up with me here at Puppet Showplace. As a regular Puppet Playtime attendee practically from birth, Reilly feels completely at home here at the theater and has grown to be a model audience member for the “big kid” Mainstage shows. She creates puppets out of nearly anything she can get her hands on, and loves getting the newest Puppet Showplace postcard in the mail so she can pick our next show or find her puppeteer friends’ pictures. Watching her experience the sheer magic of a puppet show has been one of my greatest parenting joys.

Cat Speaking at a Fundraising Gala with Artistic Director Roxie Myhrum and Puppet Showplace supporter and WGBH Radio Host Brian O’Donovan.

Cat Speaking at a Fundraising Gala with Artistic Director Roxie Myhrum and Puppet Showplace supporter and WGBH Radio Host Brian O’Donovan.

With my family welcoming our second child in September, I am looking forward to channeling the important work I’ve done here for the last seven years into raising the next generation of Puppet Showplace fans. I know I will still find myself here often, sharing puppetry with my entire family and working hard to spread the word about this incredible creative community. 

While I am sad to be leaving the theater and the staff members, artists, and audiences whom I have grown to love so deeply, I am excited to welcome Daniel DeLoma, our new Managing Director, to the team. I know he will lead the theater with the same enthusiasm, integrity, and passion I have had, while bringing his own vision, energy, and style to the organization. Daniel will be training with us for the month of August to get to know our operations before my departure, so stay tuned for more updates from him later this summer! 

My last day at Puppet Showplace will be August 31st. I invite you to come by this month to say farewell, share a memory or two,  and catch a performance.

Thank you for making me a part of the Puppet Showplace family! 

Sincerely,

Cat Meilus

Cat welcomes audiences through the wheel-access entrance, one of the many projects she worked on while at Puppet Showplace Theater.

Cat welcomes audiences through the wheel-access entrance, one of the many projects she worked on while at Puppet Showplace Theater.

Summer Puppet Adventures!

Sail the seven seas, stretch your imagination, and save the day during our summer 2019 series!  Our 46th season kicks off with summer shows for audiences of all ages.

Summer Puppet Adventures runs from Wednesday July 10 - Monday September 2. Tickets are $12.50/general admission, $9/members . For individual show descriptions and online ticket purchases visit our mainstage page

Summer Puppet Adventures 2019 SCHEDULE
July 10 - August 17: Wednesdays-Saturdays at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm.
August 24 - September 1: Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm.
Special Labor Day showtimes: Monday September 2 at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm.

  • "The Pirate, the Princess, and the Pea" by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre (Weds 7/10-Sat 7/13).

  • "Cardboard Explosion!" by Brad Shur, Paper Heart Puppets (Weds 7/17-Sat 7/20).

  • "Judy Saves the Day!" by Sarah Nolen, Resident Artist (Weds 7/24-Sat 7/27).

  • "The Pied Picker" by David Stephens, All Hands Puppets (Weds 7/31-Sat 8/3).

  • "The Amazing Story Machine" by Doppelskope (Weds 8/7-Sat 8/10).

  • "The Cat Came Back" by Mesner Puppet Theater (Weds 8/14-Sat 8/17).

  • "Three Billy Goats Gruff" by Puppet Art Theater Co. (Sat 8/24-Sat 8/25).

  • "Lollipops for Breakfast" by The Gottabees (Sat 8/31-Mon 9/2).

Hats Off to our Members!

Members make great puppetry possible! Every April, we reach out to Puppet Showplace friends and fans to share the great benefits of membership, including discounts on tickets, store purchases, birthday parties, and more. This year, we’re also planning a special members-only event: a FREE Silly Hat-Making Party, coming up April 14th!

CactusHead adjusting the piper's hat

Members-Only Event!
Silly Hat-Making Party

April 14 (Sun) | 4:00 pm
FREE for Members

HATS OFF to our members! Join us after the 3:00pm performance of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" for a FREE craft activity and meet-and-greet with CactusHead Puppets. Inspired by the Town of Hamelin's "Haberdashery Hoopla," families can make their own silly hats, then pose for a picture with the puppet cast members in the show. 

Interested in becoming a member? Visit our Memberships page to find out what level is right for you. Want to up your support? Enthusiast Members ($250) get benefits to all of our programs AND receive 2 FREE tickets to our upcoming 45th Birthday Celebration!

THANK YOU, MEMBERS, FOR BEING PART OF THE PUPPET SHOWPLACE FAMILY!

Puppet with Child Gala 2018

Stories in Bloom!

Adventure through the alphabet, journey under the soil, and make sweet music during our spring 2019 series!  Audiences young and old will love these 13 multi-sensory shows that spark creativity.

Stories in Bloom runs from Thursday April 4 - Saturday, June 15. Tickets are $12/general admission, $8/members . For individual show descriptions and online ticket purchases visit our mainstage page

Stories in Bloom 2019 SCHEDULE
Thursdays & Fridays at 10:30 and 1:00.
Saturday and Sunday in April and May at 1:00 and 3:00
Saturdays in June at 10:30 and 1:00 (No Sunday shows in June).

  • "Word Play" by Good Hearted Entertainment (Thurs 4/4-Sun 4/7).

  • "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" by CactusHead Puppets (Thurs 4/11-Sun 4/14).

  • "A Woodland Cinderella" by Deborah Costine Nature Puppets (Tues 4/16-Wed 3/17).

  • "Peter Rabbit Tales" by Tucker’s Tales (Thurs 4/18-Sat 4/20).

  • "The Doubtful Sprout" by Liz Joyce & A Couple of Puppets (Thurs 4/25-Sun 4/28).

  • "I Spy Butterfly" by Faye Dupras & Max Weigert (Thurs 5/2-Sun 5/5).

  • "Turtle’s Wetland Quest" by Deborah Costine Nature Puppets (Thurs 5/9-Fri 5/10).

  • "Cinderella" by Tanglewood Marionettes (Sat 5/11-Sun 5/12).

  • "The Perils of Mr. Punch: That’s What I call Sweet Music" by Modern Times Theater
    (Thurs 5/16-Sun 5/19).

  • "Pinocchio" by National Marionette Theater (Thurs 5/23-Mon 5/27).

  • "The Legend of the Banana Kid" by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers (Thurs 5/30-Sat 6/1).

  • "Cozy Corner" by Faye Dupras & Max Weigert (Thurs 6/6-Sat 6/8).

  • "The Fairy Circus" by Tanglewood Marionettes (Thurs 6/13-Sat 6/15).

Meet the Artists! Boston / Montreal Cultural Exchange

Caroline performs with a puppet on stilts

This year, in addition to celebrating World Puppetry Day with our “Puppets Around the World” series, we are thrilled to be participating in an international artist residency cultural exchange program in partnership with the Casteliers Festival and the Montreal Arts Council.

On March 1st, we said “Adieu!” to Boston-based puppeteer Veronica Barron as she travelled north to begin her international adventure in Montreal. On March 22nd, we will welcome international guest artist Caroline Bernier-Dionne to Brookline and Boston for a month of creative research at Puppet Showplace Theater.

Learn more below about these fantastic globe-trotting performers, and stay tuned for ways you can meet them in person and experience their work!

BIENVENUE À BOSTON, CAROLINE!

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Since 2007, puppeteer Caroline Bernier-Dionne has integrated puppetry into her multidisciplinary artistic practice. Her many talents include multiple styles of puppet manipulation, interpretive movement, stilt-walking, and figure skating.

Caroline graduated with a degree in theater from Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe. She has worked with the Théâtre de la Dame de Cœur and the Théâtre de l'Avant-Pays, as well as in film and television. Recently, she participated in a musical at the Olympia which allowed her to perform with a puppet as a companion to operatic singing.

During her residency in New England, Caroline will explore puppetry in the service of musical expression, practicing lip synch while perfecting her technique of manipulating puppets to music. She will also investigate the intersections between live performance and cinematographic capture. While here, Caroline will share her work with the local puppetry community and will forge connections with the many outstanding professional puppeteers who perform at Puppet Showplace.

MEANWHILE, IN MONTREAL…VERONICA!

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Boston-based puppeteer Veronica Barron is also spending a month in Montreal, experiencing the city’s vibrant local puppetry scene as well as the amazing Casteliers International Puppetry Festival. She is the first-ever artist to complete a residency in the city’s new puppetry center: MIAM - La Maison Internationale des Arts de la Marionnette.

Veronica’s work combines theater, dance, puppetry, clowning, and song. In her creations, she is interested in how stories emerge from everyday objects, body puppetry, and notions of gender and vulnerability. In October 2018, Veronica Barron presented at the Micro-Festival of Unfinished Puppetry in Trois-Rivières where she discovered the creative freedom of the puppet arts community in Quebec. During this residency, she hopes to further explore women's body diversity through dance, shadows, and the use of clothing as puppets.

Veronica Barron with Quebec-based puppeteers in an exploratory rehearsal at MIAM in Montreal.

Veronica Barron with Quebec-based puppeteers in an exploratory rehearsal at MIAM in Montreal.

THANK YOU to the Casteliers Festival, the Montreal Arts Council, and all of Puppet Showplace Theater’s generous supporters for making this cross-cultural creative residency possible!

Puppets Around the World!

Journey to Japan, climb a beanstalk, or meet Baba Yaga during our March 2019 series!  Audiences young and old can go on adventures around the world with five fantastic stories.

Weekday shows return February 28th with Thursday and Friday morning performances at 10:30 am. Interested in field trip opportunities? Contact the box office today! (617-731-6400, boxoffice@puppetshowplace.org).

For adults and teens, we’ll celebrate World Puppetry Day with a Puppet Showplace Slam!

Puppets Around the World runs from Thursday February 28 - Sunday, March 31. Tickets are $12/general admission, $8/members . For individual show descriptions and online ticket purchases visit our mainstage page

PUPPETS AROUND THE WORLD 2019 SCHEDULE
Thursdays & Fridays at 10:30 and 1:00.
Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 and 3:00.

  • "Jack and the Beanstalk" by Dream Tale Puppets (Thurs 2/28-Sun 3/3), featuring performances by Polish puppeteer Jacek Zuzanski.

  • "Shadows Around the World" by Nappy’s Puppets (Thurs 3/7-Sun 3/10), learn about global shadow puppetry styles from China to Turkey, and encounter world folktales with a humorous twist!

  • "Little One-Inch" by Red Herring Puppets (Thurs 3/14-Sun 3/17). A traditional Japanese folk tale comes to life with a mix of Eastern and Western visual styles.

  • "Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup" by Wonderspark Puppets (Fri 3/21-Sun 3/24). Two grandmothers, one Jewish and one Chinese, share recipes with their granddaughter.

  • "Lisa the Wise" by Sarah Nolen, Resident Artist (Thurs 3/28-Sun 3/31). This show is inspired by the Russian folk tales of Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Wise.

Meet the Monsters!

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Our “New Year, New Shows” series continues this month with “Go Home Tiny Monster,” a beautifully hand-crafted show told entirely without words by The Gottabees. It’s performed by Bonnie Duncan (above) with musicians Brendan Burns and Tony Leva, along with a lovable family of monsters.

WHAT INSPIRED THE STORY?

In the show, a girl and her family of monsters unexpectedly lose their home. Luckily, they have a whole audience of friendly people who can help them out!

This fun and fantastical story was actually inspired by true events. Four members of The Gottabees were displaced from their homes: Brendan and Tony by a fire, and Bonnie and Dan (and their three young children) by weather-related damage. During this difficult time, they all discovered that their community came together and supported them through the experience. Now, they have a chance to share their story in a show that is filled with humor and heart!

MEET THE MONSTERS!

Much like your own family, each of these monsters has their own hobbies and personality. Get to know them below, then come to a show and say hello in person! If any of these monsters remind you of someone you know, let us know in the comments!

Meet DUSTY!  Dusty enjoys tidying up the house and snuggling with Sylvie!

Meet DUSTY! Dusty enjoys tidying up the house and snuggling with Sylvie!

Meet JUNIOR!  Junior likes to explore new places and meet new people.

Meet JUNIOR! Junior likes to explore new places and meet new people.

Meet FERN!  Fern always wants to know everything that is going on.

Meet FERN! Fern always wants to know everything that is going on.

Meet GRANDPA!  Grandpa is great at drawing and giving advice.

Meet GRANDPA! Grandpa is great at drawing and giving advice.

MONSTER SELFIE CHALLENGE!

Tree Monster

You may have seen yarn monsters peeking up all over Brookline Village. They love having their picture taken!

Snap a selfie with a monster and tag @PuppetShowplace #GoHomeTinyMonster for a chance to win FREE tickets to the show.

Thank you for supporting the Gottabees and celebrating NEW work by local artists!

“Go Home Tiny Monster” runs Saturday and Sunday February 2-3, 9-10, and 16-17 at 1:00 & 3:00 pm, and Monday February 18 at 10:30 am & 1:00 pm.

Monster Design by Marte Ekhougen. Photos by Bonnie Duncan.

Behind the Striped Curtain: The History Behind "Judy Saves the Day!"

Puppet Showplace audiences may recall the striped tin our ushers use to collect tickets before each show. That tin depicts a performance of “Punch and Judy,” the most famous puppet show in the world. For over two hundred years, a single puppeteer in a striped booth, often called the “Professor", has brought the comedic trials of Punch, Judy, & Co to audiences worldwide.

The characters of Punch and Judy have their roots in 16th century commedia dell’arte. Mr. Punch is often connected to the clownish Poncinello. In England, the iconic Punch and Judy show is typically a one-man performance, often performed outdoors, and dominated by the slapstick clowning of a pushy Mr. Punch. Through the years, many puppeteers have put their own personal spin on this classic. You may have even see some of those retellings on stage at Puppet Showplace!

Modern Times Theater presents “The Perils of Mr. Punch!”

Modern Times Theater presents “The Perils of Mr. Punch!”

Mr. Punch faces off with Resident Artist Emeritus Paul Vincent Davis.

Mr. Punch faces off with Resident Artist Emeritus Paul Vincent Davis.

Puppetmaster Jake’s Mr. Punch is anything but family-friendly!

Puppetmaster Jake’s Mr. Punch is anything but family-friendly!

When it came time for Resident Artist Sarah Nolen to put her stamp on these characters, she began by thinking “what does Judy have to say?” Standing beside her striped booth, “Professor Nolen” introduces us to the traditional characters of Punch, Judy, The Baby, the Alligator, and more, but she reminds audiences that for most of history, the show called “Punch and Judy” has focused primarily on the adventures of Mr. Punch. But what does Judy have to say?

“Professor” Nolen in front of her portable puppet booth!

“Professor” Nolen in front of her portable puppet booth!

“Judy Saves the Day” has it’s world premiere at Puppet Showplace Theater Saturday, January 12th! Join us for shows January 12-13, 19-21, & 27-28, Saturdays & Sundays at 1:00 & 3:00 pm, Monday at 10:30 am & 1:00 pm.

President’s Letter: Margueritte Murphy

My daughter and I volunteering for Puppet Showplace Theater. We are both fans of Puppets at Night shows for adults and teens!

My daughter and I volunteering for Puppet Showplace Theater. We are both fans of Puppets at Night shows for adults and teens!

Dear Friends and Puppetry Fans,

This year, Puppet Showplace Theater celebrates 45 years as a hub of creativity. As one trustee put it, sparking “radical joy” is at the heart of our mission.

The need for and power of a live theater experience for children cannot be overstated. In puppetry, anything can come alive, and children respond with excitement, curiosity, and wonder. In today’s screen-saturated world, we are committed to providing families a refuge: a delightful experience of empathy and creativity, powered simply by hand and heart.

Children eagerly watch a performance at the theater’s annual Fairy Tale Tea Party.

Children eagerly watch a performance at the theater’s annual Fairy Tale Tea Party.

Beyond work for children, my family and I have become huge fans of the Puppets at Night series for adults and teens. These performances by local, regional, and international artists are masterful and moving, providing a truly unique theater experience in an intimate setting. Q&A sessions reveal how powerful the performances have been, and deep community engagement work extends their impact long after the shows are over.

Meet Fred  by Hijinx Theatre of Wales, September 2018. This show, never before seen in Boston, engaged audiences in conversations about access and inclusion.

Meet Fred by Hijinx Theatre of Wales, September 2018. This show, never before seen in Boston, engaged audiences in conversations about access and inclusion.

I write today to ask you to join me in supporting these works of imagination for children and adults. The rich range of programming and community partnerships would not be possible without the help of supporters like you. Your contribution this winter will directly support creative performances, workshops, and community engagement activities while ensuring access for diverse populations.

Whether you make a gift, volunteer, or simply share the Puppet Showplace experience with others, you honor this work, helping us spread radical joy and the wisdom of imagination.

Thank you for lending a hand and opening your heart!

Yours sincerely,

Margueritte Murphy, President
Puppet Showplace Board of Trustees

Puppeteer Faye Dupras at the Puppet Showplace Theater Gala, June 2018. Because of your generosity, local artists like Faye can create unique, memorable, interactive experiences for audiences of all ages.

Puppeteer Faye Dupras at the Puppet Showplace Theater Gala, June 2018. Because of your generosity, local artists like Faye can create unique, memorable, interactive experiences for audiences of all ages.

Give the Gift of Puppetry - Holiday Guide 2018!

Puppet Showplace has new shows every week through the holiday season, from “The Case of the Missing Cookies” Thanksgiving weekend to “Peter and the Wolf” New Year’s Day! Tickets sell out fast, so make sure to purchase your tickets in advance.

While you’re here for a show, do your holiday shopping in our Puppet Store, or purchase tickets, memberships, or gift cards online at any time! 

Folkmanis finger puppets make great stocking stuffers!

Folkmanis finger puppets make great stocking stuffers!

Puppet Store

Our store has great gifts for puppet fans of all ages! From adorable Folkmanis animal puppets to a beautiful array of marionettes, the Puppet Showplace store has the most comprehensive selection of puppets for sale in Greater Boston. And remember, Members receive 10% off all store purchases.

Puppet Showplace T-shirts! 

Wear your Puppet Showplace pride in style! Puppet Showplace t-shirts are now available in child and adult sizes. Check friends and family off your list and let them flaunt that puppet pride!

Members make great puppetry possible!

Members make great puppetry possible!

Gift Memberships

Memberships make great gifts! Share a year of puppetry with someone special on your list. Memberships include complimentary tickets. Plus, you get discounts on shows, store purchases, birthday parties, and classes. Throughout the year, members will also receive invitations to special members-only events.

Four levels of membership are available: basic, family, puppets at night, and enthusiast. This gift is a great way to support the theater while making someone a part of the Puppet Showplace Theater family. 

We carry plush Folkmanis puppets in all shapes and sizes!

We carry plush Folkmanis puppets in all shapes and sizes!

Gift Cards

Can't decide what to get? We have the answer! Purchase a Puppet Showplace Gift Card, redeemable for tickets, puppet store purchases, adult/family workshops, and more! Gift cards are one of our most popular holiday items, and are available for purchase online or in person. Get one for everyone on your list!

Students on a field trip to Puppet Showplace Theater, supported by YOUR gifts to the Mary Churchill Memorial Fund!

Students on a field trip to Puppet Showplace Theater, supported by YOUR gifts to the Mary Churchill Memorial Fund!

Give the Gift of Puppetry to Kids in Need!

Want to share the magic of puppetry with schools and camps whose students come from low-income communities? Make a tax-deductible contribution to the Mary Churchill Memorial Fund, our field trip subsidy program. It's a great way to spread joy this holiday season. Your gift allows us to welcome over 1,000 kids to Puppet Showplace theater every year. 

Thank you for making Puppet Showplace a part of your holiday experience! 

From all of us at Puppet Showplace Theater, we hope you have a magical holiday season!

From all of us at Puppet Showplace Theater, we hope you have a magical holiday season!

Legends Near and Far!

This November & December, join us here at Puppet Showplace for a series full of handcrafted tales to treasure forever! Fall into winter with eight spellbinding stories from around the world, plus a sneak peek of our February Incubator show “Go Home Tiny Monster.” Our series kicks off with a silly-not-scary reimagining of the beloved classic legend of Sleepy Hollow!

We are also thrilled to announce the premiere of Cozy Corner, a toddler series by the much-loved duo behind “I Spy Butterfly,” Faye Dupras and Max Weigert.

For adults and teens, in partnership with the BU Arts Initiative, we are thrilled to present a powerful Puppets at Night performance by Tarish Pipkins, also known as “Jeghetto,” who is visiting us all the way from North Carolina.

November also kicks off our second session of Puppet Lab After School! Register kids 9-13 now for this 6-week puppetry workshop.

Legends Near and Far runs from Thursday November 1st- Monday December 28th. Tickets are $12-$15/general admission, $8-$10/members . For individual show descriptions and online ticket purchases visit our mainstage page

LEGENDS NEAR AND FAR 2018 SCHEDULE
Thursdays & Fridays at 10:30 and 1:00.
Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 and 3:00.
Holiday Mondays: 10:30 and 1:00. 

  • "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Stevens Puppets (Thurs 11/1-Sun 11/4)

  • "Cardboard Explosion" by Paper Heart Puppets (Thurs 11/8-Sun 11/11)

  • "A Tale of the Monkey King" by Margaret Moody Puppets (Thurs 11/15-Sun 11/18)

  • "The Case of the Missing Cookies" by Wonderspark Puppets (Fri 11/23-Sun 11/25)

  • "The Lion & the Mouse & Other Tales" by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre (Thurs 11/29-Sun 12/2)

  • "Tall Tales: Stories and Songs from Old New England" by Paper Heart Puppets (Thurs 12/6-Sun 12/9)

  • "The Snowflake Man" by PuppetKabob (Thurs 12/13-Sun 12/16)

  • "Punschi: The Adventures of Kasper" by Sandglass Theater (Thurs 12/20-Mon 12/24)

BIRTHDAY PARTIES: BOOK NOW!
Have a birthday or special event coming up? Check out our great birthday party + puppet show packages. You and your guests are sure to have a fantastic experience! 

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New England Puppeteers: Spend a Month in Montreal!

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Calling all professional puppeteers! Puppet Showplace Theater, in partnership with Casteliers and the Montreal Arts Council, is thrilled to announce an international cross-creative residency for professional puppeteers based in Montreal and New England. Applications are due November 5, 2018.

About the Residency

With the goal of developing innovative puppetry while bringing together puppeteers from various backgrounds to exchange contemporary practices, Casteliers, the Montreal Arts Council (CAM) and Puppet Showplace Theater have teamed up to offer a residency for research and cross-creation to professional puppeteers. This international program, now in its third year, selects a Montreal artist to stay in Brookline while a New England-based puppeteer will travel to Montreal. For the visiting U.S. artist, the residency will last twenty-eight (28) days in Montreal from March 3 to 31, 2019.

Benefits

New England Artists will receive the following benefits:

  • A $1000 living / per diem stipend and a $500 research and creation grant.

  • Housing for 28 days in the Outremont neighborhood of Montreal.

  • Festival pass to attend all shows at the Casteliers International Festival March 6-10.

  • Workspace, materials, and creative supplies.

While in attendance, artists will be expected to give one workshop to an audience of peer professionals.

Qualifications

This project is for professional puppeteers from Montreal and New England who have been working in the professional puppetry business for a minimum of five (5) years and whose experience is recognized at the national or international level. The New England puppeteer must necessarily: be a US citizen or permanent resident for at least 12 months, and be domiciled in New England for at least 12 months.  A professional puppeteer means any artist who, having acquired basic training, and possessing a competence recognized by their peers, creates, interprets, or distributes works in a professional context, devotes themselves mainly to the practice of their art, and receives remuneration for the works they produce.

How to Apply

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Quality of artistic work (50%)

  • Interest and relevance of the project submitted by the candidate (30%)

  • Feasibility of the project (20%)

Applications will be evaluated by a selection committee composed of three (3) members from each country, whose expertise is recognized in the arts of puppetry.

For New England puppeteers, the deadline for submitting applications is Monday, November 5, 2018, before midnight. Records must be emailed to Puppet Showplace Theater Artistic Director Roxanna Myhrum at: artistic@puppetshowplace.org.

LINK TO COMPLETE APPLICATION INFORMATION
LINK TO REGISTRATION FORM

Incomplete files will not be retained. Files sent after the deadline will not be accepted. The decision of the selection committees will be known in mid-November 2018.

Meet Fred: Know Before You Go!

Meet Fred Banner

      I am going to see Meet Fred at the Boston Center for the Arts. This guide is for anyone wondering about the details of seeing the play. If you need to purchase tickets online, visit the Meet Fred page.

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Meet Fred is a play by Hijinx Theatre. They are from Wales, United Kingdom. They have come a long way to perform the play in Boston. 

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A video trailer for the show is here. There are 7 actors in the show, and one puppet named Fred. The show is 1 hour and 20 minutes with no intermission.

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The show is located at the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre. The address is 539 Tremont Street Boston MA.
To get to the Boston Center for the Arts I may walk, take a bus, train, or car. There is a curb cut for wheel access directly in front of the theater.
 Follow this link for detailed travel and parking information.

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When I arrive at the Boston Center for the Arts I will see a lot of doors. If I have already purchased tickets I can go directly to the Plaza Theatre to pick up my tickets. There is a sign for Meet Fred outside.

If I still need to purchase tickets, I will go to the Box Office. The Box Office is in the Calderwood Pavillion. There is a blue sign that says “Buy Tix Here.” If I am not sure which door to use, I will go inside and ask. Someone on the staff will help me find the right place.

Fred Poster outside Plaza Theatre Door
Box Office Entrance

 If I am purchasing tickets, when I enter the Calderwood Pavillion, I can get my tickets from the Box Office. I might need to wait in line to do this. The lobby might be crowded. It is best to wait patiently.  

Box Office Calderwood

After I purchase my tickets I can exit the Box Office and go to the Plaza Theatre. If I have already purchased my tickets, I can go directly to the Plaza Theatre

Plaza Theatre Outdoor View

I can pick up my tickets from an usher at the Will Call table. To the left of the Will Call table is lift access. 

Will Call Table

 If I need lift access I will ask for assistance from the staff. This elevator can accommodate 1 person. The rest of my group can walk down the stairs (9 steps) and meet me in the lobby area.

BCA Plaza Lift Access at top of stairs
BCA Plaza Lift Bottom of Stairs

If I need help, I can ask a Staff member. They will be wearing name tags. They can help me find my way to the theater, bathrooms, or answer any other questions.   

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Before I enter the theater, I will wait in the theater lobby. I can arrive up to 1 hour early to get familiar with the space. There will be books and displays in the lobby. There may be a lot of people. I can wait here while the performers are getting ready for the show. If I need help with seating, I can tell an usher. There is another show called Vicuña happening in the same building, so not everyone in the lobby will go to the same place. I will wait until the usher says that it’s time for the audience for Meet Fred to go into the theater.

Doors to Plaza Theatre

 Food and drinks are not allowed in the theatre. If I have a drink or a snack, I can enjoy it in the lobby.  We encourage you to bring any earphones, fidgets or helpful items you may need to enjoy the performance.

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When it is almost time for the play to start, I will give my ticket to an Usher at the door of the theater.  When I enter the theater, there may be a lot of people waiting to sit. I will stay with my group inside the theater. There are floor seats and seats accessible by stairs.

Seating at BCA

I can sit with my family and friends during the show. I may be sitting next to someone I don’t know. It is best to stay in the seat I picked while the show is happening, but I can always ask my parent, family member, or friend, if I need a break.

During the show there is a moment where a confetti canon is used. There is also some swearing and speaking loudly. It is okay for me to cover my ears if the show is too noisy at any point.

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 There is another moment in the show where Fred dances at a birthday party. There is a special colored light effect for this and music plays but NO strobe lighting is used.

Fred Party

 If I need to go to the bathroom or get a drink during the show, I can exit the theater via the ramp. The bathrooms & water fountain are just outside the theatre doors. A staff member can show me where the bathroom or water fountain is if I need help.

Exit from BCA Plaza

During the show, some people in the audience may laugh or clap. I can tell the actors I am enjoying the show by clapping. At the end of the show, many people may choose to clap to tell the actors they liked the show. I can cover my ears if it is too noisy.

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When the show is over, the actors will answer questions about the show. I can choose to stay and listen or leave the theater. If I have a question, I will raise my hand. If we run out of time for questions, that is ok.

When I leave the theater, I will go out the same way I came in. There may be other people trying to leave too, so my group might have to wait our turn for the elevator or stairs. Another performance may still be going on next door, so I will be quiet in the lobby.

I look forward to meeting Fred, and to having a fun time at the theater!

The Fall Fairy Tale Festival 2018!

Puppet Showplace Theater's 8th Annual Fall Fairy Tale Festival launches Labor Day Weekend! Celebrate the back-to-school season with classic stories full of wonder and magic. This series features nine extraordinary shows for families, starting off with pirates, princesses, and plenty of puppets.

We are also thrilled to announce the return of Puppet Playtime with Harry Lacoste, as well as two fantastic Puppets at Night events for adults and teens. 

The Fall Fairy Tale Festival runs from Saturday September 1st- Sunday October 28th. Tickets are $12-$15/general admission, $8-$10/members . For individual show descriptions and online ticket purchases visit our  mainstage page

Become a member during our Fall Membership Drive, and you'll be eligible to attend our members-only Fairy Tale Tea Party on Monday October 8th!

FALL FAIRY TALE FESTIVAL 2018 SCHEDULE
Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 and 3:00.
Holiday Mondays: 10:30 and 1:00. 

  • "The Pirate, the Princess, and the Pea" by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre (Sat 9/1 - Mon 9/3)

  • "Puss in Boots" by Perry Alley Theatre (Sat 9/8 - Sun 9/9)

  • "A Woodland Cinderella" by Deborah Costine Nature Puppets (Sat 9/15 - Sun (9/16)

  • "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" by Pumpernickel Puppets (Sat 9/22 - Sun 9/23)

  • "Father Goose's Tales" by Nappy's Puppets (Sat 9/29 - Sun 9/30)

  • "An Arabian Adventure" by Tanglewood Marionettes (Sat 10/6 - Mon 10/8)

  • "Lisa the Wise" by Sarah Nolen, Resident Artist (Sat 10/13 - Sun 10/14)

  • "The Bremen Town Musicians" by CactusHead Puppets (Sat 10/20 - Sun 10/21)

  • "The Bella Show" by Brenda Huggins & Phil Berman (Sat 10/27 - Sun 10/28)

BIRTHDAY PARTIES: BOOK NOW!
Have a birthday or special event coming up? Check out our great birthday party + puppet show packages. You and your guests are sure to have a fantastic experience! 

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Puppet Palooza 2018-New Works!

Since 2013, Puppet Palooza has been a collaborative event series designed to bring the art of puppetry to East Somerville in unexpected places. This year, in collaboration with the Somerville Arts Council, we are pleased to participate in expanding this series to help foster original new works designed for outdoor settings. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, participating companies have had the opportunity to work with Jana Zeller, a highly accomplished puppeteer from Sandglass Theater in Vermont. Join us in East Somerville for two
nights of performances showcasing the outcomes of these emerging works. Great for kids and adults, and 100% free!

 

The Lineup: 

Emerging Works Showcase Part One:
Tuesday, September 11 | 6:00 pm (rain date 9/12)

Chuckie Harris Park, 3-17 Cross Street E
The Swishy Fishies by Honey Goodenough, Good Hearted Entertainment
Judy Punches Back! by Sarah Nolen

Emerging Works Showcase Part Two:
Thursday, September 13 | 6:00 pm (rain date 9/14)

Chuckie Harris Park, 3-17 Cross Street E
The Magnificent Monster Circus by CactusHead Puppets
Mama Light Fisher by Faye Dupras, Foreign Landscapes

Hope to see you there!

Intern News: Tips for Photographing Puppets

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Hi, my name is Samantha McQueen, and this summer I worked as an intern here at Puppet Showplace. My job as an intern was to work on different graphic design and photography projects for the theater. 

To help me take better photos of puppets, I developed a few tips that I would like to share with you.

Tip 1: Focus!

In photography, "focus" usually means whether an image is sharp or blurry. For puppeteers, "focus" means what a puppet is looking at. For a puppet to look alive, the audience needs to believe that the puppet is seeing things around it: they need to believe the illusion of focus.

Giving a puppet focus is harder than most people think. Have the puppet look into the camera. Does something seem off or creepy? That's because the puppet's focus needs to be adjusted to make it look like the character is looking back into the camera. Usually puppeteers need a director or an outside eye to confirm that the focus is correct.

The Dinosaur Show

 An alternative and sometimes easier way is to have a puppet focus on an object or another puppet on stage. That's what we did in the photo shoot for The Dinosaur Show, where Mama Brachiosaurus looks alive and attentive because she is focusing on an egg in her nest.

Tip 2: Know your puppet

Augustine, from Punschi: The Advantage of Kasper

Always know the puppet you are shooting. Every puppet will have different needs to look alive. Some puppets might need different angles to show off their best features, just like people like to show off their "good side." Also, keep in mind the lighting angle because it can cause dark shadows across a puppet's best features.

For example, Augustine, from Punschi: The Adventures of Kasper, has a heavy brow. His heavy brow causes him to look angry if he looks down. This is shown in the photo above, which make him intimidating to the viewer. This can be fixed by having him look slightly upwards, almost looking like he's day dreaming.

tip 3: strike a pose

Wire armature 

Sometimes you might be working by yourself to take photos, or your puppeteer might want a rest. In these situations, you can "wrangle" the puppet into an active pose using some pro techniques. 

One option is to create an armature like the one shown here to hold up the puppet, similar to those used in stop-motion animation. You can pose the puppet in the desired position, then step back and take the photo all by yourself. Other options include using stands, wires, strings, and other structures. If they end up in the photo, you can always edit them out later in photo software. 

Tip 4: Plan your shoot

It's hard to get a really good shot during a performance in front of a live audience. It might be better for you to take shots during a dress rehearsal, when the puppeteer can freeze at the part you want to shoot.  Another idea is to watch the performance and write down the parts that you think will be good for an action shot or a posed set-up. Sometimes a staged photo might be necessary to get all of the elements you need, even if it's not exactly a scene from the show. 

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This is also true if you want to capture audience reactions and interactions after the show. In order to show how much kids enjoyed the performance of Squirrel Stole My Underpants by The Gottabees, I had to get permission from their camp director and move quickly into position to show their smiling faces after the show. With a little planning, you can be in the right place at the right time to show their excitement. 

tip 5: keep practicing!

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5) The most important tip is to keep practicing. Photography is a skill that takes time to develop. Don’t be afraid to check out other photographers' work for inspiration. For example, I spoke with Richard Termine, the photographer for the Muppets and one of the country's leading puppetry photographers to get advice. 

Check out Richard Termine's website for more great inspiration. http://www.richardtermine.com/about.html

Photos won't always come out the way you want, so don’t get discouraged. You can take another photo or you can edit in photo software. Or, you can go out in public and see what happens, like we did on this fun photo shoot with Mike Horner of Mesner Puppet Theatre. This photo had a record number of likes and shares on Facebook! 

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I hope these tips will help you in future photo shoots. Special thanks to Puppet Showplace Theater for being a great place for my summer internship!

Intern News: Puppetry and Voice-Over

Hello fellow puppet fans!

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I'm Peter Choi, a summer 2018 intern from Boston Latin School. When I first came here, I had almost no knowledge of puppetry. However, after many weeks working here, with lots of time spent at shows, in camps, and around professional puppeteers, I am proud to say that my knowledge of puppetry has expanded greatly! Now, I'd like to share some insights with you. 

One of my personal hobbies before I first entered the theater was voice-over. Voice-over is the business of using the voice to create recordings to be used in things such as radio, audiobooks, video games, narrations, cartoons, telephones, anime, commercials, and announcements. As I learned more about puppetry throughout the weeks, I realized that voice-over and puppetry had many similarities that I hadn't appreciated until now.

Me and T-Rex behind the scenes with Mike Horner of Mesner Puppet Theatre. 

Me and T-Rex behind the scenes with Mike Horner of Mesner Puppet Theatre. 

One important similarity is of course the voice! In both voice-over and puppetry, the voice is manipulated to create characters and to transport the audience into the world of the story.

At Puppet Showplace, performers uses their voices to do so many things! I heard voices used to perform humans, monsters, dinosaurs, heroes, villains, and other characters big and small.

Bonnie Duncan performs without words in "Squirrel Stole My Underpants" by the Gottabees

Bonnie Duncan performs without words in "Squirrel Stole My Underpants" by the Gottabees

One thing I discovered that I didn't expect was that sometimes, shows tell a story buy don’t use the voice at all! In shows such as Milo the Magnificent and Squirrel Stole My Underpants, the story is told entirely with puppetry and pantomime, or using gesture to communicate.

Both actors and puppeteers need to maintain good vocal health. Maintaining good hydration and avoiding actions that can damage your voice and lungs, such as smoking and screaming too much, are vital for keeping a healthy voice.

Silly voices: try this at home!

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While working here, I took the class Fundamentals of Silly Voices taught by Puppeteer, Voice Teacher, and Vocalist Brenda Huggins. I learned a lot! For instance, have you ever done impressions or made voices different from your regular voice? Not only do make for good laughs among friends, but they can be applied to both puppetry and voice-over as you can embody different characters with different voices. You can even try this at home.

First: with your normal voice try speaking faster than your normal pace, then try speaking with a slower pace. Now raise the pitch of your voice and speak with a high pitch with a normal speed, fast speed, then slow speed. Do the same with a very low pitched voice. You now have 9 different types of voices that you can use for both puppetry and voice-over! You can make even more by adding different accents and impressions.

Learning Lip-Synch

Another thing I learned is that puppetry and voice-over both require well-timed vocal movements. I found this out during my first couple of weeks working here when I helped with puppetry summer camps for children. Even though these classes were for younger kids, I still learned a lot by helping out! 

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"Lip Synch" when puppeteers match a puppet's mouth with the words that the character is speaking. Usually, the puppet's mouth is opened and closed by a puppeteer's hand. Doing this correctly can be really hard! One thing you can do is to practice is to bring your hand to your mouth, putting your thumb on your bottom lip and the rest of your fingers on your top lip. Then, match your hand movements to your mouth movements. It’s very difficult to do without touching your mouth and requires lots of practice to get it right.

Lip-synch and the puppetry requirement of well-timed lines is very similar to creating voice-over tracks for anime, cartoons and video games from foreign countries. Since animation from foreign countries is animated with their vernacular, English voice-actors must redub characters, keeping in mind the timing of the mouth movements, also known as “lip-flaps”. This also can be difficult in in the beginning, but with practice can become easier.

Both puppetry and voice-over are specialized fields, and I hope you enjoyed learning more about both! I look forward to applying what I learned during my internship in all of my future endeavors. If you're curious about voices in action, then come by soon to see a show!