From Austin to Boston: Welcome Puppet Showplace's NEW Resident Artist Sarah Nolen!

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We at Puppet Showplace Theater are as pleased as Punch (and Judy) to welcome puppeteer Sarah Nolen to Boston, where she will become the theater's third ever Resident Artist.

Sarah has been hard at work since August teaching workshops, refining her show Lisa the Wise, preparing her NEW Puppet Improv Lab class for adults, and creating the original production "The Fairy Tailor" which will premiere in February 2018. Catch a sneak preview on October 9th at the Members-Only Fairy Tale Tea Party!

Read on to learn more about Sarah, and introduce yourself when you see her around town.

AND NOW, A WORD FROM SARAH!

Dear Puppet Showplace Friends,

Thank you for welcoming me to into this incredible artistic community. I’m looking forward to all the time we’ll spend together laughing at puppet antics, chatting about the potential of pipe cleaners, and discovering the many characters whose stories are literally right at our fingertips.

Sarah Nolen

Originally from Austin, Texas, I picked up puppets at an early age. One of my mother’s old socks became Nancy Drew, and a toilet paper roll "Rapunzel" starred in my living room debut. Since then, I’ve spent decades dedicated to the art of wondering what a puppet can do.

Recently, I completed my MFA in Puppet Arts at the University of Connecticut, after doing a film degree at SMU in Texas. Now, I create puppets for stage and screen, telling visual tales for all ages.

In 2015, I was a recipient of the Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship in support of Treeples, a television pilot about empowering girls to face their fears. Since graduating from UCONN, I’ve travelled the globe performing on international tours, working in puppet production shops in New York City, and performing at puppet theaters around the US.

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While I’m new to the Boston area, I’ve performed many times at Puppet Showplace. I've done several acts for adults in the Puppet Showplace Slam, and have been a supporting puppeteer in Brave Bucket Company's "Help Save the Monkey," and Good Hearted Entertainment's "Word Play."

One of my most memorable Boston experiences was when I worked with the Boston Pops. I constructed a puppet version of conductor Arthur Fiedler for UCONN's concert collaboration, "Puppets Take the Pops," and I once narrated “Twas the Night Before Christmas” from a puppet booth backed by the entire orchestra.

My first month in Boston has been a whirlwind of teaching, building, rehearsing, and devising. In August, I joined resident teaching artist Honey Goodenough to teach two weeks of summer camp, where we worked with kids to create an original puppet play. I also taught an all-day residency for middle schoolers and am gearing up for a 14-week kindergarten residency in Boston. 

It's been a busy first month! Here I am teaching table top puppetry to middle schoolers in September.

It's been a busy first month! Here I am teaching table top puppetry to middle schoolers in September.

I am excited to share puppetry techniques and inspirations with students of all ages, so if you have ideas for residencies or workshops, please get in touch.

Speaking of classes, I hope you sign up for our NEW Puppet Improv Lab!  I used to have terrible stage fright. To face my fears I enrolled in a year long training program at the Comedy House in Dallas. It was there that I learned how to be comfortable on stage, and to embrace "mistakes" as opportunities. Turns out, my improvisational training has proved vital to my puppet work, stage presence, and performance style. Puppets sometimes do whatever they want, and improv training has taught me to go along with it. I am excited to get Boston audiences thinking about the possibilities of puppet theater, and to empower people to realize that they already have what it takes to start creating.

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Aside from teaching, I have been the 2017 Fall Fairy Tale Festival's #1 fan. Every week, I've enjoyed watching a different classic story performed by some of New England's best puppeteers. Next week, it's my turn to take the stage. At the Fairy Tale Tea Party on October 9th (MY BIRTHDAY!) I'll give Puppet Showplace members a sneak preview of my work-in-progress show "The Fairy Tailor." Together we learn how even the smallest of characters has the strength to take down a bully. Episode one: Red Riding Hoodie outsmarts a Big Bad Fur Coat. Intrigued? See you there! 

Working on the shadow forest for "Lisa the Wise"

Working on the shadow forest for "Lisa the Wise"

Then, it's the Boston debut of my show "Lisa the Wise," an adaptation of a Russian folktale with a modern twist. It includes fantastical scenes brought to life with shadow puppetry, the sensational Baba Yaga (guaranteed to give Cinderella's Fairy Godmother a run for her money), and a house with dancing chicken legs. I hope you'll join me for this spooky adventure... It's a perfect start to the Halloween season!  

Continuing the Puppet Showplace resident artist tradition is an incredible responsibility, and I’m honored to call you all my new neighbors as I embark on this journey. Thank you to everyone who supports Puppet Showplace Theater and the work that we do in the community. Whenever you see a show, take a class, become a member, donate, or volunteer, you are helping to keep puppetry thriving here in New England. So come on down to Station Street, introduce yourself, share your puppet story, and let’s exchange "Howdys!"  

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Fall Fairy Tale Festival

Back to school does NOT have to mean back to reality! Join Puppet Showplace for another fantastical season filled with classic tales and stories of wonder during our 7th Annual Fall Fairy Tale Festival. Featuring nine extraordinary shows for families, and one Puppet Slam for adults and teens!

The Fall Fairy Tale Festival runs from Saturday September 2nd- Sunday October 29th. 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 Columbus Day Monday!

Explore kingdoms, castles and enchanted lands with a puppeteer as your guide!

FALL FAIRY TALE FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

  • "Beauty and the Beast" by National Marionette Theater(Sat 9/2- Mon 9/4)
  • "Father Goose's Tales" by Nappy's Puppets (Sat 9/9- Sun 9/10)
  • "Jack and the Beanstalk" by No Strings Marionette Company (Sat 9/16- Sun (/17)
  • "Sir George and the Dragon" by Pumpernickel Puppets (Sat 9/23- Sun 9/24)
  • "Snow White and Other Stories" by Perry Alley Theatre (Sat 9/30- Sun 10/1)
  • "The 3 Little Pigs Build a Better House" by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre (Sat 10/7- Mon 10/9)
  • "Lisa the Wise" by Resident Artist Sarah Nolen (Sat 10/14- Sun 10/15)
  • "Puppet Playtime: Teddy Bear Picnic" by Brenda Huggins & Phil Berman (Sat 10/21- Sun 10/22)
  • "Hansel and Gretel" by Tanglewood Marionettes (Sat 10/28- Sun 10/29)

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 an enchanting experience! 

Shop the Look: Be a Pirate!

Hey! Andrew's back!

So I've had enough of just looking at puppet fashion all summer. I've decided to write it about it. This isn't gonna be your normal Blog Post. This time I'm gonna show you all how to flex on everyone you know, by ripping an outfit straight from a puppet show! I'm here to show you how to dress like the pirate, from The Pirate, the Princess, and the Pea, by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre.

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This former ruffian is dressed up in a blue striped long sleeve T-shirt, brown shorts, a red sash belt, and a gold earring. You won't be needing an eyepatch or hook hand for this.

To complete this look, you should expect to visit some retailers, or their online stores.

For the blue striped long sleeve T-shirt, I would recommend a simple Striped Crew Neck T-Shirt from Uniqlo, although the color is a bit dark. Alternatively, you could buy a Nautical Striped Long Sleeve.

If you would prefer a more feminine cut, you could opt for a Striped Shirt from H&M, or a Comme Des Garcons Play Blue Striped Long Sleeve

For the brown shorts, you can get away with a yellowish color. I would recommend another Uniqlo piece, the Yellow Chino Shorts. If you want higher quality and a more rugged look, you could opt for a pair of Max Linen Shorts or Wood-Print Cargo Shorts.

For the ladies, you could try a pair of Tan Shorts, and for a more high end feel you could also try Twill Drawstring Shorts or Cargo Shorts

For the red sash, you could use anything red. I would go for a Red Sash or a Red Scarf.

 For the earring you could get opt for inexpensive ones or more accurate ones, but this all depends on whether they are convenient for you.

Those are all the items you need to become a pirate!

What?

Oh you don't have a time to flex on everyone in your fit?

Well keep it in your closet and bring it out for our winter showing of Everybody Loves Pirates by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers December 31st and January 1st! 

I hope to see you there with all your pirate heat!

Puppet Store: Summer Finds!

Hey it's me, Andrew Huynh, and I'm an intern this summer at Puppet Showplace.

Today, I'll be giving you an inside look of all the treasures you can find in our store!

Here, we offer many types of puppets for you to take home. We have racks filled with  hand puppets, finger puppets, and even marionettes! Prices vary per puppet, but, members always receive 10% off of any purchase. Become a member today! 

Our most popular items are plush Folkmanis hand puppets. These characters are inspired by animals of all shapes and sizes. Plush puppets are available in large "stage puppet" styles, as well as kid-sized hand puppets and or small-scale finger puppets. 

The puppet store also has great deals on marionettes, or puppets you can control with strings. We have large and small marionette characters, and all of them are looking for a new home! 

No puppet store would be complete without the world's most famous puppet character: ELMO! Sesame Street characters are available as hand puppets or as small finger puppets. 

Not sure what to get? An inexpensive and versatile option is to get a set of Peepers! These eyeball puppets easily turn your own hand into a puppet. There's also an amazing selection of eye and frame colors, to make sure your puppet looks the way you want it to.

The puppet store accepts purchases by cash, check, or credit card. Can't decide? Consider purchasing a gift card, good for any store sale or ticket purchase. 


That's all I have to say about the store! If you're interested in buying a puppet, just swing by and we'll be happy to get you started on your own Summer Puppet Adventure!

Summer Puppet Adventures

While school and the sun are out, Puppet Showplace Theater invites audiences to have fun, explore new worlds, and stretch and grow their imaginations with our "Summer Puppet Adventures" series. Eight shows travel deep under the sea, soar through the sky, and swing through the jungle, all the while learning and laughing!

"Summer Puppet Adventures" runs from Wednesday, July 5 - Saturday, August 26. Tickets are $12/guest for general audience, $8/guest for members.Learn more about the series here, and register for adult or youth classes and camps today!

Summer Puppet Adventures

Search for buried treasure, sail the open seas, and meet fantastical creatures great and small with our annual summer adventure series!

JULY

  • "The Pirate, the Princess, and the Pea" by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre (Wed 7/5 - Sat 7/8)
  • Saturday, July 8: Summer Open House: FREE popsicles and puppet-making activities
  • "Word Play" by Good Hearted Entertainment (Wed 7/12 - Sat 7/15)
  • "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" by CactusHead Puppets (Wed 7/19 - Sat 7/22)
  • "The Great Red Ball Rescue" by Faye Dupras (Wed 7/26 - Sat 7/29)

AUGUST

  • "Old Mother Hubbard & Her Dog" by Mesner Puppet Theater (Wed 8/2 - Sat 8/5)
  • "Aesop's Fables" by Red Herring Puppets (Wed 8/9 - Sat 8/12)
  • "Tall Tales!: Stories & Songs from Old New England" by Resident Artist Brad Shur & Musician Chris Monti (Wed 8/16 - Sat 8/19)
  • "The Fairy Circus" by Tanglewood Marionettes (Sat 8/26 -- one day only!)

 

Puppets prevail all summer long! Consider booking a birthday party, summer-camp field trip, or other special occasion with us in the coming months.  Plus, any and all donations to the Showplace help provide tickets to kids in need. Raise the anchor, hoist the mainsail, and let your fun flag fly!

Melinda Lopez, on the magic of puppetry: Puppet Showplace Theater Gala 2017

On Wednesday, June 7, 2017, the Puppet Showplace Theater hosted over 200 guests, performers, and volunteers at its annual fundraising Gala . This "Evening of Enchantment" featured puppetry performances, a live brass band, a silent auction, various displays of puppets large and small, and much more!

Below is the transcript of the keynote address delivered by the Gala's emcee, Melinda Lopez, preceded by opening remarks from Puppet Showplace Artistic Director, Roxie Myhrum. 

ROXIE MYHRUM:

Tonight, we are joined by one of the brightest lights in Boston’s theater scene: award-winning actress, playwright, and educator, Melinda Lopez.

Melinda is a Fellow and Playwright-in-Residence at the Huntington Theater Company, and her work has appeared on stages throughout New England and far beyond. If you think of Puppet Showplace as a candle in the Boston theater scene, Melinda comes from the world of the comets and the supernovas. So I feel really awesome that our evening of enchantment features a superstar emcee!

Personally, I am a huge fan of Melinda’s work.  As an audience member, I’ve watched her characters travel through time, build worlds and set them on fire, and negotiate with wise-cracking ghosts. Most recently, with her award-winning and critically acclaimed play Mala, she conjured the snowstorm of stories that surround a parent’s passing, and she guided a room full of strangers to find comfort and community in the face of death.

Melinda is also a leader in Boston’s Cuban-American community and a champion of humanitarian causes, both on and off the stage.  She gained unexpected notoriety in 2016, when President Obama shared her family’s story of revolution, refuge, and return in his speech to the Cuban people about the end of the embargo. All of us who work in Boston’s theater industry are inspired by her chutzpah, and our work is greatly enriched by her perspective.

I had the pleasure of meeting Melinda almost nine years ago, when she was commissioned by Underground Railway Theatre and the National Institutes of Health to write a play, From Orchids to Octopi, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. I was her dramaturge, which is a fancy way of saying I did a lot of fact-checking. I also got to dress in a vest decorated with double-helixes and puppeteer a talking giraffe.

Not only did Melinda create a beautiful, thoughtful script that inspired the entire production team, but she also navigated the complexities that came with bringing artists, scientists, government funders, and, yes, puppeteers, together in the same place. I was very fortunate to have had Melinda as a creative mentor right before I started at Puppet Showplace, and I am so grateful to her for joining us tonight. Please welcome: Melinda Lopez.

MELINDA LOPEZ:

Thank you, Roxie, for inviting me to be part of Puppet Showplace Theater’s "Evening of Enchantment." I feel truly enchanted by the work that you all do.

I loved seeing so many puppeteers in action tonight. I especially enjoyed seeing the incredibly varied shadow puppetry performances done by Brad and his students.

Harriet Tubman shadow puppet from Are You Ready My Sister? by Underground Railway Theater

Harriet Tubman shadow puppet from Are You Ready My Sister? by Underground Railway Theater

It reminded me of the brief but influential chapter in my own life when I worked as a shadow puppeteer. Now, I don’t talk about this very often, because, quite frankly, I wasn’t very good at it. I was an actor touring with Underground Railway Theater’s production Are you Ready, My Sister. Part of my job was to bring the story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad to life with overhead-projector shadow puppetry. The intense precision of performing with puppets always stressed me out. A lot. What do you mean they can break? What if one goes missing? What if my hands are shaking or someone sees my arm? What if everyone is laughing at me on the other side of the screen!? Nevertheless, I practiced and practiced, and eventually things got better. I learned something really important about puppetry from that experience: puppetry meant that we humans weren’t alone up there on stage. We had light and shadow, and shapes and stars on our side. Puppetry made it possible for anything — anything — to happen.

A few years later, I wrote How Do You Spell Hope?, a play about literacy, which brought together the stories of a Cambridge high school athlete, a Latina immigrant, and Frederick Douglass, all struggling to learn to read. Now that puppetry had stretched my imagination, I felt a lot bolder as a playwright. In fact, on the very first page, as a character talked about what it was like to read fairy tales in her native Spanish: “Habia una vez, en un reno fantastico, todo era possible….” I bravely included the stage direction “As she reads, we see magical figures, dragons fly upward.”

Thanks to puppetry, we could transcend language. The audience would know that once upon a time, in a fantastical kingdom, anything was possible. I could show audiences how the simple act of reading was actually something magical.

Young Frederick Douglass puppet from URT's  How Do You Spell Hope?

Young Frederick Douglass puppet from URT's  How Do You Spell Hope?

During that show, I also learned that puppets have an amazing ability to speak without talking. It often takes actors a really long time to learn how to do this. But puppets are born with this ability. I remember the first time I met the main puppet character — a young Frederick Douglass, who commanded a room even though he was only about three feet tall. I was so moved the first time I saw him come to life that it made me cry. After rehearsal, I went home and cut half of the lines I had written in that scene. The truth is that puppetry is often much more powerful than words. Puppets say so much just by existing on stage. They activate our imagination. They make us lean forward, pay attention, and care.

So why does this matter? Why do we care about what happens in the realm of the imagination? Don’t we have bigger things to worry about here in the real world?

In the realm of imagination, we are all citizens.
We all carry the same passport. We all speak the same language.
We all have a pet dragon who eats cupcakes and reads us bedtime stories.
In the realm of imagination, we can all spell HOPE.

So... how do we get there?

Step number one: we need to turn off our cell phones. Too often, we rely way too much on technology to do our creative work for us. We get lazy, and the muscles of our imagination get soft. The realm of the imagination is much bigger than a screen. You can’t see it in your friends’ Snap Chat, and it doesn’t show up in Google Maps. In order to get there, we need our eyes open, our hearts open, and our feelings awake.

Step two: ask a kid for directions. We are all born with the capacity for joy, wonder, and imagination. Sometimes, the grown-up world kicks dirt all over those flames. But kids still have that guiding light. To the kids here tonight...stand up! Look around! On behalf of all of the parents and grownups, I want to say thank you for giving us excuses to go see puppet shows with you. You show us how to play and let us exercise our imaginations. Sometimes it’s hard for us, and we may take a little extra time to figure out what’s going on, because your imaginations are much more powerful than ours. But, with your help, we can get there. The next time you go to a puppet show, remember that half of the people in the audience are grownups who need your help to find their way.

Step three: let a puppeteer be your guide. Puppeteers are among the hardest-working performing artists I have ever met. Not only do they write scripts and tell stories, but they also build sets, paint eyeballs, play music, and literally carry their shows on their backs from venue to venue. Why? Because they believe that every community center, every classroom, every cafe-gymnasa-torium should have a border-crossing to the realm of imagination. And when they unpack their stages, test their microphones, and bring these handmade, miniature worlds to life, they create a magic glowing portal that is just big enough to get everyone in the audience inside. 

Last, and most important: don’t leave anyone behind. One problem with the realm of imagination is that once we get there, it’s so awesome and magical that sometimes we forget to stop, look around, and see who’s missing. Does everyone there look just like you? Was there a ramp next to the staircase? Did the funding for imagination portals just get cut… and cut again… and again? In a realm where anything is possible, we have to remember that it’s in our power to break down barriers and build bridges so that everyone can find their way across the border.

We are here tonight because we all believe in the mission of Puppet Showplace Theater, and because we believe that puppetry and live theater and imagination should be accessible to all. Your gifts, your generosity, your time, your talents, your compassion, and your kindness all make this possible. You have taken care of Brad for the past eight years as he journeyed to Sherwood Forest, sailed across the ocean, and built kingdoms out of cardboard. We will do the same for Sarah, as she sets down roots in Boston and her art begins to bloom. And we will do this for thousands of kids each year who wake up penniless but who still get handed a golden ticket and are greeted like royalty when they get to Puppet Showplace and are welcomed inside.

Thank you for welcoming me into this strong and creative community — it has been an inspiring night. I know exactly where I’ll go the next time I need help from a dragon. Or a brush-up on overhead projector shadow puppetry. With you, I imagine a great future for Puppet Showplace Theater, and for the all the kids and grownups here who believe that anything is possible.

Gala Emcee Melinda Lopez with Artistic Director Roxie Myhrum. 

Get Curious!

This spring, Puppet Showplace Theater explores the natural world, investigates mysteries, and encourages hands-on creativity in our "Get Curious!" series. Twelve interactive shows feature a variety of puppetry and theatrical styles, from hand and table-top puppets to live actors and music. Plus, in June, we welcome back Puppet Playtime, our popular interactive performance experience especially for toddlers!

"Get Curious!" runs from April 6 - June 17 and includes programming through April Vacation Week. (Learn more about the series here, and register for adult or youth classes and camps today!) 

Get Curious!

Kid Detectives, Gadget Inventors, and Outdoor Explorers Welcome!

April 6-9 (Thurs-Sun): "The Carrot Salesman" by Brad Shur, Resident Artist

April 13-15 (Thurs-Sat): "Peter Rabbit"* by Tuckers' Tales (CLOSED Easter Sunday)

April 18-20 (Tues-Thurs): "The Reluctant Dragon"* by All Hands Productions

April 21-23 (Fri-Sun): "The Legend of the Banana Kid"* by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers

April 27-30 (Thurs-Sun): "The Case of the Missing Kitten" (Boston debut!) by WonderSpark Puppets

May 4-7 (Thurs-Sun): "The Doubtful Sprout" by Liz Joyce & A Couple of Puppets

May 11-14 (Thurs-Sun): "I Spy Butterfly" by Faye Dupras, music by Max Weigert 

May 18-21 (Thurs-Sun): "Turtle's New Home: A Wetland Quest!" by Deborah Costine Nature Puppets

May 25-29 (Thurs-Mon): "Jack and the Beanstalk" by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre

June 1-3 (Thurs-Sat): "Cardboard Explosion!" by Brad Shur, Resident Artist

June 8-10 (Thurs-Sat): "A Woodland Cinderella" by Deborah Costine Nature Puppets

June 15-17 (Thurs-Sat): "Puppet Playtime: Bugs!"* by Brenda Huggins & Phil Berman

 

*April Vacation Week performances sell at our premium price: $15/ticket for general audience, $10/ticket for members. Regular-priced shows are $12/ticket for general audience, $8/ticket for members. Puppet Playtime is $25 for an adult/child pair.

 

We look forward to seeing you at the theater this spring! In the meantime, keep asking questions, keep solving mysteries, and, most importantly, keep having fun!

Celebrate World Day of Puppetry and Make Imagination Accessible for ALL!

Win a FREE puppet show and popsicle party...

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Every year, Puppet Showplace provides over 1,000 free and subsidized field trip tickets to under-served school and camp groups across greater Boston. This is made possible by generous donors like YOU, who contribute to the Mary Churchill Memorial Field Trip Fund. Created in honor of Puppet Showplace's founder, Mary Churchill, this program annually costs over $10,000 to administer.

You can make a difference! Add a $10 donation to your next puppet purchase, or make a tax-deductible contribution before March 21 (World Puppetry Day) to be entered to win a up to 60 free tickets to a June puppetry performance, plus an hour-long lobby rental for your celebration (popsicles included). It's our way of saying "thank you" for making imagination accessible for all.

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On behalf of all the kids we serve, we thank you for your generous support!

Puppets Around the World!

Puppets come in all shapes and sizes, and from every corner of the globe — just like us. Our annual "Puppets Around the World" series features international puppetry styles and stories, as well as classes for all ages and skill levels. Explore puppets big and small, far and near, all the while laughing and learning! 

"Puppets Around the World" runs from February vacation week through the first weekend in April. (Learn more about the series here, and register for adult or youth classes and camps today!) 

 
 

STORIES FROM ALL OVER!

AUSTRALIA: Dreamtime: Tales from Down Under by Barefoot Puppets (Feb 24 - 26)

WEST AFRICA : Trickster Tales by Barefoot Puppets (March 2 - 5)

AMERICA: Raccoon Tales by Brad Shur (March 9 - 12)

CHINA, INDIA, JAPAN, & BEYOND: Shadows Around the World by Nappy's Puppets (March 16 - 19)

CHINA: Hao Bang Ah, Rooster! by Chinese Theater Works (March 23 - 26)

GERMANY: Punschi: The Adventures of Kasper by Sandglass Theater (March 30 - April 2)

SPECIAL NEWS!

Tuesday, March 21 is WORLD PUPPETRY DAY! On this special day, puppeteers, puppet lovers, and puppets themselves come together to honor their wonderful diversity. Learn more about Puppeteers of America, UNIMA, this happy occasion, and how people across the globe are celebrating the magnificent art of puppetry! 

 
 

Of course, you can party with Puppet Showplace all month long! Celebrate with an art form as old as time itself — and fun since day one!

Holiday Shopping Guide

Happy Holidays, puppet fans! Our mission this season is to encourage interactive and engaging experiences with family and friends. Share the joy and wonder of live performance with your loved ones of all ages with these holiday gift tips from Puppet Showplace Theater.

1. Mainstage Tickets for Family Shows

"Peter and the Wolf" by National Marionette Theatre, December 22-24

"Peter and the Wolf" by National Marionette Theatre, December 22-24

Age Recommendation: 4 & up
Price: $8-15/person

 

When you bring a child with you for a puppetry performance in our intimate theater,  your gift impacts her development as a creative thinker. PLUS there is nothing more joyous during the holidays than the sound of a child's laughter!  Box office staff are happy to recommend the perfect show for you T: (617) 731-6400 x 101.

2. Gift Memberships

Age Recommendation: All ages!
Price: $50 to $250

 

Give the gift that keeps on giving! When you purchase a membership for your friends or loved ones, their household will receive priority seating, discounts on tickets, store purchases and more all year long! Members are also invited to special Members Only events throughout the year.

3. Digital Gift Cards

Age Recommendation: All ages
Price: $15 and up


 Our digital gift cards can be bought online, over the phone or in person at the theater. The best part? Digital gift card holders can redeem their gift online. A versatile gift, the cards can be used for any purchase at Puppet Showplace from tickets to puppets from our boutique gift shop.

4. Puppet Store

Age Recommendation: 3 & up
Price: 50c to $50

From the most adorable Folkmanis animal critters you can possibly imagine to your favorite Sesame Street characters, we have a comprehensive selection of puppets. Choose from finger puppets, hand puppets, and marionettes. And members receive 10% off all store purchases!

5. Workshops and Classes

Age Recommendation: 5 & up
Price: $20 to $150
 

Is someone on your holiday gift list artsy/crafty? Beginning in January, we offer classes and workshops for children and adults taught by professional puppeteers. Choose from a single session marionette workshop and multi-session classes in Shadow Theater taught by professional puppeteers!

6. Puppets at Night for Adults and Teens

Age Recommendation: 16 & up
Price: $10 to $15

That's right puppet fans, we have shows, classes and memberships for adults! Tickets to a Puppets at Night performance or Puppet Showplace Slam are only $10 if you are a member ($15 for non-members) and our Puppets at Night Members ($75) receive discounts on classes and workshops, plus TWO complimentary tickets to any Puppets at Night performance. What a great gift!

We look forward to seeing you at the theater!

Puppetry Partnerships: Empowering Each Other!

Artistic Director Roxie Myhrum with the cast of El Gato con Botas.

Dear Puppet Showplace Family,

As a puppeteer with a political science background, I have been thinking a lot this year about art and civic responsibility. 

How can we create experiences that are relevant and impactful to our community? How do we respond to matters of social concern? How do we overcome barriers to reach audiences whose lives will benefit from our work?

One thing is certain: we can't do it alone.

Over the past year, Puppet Showplace has partnered with organizations throughout Greater Boston. These collaborations have allowed us to envision new creative projects while expanding our capacity to make a difference.

I am proud to share these five inspiring stories of what we have achieved together!


The cast of El Gato

Puppetry in Spanish-Speaking Communities

Puppet Showplace partnered with OperaHub and the Boston Conservatory to create a Spanish-language touring production of the children's opera El Gato con Botas. Tickets to this show were FREE thanks to generous individual donors and a consortium of funders including the Boston Cultural Council, NEFA's Creative City grant, and the Bob Jolly Charitable Trust. Together, we reached bilingual audiences all over Boston and forged new connections with community partner venues such as Villa Victoria and the Hyde Square Task Force.

Kimi Maeda

Puppets at Night and the
Fight for Racial Justice

Puppets at Night joined forces with the Japanese American Citizen's League (JACL) and the White People Challenging Racism course (WPCR) to bring two outstanding political productions to Brookline and Boston. Kimi Maeda's BEND, inspired by her father's experiences in a Japanese-American internment camp,  played to sold-out crowds on Station Street. Paul Zaloom's outrageous satire White Like Me brought in our largest Puppets at Night crowd yet to MassArt's Tower Auditorium. With our partners' help, audiences engaged in reflective conversation about these important political issues after each show.

Cardboard Classroom

Cardboard Classroom Initiatives

When Brad Shur's highly-interactive show Cardboard Explosion! was first in development, we offered free mini-performances to Horizons for Homeless Children and to underserved schools and camps around Boston. These partners provided essential feedback about the production. After this "research and development" phase was complete, Boston University's Questrom School of Business tapped Puppet Showplace to collaborate on a graduate-level class about impression management and professional identity. Building on design templates developed for the show, Brad worked with students to create cardboard portrait puppets. He then guided them through improvisations exploring the impact of identity on workplace decision making.

Midnight Zoo

Imagination and Conservation

The Franklin Park Zoo came to Puppet Showplace with a challenge: could our puppeteers transform an unused outdoor space into a Halloween attraction that would celebrate conservation and imagination? After six months of intense work, the result was The Midnight Zoo, a 360-degree immersive production that took audiences on a quest to protect imaginary creatures from extinction. This production was attended by over 4,000 people and involved the talents of 27 performers, 15 designers, and countless other friends and supporters who helped our wildest dreams come true.

ArtsEducation

Expanding Arts Education

Our education programs have grown by leaps and bounds overthe past five years all thanks to numerous partnerships. Our summer camp, presented in collaboration with Brookline Recreation, now sees full enrollment every August. Last year, with help from Brookline Adult and Community Education, we launched puppetry enrichment programs during school vacation weeks. Finally, the Massachusetts Cultural Council's STARS grant will once again enable us to present a 12-week puppetry residency with the Trotter Innovation Schoo;'s kindergarten classes (enjoy their wonderful shadow puppet video project from 2016).


As we celebrate these successes, I want to thank YOU for being OUR partner as we continue our mission to bring outstanding professional puppetry to diverse audiences. Your support, encouragement, and dedication makes these ambitious collaborations possible.

Here's to more exciting partnerships in 2017!

With hope and boundless enthusiasm about the future,

Roxanna "Roxie" Myhrum
Puppet Showplace Artistic Director

Fantastic Friendships!

We have an interactive new family series opening November 3 - "Fantastic Friendships."
Characters big and small team up to learn, play - and save the day!

In these shows, characters support one another to succeed and have fun doing so. Each production highlights a different type of friendship because no two are alike! 

Meet the Artists: CactusHead Puppets

The town of Hamelin has a rat problem, and there's only one person who can help! CactusHead Puppets brings the story of the Pied Piper to life in this kid-friendly comedic adaptation of the traditional folktale. The kids of Hamelin make a new friend and teach the grownups a lesson about generosity.  

The Pied Piper                        

Thurs & Fri, November 3 - 4: 10:30AM
Sat & Sun, November 5 - 6: 1pm & 3pm

About the Show:

"The Pied Piper of Hamelin" by CactusHead Puppets- November 10-13, 2016

"The Pied Piper of Hamelin" by CactusHead Puppets- November 10-13, 2016

About the Artists:

 
 

CactusHead Puppets are know for their playful performance style and exuberant creativity. The West Springfield-based company was founded in 2010 by husband and wife team John & Megan Regan. Since then they have created numerous shows based on favorite, familiar folktales and have toured throughout western New England. John and Megan are both graduates of the University of Connecticut's Puppet Arts program. Megan collects pop-up books and John has a love for giant monster movies. They were both Puppet Showplace Theater interns and are excited to return to Boston to share their work as professional puppeteers!

Meet the Artists: Crabgrass Puppet Theater

Can a tortoise win a tug of war with a mighty elephant? Can a tiny mouse help an enormous lion? Find out as Crabgrass Puppet Theatre travels the globe to tell stories that demonstrate even the small and weak can have a big impact on others. VIEW CALENDAR HERE

The Lion and the Mouse

Thurs & Fri, November 3 - 4: 10:30AM
Sat & Sun, November 5 - 6: 1pm & 3pm

About the Show:

About the Artists:

Jamie Keithline and Bonny Hall formed Crabgrass Puppet Theatre in San Francisco in 1982 and have delighted audiences across the nation with their whimsical humor and puppetry ever since. Their performing venues have included the Detroit Institute of Art, the Smithsonian, Paper Mill Playhouse, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They have been awarded two Citations of Excellence from UNIMA-USA, the highest puppetry award in the United States, and in 2009, Bonny Hall was awarded a Design Commendation from the Arlyn Award Foundation. Since 2001, Jamie and Bonny have been living in Halifax, Vermont, a tiny town in the hills near Brattleboro, where they continue to create their award-winning productions.

Take Action! WHITE LIKE ME and Racial Justice Organizations

Paul Zaloom with Bread and Puppet Theater. 

Paul Zaloom with Bread and Puppet Theater. 

Thanks to the hundreds of grown-up puppet fans who came out to see Paul Zaloom's outrageous political comedy WHITE LIKE ME: A HONKY DORY PUPPET SHOW. 

Want to continue the conversation?

Our community partners from the White People Challenging Racism Course and Community Change, Inc. shared with us this list of almost 90 racial justice organizations from across Greater Boston who are doing great work in our community. WOW!

TAKE ACTION! Sign up for a class, get involved, make a donation, and do your part to support racial justice in our community. 

See you after the Presidential election for our next Puppets at Night show, AN EXISTENTIAL SING-ALONG! 

RACIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS

BOSTON EDUCATION JUSTICE ALLIANCE. The founding local chapter of the Mass Education Justice Alliance, BEJA is a coalition of students, educators, parents, school staff, and concerned community members committed to building a stronger and better public school system that is driven by community voices.

http://www.bostonedjustice.org/

BOSTON STUDENT ADVISORY COUNCIL. BSAC advocates for and protects the voices of students in BPS by empowering the student body to express their opinions regarding education reform and ensuring that students are included in decision and policy making that impacts their lives and educational experiences.

http://www.youthonboard.org/bsac

BOSTON TEACHER ACTION GROUP. TAG is a coalition of educators from greater Boston who believe education is essential to human liberation. They are committed to working alongside youth and other members of the community to dismantle oppressive practices in schools and society. TAG is part of a national coalition of grassroots teacher organizing groups. They engage in shared political education and relationship building in order to work for educational justice both nationally and in local communities.

www.tagboston.org

 

 

CITIZENS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS promote, preserve and protect public schools and public education.

http://www.citizensforpublicschoolsorg/the-fight-for-boston-public-schools/

COMMUNITY CHANGE, INC. Since 1968, Community Change Inc. has served as a community for white people and their multiracial allies to come together to learn about systemic racism and to fight against it. Now Black-led under the leadership of Shay Stewart-Bouley, CCI is shifting into the role of a legacy organization supporting the work of emerging white anti-racist activists as well as established groups organizing within the greater Boston area. 

http://www.communitychangeinc.org/

White Privilege Conference. WPC is a conference that examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world. It is designed to examine issues of privilege beyond skin color. WPC is open to everyone and invites diverse perspectives to provide a comprehensive look at issues of privilege including: race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc. — the ways we all experience some form of privilege, and how we’re all affected by that privilege.

http://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com/wpc.html

 

 

PAPER CITY is a documentary and education program provided for free to help youth, educators, and advocates counteract the school-to-prison pipeline by combining City Year's graduation pipeline model with the Help Increase the Peace Project model for peace education.

http://www.papercitymovie.com/

POSSE FOUNDATION. Rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students—a Posse—carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for increased individual and community development in our increasingly multicultural society.

https//www.possefoundation.org/

BOSTON MAYOR’S YOUTH COUNCIL. The Mayor's Youth Council provides Boston's young people with an active role in addressing youth issues. High school juniors and seniors are selected to serve as volunteer representatives of every neighborhood in the city. The young advocates reach out to Boston teens, inform them of existing opportunities, and listen to suggestions on what the city can do to improve its youth oriented efforts.

http://www.cityofboston.gov/youthcouncil/about.asp

 

 

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF BOSTON works to ensure all young people in our community have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Members develop critical thinking, physical, social, technological, artistic, and life skills by participating in interactive activities intentionally designed to support their development and overall well-being. Volunteers may support youth with homework, assist in program areas with the daily activity, coach, or help with administrative tasks, to list just a few areas where volunteers can get involved.

http://www.bgcb.org/

THE CENTER FOR TEEN EMPOWERMENT is a youth organizing and social change program that has sites in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Somerville, MA, and in Rochester, NY. At each site, Teen Empowerment hires a group of youth, ages 14-21, and trains them as community organizers, providing them with the support, resources, and ongoing training they need to organize initiatives that involve both youth and adults in addressing community issues.  

http://teenempowerment.org/

DIAMOND EDUCATORS MENTORING INC. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student performance of those youth in low-income neighborhoods and families. DEMI believes that all youth/students must be given opportunities and encouragement to succeed in life.

http://www.diamondeducators.org/

 

 

ENROOT empowers immigrant youth in Cambridge to achieve academic, career, and personal success through inspiring out-of-school experiences.

http://www.enrooteducation.org/about-u/

HYDE SQUARE TASK FORCE. Based in Jamaica Plain, HSTF develops the skills of youth and their families so they are empowered to enhance their own lives and build a strong and vibrant urban community. Uses theater and the arts for community engagement and hosts a “Paths to College and Careers Program.”

http://www.hydesquare.org/

MASSACHUSETTS ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN is dedicated to being an independent and effective voice for children who face significant barriers to equal educational and life opportunities. MAC works to overcome these barriers by changing conditions for many children, while also helping one child at a time.

http://massadvocates.org/

MASS MENTORING PARTNERSHIP. Based in Boston, MMP is fueling the movement to expand empowering youth-adult relationships across Massachusetts. MMP serves more than 250 mentoring and youth development programs statewide supporting more than 33,000 youth in mentoring relationships.

http://massmentors.org/

 

 

NOTRE DAME EDUCATION CENTER in South Boston, founded in 1992 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, is a comprehensive adult education center, providing a diverse, caring community in which students are empowered to develop their full potential as scholars, workers and citizens.

http://www.ndecboston.org/

ROCA. Founded in 1988, Roca is an outcomes-driven organization dedicated to transforming the lives of the most high-risk young people ages 17-24 (street, court, and gang-involved; drop-outs; young parents). Roca combines relentless outreach with data-driven evaluation to produce consistent, positive outcomes for young people in the Greater Boston area, including the communities of Chelsea, Revere, Everett, Boston, and East Boston, as well as Springfield.

http://rocainc.org/

SOCIEDAD LATINA is a citywide organization that focuses on supporting the unmet needs of youth and families from Boston’s Latino and Mission Hill/Roxbury communities. Since 1968, Sociedad Latina has worked in partnership with youth and families to create the next generation of Latino leaders who are confident, competent, self-sustaining and proud of their cultural heritage.

http://www.sociedadlatina.org/

 

 

UTEC's mission and promise is to ignite and nurture the ambition of Lowell's most disconnected young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success. UTEC is the result of an organizing movement driven by young people to develop their own teen center in response to gang violence. UTEC serves young people from both Lowell and Lawrence, MA.

https://www.utec-lowell.org/

The YMCA provides pre-school & after-school opportunities for children of all means, as well as teen leadership programs and a place that cares for all. There are local Ys throughout the Boston area, the nation, and the world.

http://www.ymca.net/our-focus/

STRATEGIES FOR YOUTH is a policy and training organization dedicated to improving police/youth interactions through community engagement, police training, outreach programs for youth, and proactive use of multi-disciplinary approaches to problem solve and build relationships between police and youth.

http://strategiesforyouth.org/

The YOUNG PEOPLE’S PROJECT uses Math Literacy Work to develop the abilities of elementary through high school students to succeed in school and in life.

http://www.typp.org/

 

 

The YOUTH ADVOCACY FOUNDATION works to vigorously defend the rights and promote the well-being of court-involved children to help them grow into healthy and productive members of our society.

http://youthadvocacyfoundation.org/

The mission of YOUTHBUILD BOSTON is to empower and assist underserved young people from the Boston area with the essential social, vocational, academic, and life skills necessary to navigate a positive pathway to self-sufficiency and neighborhood responsibility.  YouthBuild uses entrepreneurship and experiential learning to ignite the potential of youth in under-resourced communities and equip them for high school, college and career success. 

http://youthbuildboston.org/aboutus/

YOUTH ON BOARD. Since 1994, Youth on Board (YOB) has been a leader in the field of youth organizing in the Boston area and beyond. YOB is a youth-led, adult supported organization where young people of color have the space and tools to recognize and utilize the power they hold to dismantle political and economic structures that reinforce inequity. We believe in the power of students to transform their communities by recognizing that when young people are fully engaged—when their voices are heard, their opinions matter, and their unique perspective is respected—they commit themselves to making their schools, their communities, and their own lives better.

http://www.youthonboard.org/

CITIZENS FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE is the only independent, non-profit, statewide organization working exclusively to improve the juvenile justice system in Massachusetts. CfJJ advocates, convenes, conducts research, and educates the public on important juvenile justice issues.

www.cfjj.org

CONCORD PRISON OUTREACH is a non-profit organization committed to helping people in prison through educational programming. We work cooperatively with the Massachusetts Department of Correction to implement effective programs that teach valuable skills. We recruit, train, and support volunteers and are specifically seeking tutors to help people in prison obtain their high school equivalency diploma.

http://www.concordprisonoutreach.org/about-cpo/

CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY COALITION is a member-based, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of effective, just, and humane criminal justice policy in Massachusetts.

http://www.cjpc.org/

The EDLAW PROJECT is dedicated to ensuring that Massachusetts’ highest risk children receive a quality education and avoid the school-to-prison pipeline.

https://www.publiccounsel.net/edlaw/

 

 

FAMILIES AGAINST MANDATORY MINIMUMS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization fighting for smart sentencing laws that protect public safety. It seeks a country where criminal sentencing is individualized, humane, and sufficient to impose fair punishment and protect public safety.

http://famm.org/

The mission of MOTHERS FOR JUSTICE AND EQUALITY is to end neighborhood violence. By empowering our members to be effective change-makers, we reclaim the identity of our communities and restore a sense of hope and purpose for our children. 

http://www.mothersforjusticeandequality.org/

BLACK LIVES MATTER – CAMBRIDGE is part of the movement to end structural racism both locally, nationally and internationally.

https://www.facebook.com/blacklivesmattercambridge/?fref=ts

BLACK LIVES MATTER – BOSTON remains committed to being active in the movement against racist policing and police violence both locally and nationally.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatterBOS/

 

 

CITY LIFE / VIDA URBANA is a 40-year-old bilingual, community organization whose mission is to fight for racial, social and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power through direct action, coalition building, education and advocacy. Currently working against evictions, CL/VU views the current displacement crisis as an issue of racial equity, as well as economic and housing justice.

http://www.clvu.org/

HALEY HOUSE uses food and the power of community to break down barriers between people, transfer new skills, and revitalize neighborhoods. It believes in radical solutions: solving problems at their root by challenging attitudes that perpetuate suffering and by building alternative models.

http://haleyhouse.org/

MASSACHUSETTS IMMIGRANT & REFUGEE ADVOCACY COALITION is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. MIRA serves the Commonwealth's one million foreign-born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, strategic communications, citizenship assistance.

https://www.miracoalition.org/

 

 

The non-profit, non-partisan PRISON POLICY INITIATIVE produces cutting edge research to expose the broader harm of mass criminalization, and then sparks advocacy campaigns to create a more just society.

http://www.prisonpolicy.org/

SURJ BOSTON is a local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice, a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. We work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizations.

http://www.surjboston.org/

Knapsack Anti-Racism MeetUp is a multiracial group committed to challenging the system of racism in the United States and the world. We engage in dialogue, build community, and support the efforts of racial justice leaders and organizations. We are dedicated to the struggle for shared liberation. Knapsack is a program of Community Change Inc.

www.meetup.com/Antiracists

 

 

White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action (WPCR) brings people together to examine white privilege and racism in order to galvanize them to anti-racist action. Our mission is to provide people with tools and resources to challenge and change attitudes and actions that perpetuate racism. While our focus is on white people’s role in dismantling racism, our courses are open to everyone who is committed to achieving racial justice. It is a five-part workshop consists of weekly two-hour meetings over the course of five weeks. Other time configurations are being developed. WPCR is a program of Community Change Inc.  

www.wpcr-boston.org/

Anti-Racism Collaborative (ARC). We are a multi-racial collective of anti-oppression educators and activists committed to the movement for racial justice. Through our courses, workshops, and community building, we cultivate opportunities that provide participants with experiences along an arch of growth. Their journey in our programs will change their world view, opening them to a clear action oriented process for directing their energy to dismantle injustices. ARC offers courses and workshops, including the 5-week courses: Confronting Systemic Racism and Racial Justice Activism

Antiracismcollaborative.org

 

 

Black & Pink (B&P) is an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who support each other. Our work toward the abolition of the prison industrial complex is rooted in the experience of currently and formerly incarcerated people. We are outraged by the specific violence of the prison industrial complex against LGBTQ people, and respond through advocacy, education, direct service, and organizing. Black & Pink is a national organization with a Boston chapter. B&P Boston welcomes new volunteers to get involved and/or assist with mail processing at multiple times and locations each week.

www.blackandpink.org

Wholeness Beyond Whiteness seeks to create a space for White people in racial justice work to deepen their sense of rootedness in the work. Our goal is to help enable White people to get past the fears of risk that hold us back from full commitment to racial justice by focusing on how shame functions as a tool of White supremacy and thus how shame resilience is necessary for White racial justice organizers, as well as the ways that perception fundamentally shapes the way we come into racial justice organizing spaces. If you’re interested in receiving emails about opportunities to participate in a workshop and community of practice

fill out this form: http://bit.ly/29vYOy9

 

 

Boston Mobilization. Our work continues to be developing the next generation of social justice leaders, through our powerful trainings, our community organizing campaign work, our mentorship of young leaders and our transformational youth programs. We support teen leadership for action, organizing and social justice education in and out of schools in greater Boston.  If you’re a young person interested in racial justice, there are great ways to get involved.

http://bostonmobilization.org/suburban-justice-program/

Camberville Accomplices. If you live in Cambridge/Somerville and are interested in signing up for an emerging community of predominantly White folks fighting to end White supremacy in our cities, please sign up here and more information will be forthcoming in the near future. You can sign up here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfOHfQHohrGfo7lA6FluNnTBmcbA6UsvTaT-hFoUbjVEdbj9A/viewform?c=0&w=1

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

http://www.naacp.org/

826 Boston. We support the writing and literacy needs of students in Roxbury's Egleston Square and beyond

www.826boston.org

Resist. Resist is a foundation that supports people's movements for justice and liberation. We redistribute resources back to frontline communities at the forefront of change while amplifying their stories of building a better world.

www.resist.org

act-ma is a progressive, Massachusetts moderated e-mail list for activists to announce area events & resources, as well as issue action alerts, job announcements & periodic updates.

http://act-ma.org/

Alternatives for Community & Environment. ACE builds the power of communities of color and low-income communities in Massachusetts to eradicate environmental racism and classism, create healthy, sustainable communities, and achieve environmental justice. 

http://www.ace-ej.org/

 

 

The Boston Racial Justice and Equity Initiative is a group of organizations, professionals, and community members that are committed to building a healthy community by increasing racial equity in employment, education, housing, and health care, among other opportunities, and by working for racial justice.

http://www.futureboston.com/about/our-pov/you-all-should-know-about-boston-racial-justice-and-equity-initiative

Belmont Against Racism (BAR) is a community-action, all-volunteer organization addressing issues of racism and prejudice by following the slogan, think globally, act locally. We focus on fostering awareness and educating the community about exclusionary practices, creating a welcoming community for all, and increasing diversity throughout the town. While BAR, in its first decade, mostly focused on addressing racism, we have broadened our mission to include all problems of prejudice that impact our town and local community.

http://www.belmontagainstracism.org/

The Boston Racial Justice and Equity Initiative is a group of organizations, professionals, and community members that are committed to building a healthy community by increasing racial equity in employment, education, housing, and health care, among other opportunities, and by working for racial justice.

https://www.facebook.com/bostonracialjustice

 

 

Haymarket People’s Fund is an anti-racist and multi-cultural foundation that is committed to strengthening the movement for social justice in New England. Through grantmaking, fundraising and capacity building, we support grassroots organizations that address the root causes of injustice. Haymarket also organizes to increase sustainable community philanthropy throughout our region.  

http://www.haymarket.org/

Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) is one of few non-profit organizations in Boston dedicated to the unique and complex needs of the Black, Hispanic and Latin@ LGBTQ community. Founded in 2009, we work to inspire and empower Latin@, Hispanic and Black LGBTQ individuals to improve their livelihood through activism, education, community outreach, and counseling.

http://www.hbgc-boston.org/

Jobs Not Jail is a statewide coalition to redirect costly prison spending towards jobs, training and support for Massachusetts' lowest income communities. Our three goals are to reform criminal justice in Massachusetts, Stop All New Prison Construction, Re-Direct $2 Billion to Create Job Opportunities.

http://jobsnotjails.org/

 

 

Media Literacy Now is a national grassroots organization seeking state-by-state education policy change to ensure that all children learn comprehensive media literacy and digital citizenship skills.  MLN is working with advocates in 17 states to elevate media literacy education as a legislative priority. Media Literacy Now provides policy and advocacy information, expertise, and resources to develop state laws to implement media literacy education in schools.

http://medialiteracynow.org

The Mission Institute provides individuals, congregations and communities with innovative learning opportunities that nurture leaders, advance spiritual growth, and support the flourishing of just, healthy societies. Acknowledging the strengths of diversity and collaboration, the Mission Institute strives to be a platform through which people can access a rich array of resources that fuel transformational ministry. The Mission Institute was founded in 2013 through a collaboration between the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, the Episcopal Divinity School, and Episcopal City Mission.

http://themissioninstitute.org

Rootstrong is an organization focused on excellence in multicultural leadership education and development. Our mission is to provide resources, experiences, and development opportunities to promote equity, social justice and excellence through leadership. Having derived great strength, guidance and inspiration from one’s family, community, and/or personal history.

http://www.rootstrong.org/

 

 

One Thousand Arms hosts retreats and workshops, and provides consulting services, on how white people can use meditation as a tool in our work to dismantle racism.  

http://onethousandarms.net

Youth Equity Stewardship (YES!) is an arts-based, experiential and inter-generational process of transformational stewardship of our school communities.

https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/youth-equity-stewardship-yes

Welcome 2 Reality, LLC, a Connecticut-based company founded by social workers, provides services to children and families that incorporating their knowledge of human behavior and the need for attachment to help young people achieve a healthy balance between fantasy and reality. 

http://www.welcome2reality.us/

Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED). The National SEED ProjectSM is a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity. nationalseedproject.org/

 

 

Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN). UMN’s mission is to ensure that trained, committed grassroots leaders of color effectively organize on issues of concern in their communities, their regions, and the nation. UMN’s vision is to create a unifying force to address the threats to our civil liberties and to end discriminatory policies and practices that limit our access to political, economic and social power.

http://unionofminorityneighborhoods.org/

YouthWorks is a state-funded youth employment program that helps teens and young adults get the skills and experience needed to find and keep jobs. Participants take part in paid short-term work placements during the summer and/or school year at public, private and nonprofit worksites.

http://commcorp.org/programs/youthworks/

The Essex County Community Organization (ECCO) is a congregation based community organization on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Since 1981, ECCO’s organizing has brought about significant improvements for our communities in job training, health care, youth development, housing, and safety.

http://www.mcan-pico.org/affiliates/ecco/

Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN) is a network of faith-based community organizations in MA working for economic and racial justice. We are inspired by our faith traditions’ deep and enduring call to justice.

http://www.mcan-pico.org/

United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. Our powerful nonpartisan network is made up of over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. We organize and advocate for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status.

http://unitedwedream.org/

Not In Our Town is a movement to stop hate, address bullying, and build safe, inclusive communities for all. Not In Our Town films, new media, and organizing tools help local leaders build vibrant, diverse cities and towns, where everyone can participate.

https://www.niot.org/

No Place for Hate® is an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League offered free to schools. The initiative is designed to rally the entire school around the goal of creating a welcoming community committed to stopping all forms of bias and bullying. No Place For Hate® provides a unique framework to incorporate new and existing programs with one consistent message. No Place For Hate® can help your school foster a culture of respect and create a safe, bully-free learning environment for students at all grade levels.

http://www.adl.org/npfh/

 

 

World of Wellesley is dedicated to making Wellesley, Massachusetts a welcoming community where diversity is celebrated. In partnership with many local institutions and organizations, we organize events, projects, and programs that emphasize the value in exploring our many cultures, religions, and ways of life.

http://www.worldofwellesley.org

Winchester Multicultural Network. Our mission is to promote the recognition, understanding, and appreciation of diversity, advocate for each and every person’s civil rights and confront intolerance.

http://www.wmcn.org/

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond focuses on understanding what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone. Our workshops utilize a systemic approach that emphasizes learning from history, developing leadership, maintaining accountability to communities, creating networks, undoing internalized racial oppression and understanding the role of organizational gate keeping as a mechanism for perpetuating racism.

http://www.pisab.org/

 

 

VISIONS: Vigorous InterventionS Into Ongoing Natural Settings. Our vision is to be a catalyst for a more equitable world where differences are valued and used for the benefit of all.

http://visions-inc.org/

Hard Conversations: An Introduction to Racism. This is a month-long online seminar program hosted by authors, speakers, and social justice activists Patti Digh and Victor Lee Lewis, who was featured in the documentary film, The Color of Fear, with help from a community of people who want and are willing to help us understand the reality of racism by telling their stories and sharing their resources.

http://www.37days.com/racism/

The Cambridge Center for Adult Education provides high-quality educational opportunities for the diverse adults of Greater Boston including such courses as White People Challenging Racism and Black & White Women: Reconciling Our Past, Re-Defining Our Future.

https://ccae.org/

CrossRoads: Antiracism Organizing & Training. Our mission is to dismantle systemic racism and build antiracist multicultural diversity within institutions and communities implemented primarily by training institutional transformation teams.

http://crossroadsantiracism.org/

The National Coalition Building Institute is an international non-profit leadership development network dedicated to the elimination of racism and other forms of oppression. Rooted in an understanding of individual, community, and systemic change, NCBI leaders work with public and private organizations to further cultural competence, collaboration and partnerships, and effective relationships within and across group identities.

www.ncbi.org

Anti Defamation League's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute recognizes that attitudes and beliefs affect actions, and that each of us can have an impact on others, and ultimately, on the world in which we live.  

http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/anti-bias-education/c/a-world-of-difference.html

Everyday Democracy: Ideas and Tools for Community Change.  Communities of every size and demographic need routine opportunities for people of many backgrounds to dialogue with each other and with public officials, have a voice in decision making, and work together for stronger communities.  

https://www.everyday-democracy.org/

 

 

Training for Change. Since 1992 Training for Change has been committed to increasing capacity around the world for activist training. When we say activist training, we mean training that helps groups stand up more effectively for justice, peace and the environment. We deliver skills directly that people working for social change can use in their daily work. We call our particular approach the direct education approach.

http://www.trainingforchange.org/

World Trust Educational Services is a non-profit social justice organization that provides deep learning, tools and resources for people interested in tackling unconscious bias and systemic racial inequity in their workplace, community and in their lives. Since 1998, we’ve produced equity and diversity films, curriculum and workshops that deepen the conversation about race.

http://world-trust.org/

The National Race Amity Conference offers participants positive, focused opportunities for intimate discussion circles, interactive panels, and informative sessions on a variety of topics central to the main theme of race amity in the United States. Boston, MA November 17 - 19, 2016.

http://raceamity.org/

 

 

The Kingston Bay Group has experience at all levels of P-12 and Higher Education, and our work has always centered on diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. The Kingston Bay Group is dedicated to providing the coaching, consulting, and search services you need to support your organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

http://thekingstonbaygroup.com/

Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.

Implicit Attitudes Test: http://www.implicit.harvard.edu

Racial Equity Tools is an online library contains 1,600+ resources, including concepts, data, plans, strategies and curricula.

www.racialequitytools.org

Rethinking Schools is a national publisher of educational materials, including a blog, and monthly online and print magazine, that help educators and others understand and address inequities in public education, with an emphasis on urban schools and issues of race.

www.rethinkingschools.org

 

Meet the Artists: Perry Alley Theatre

"Puss in Boots" remains the charming and charismatic hero we all know and love in Perry Alley Theatre's enchanting show, presented Columbus Day weekend, October 8 - 10!  VIEW CALENDAR

"Puss in Boots"

Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 @ 1:00PM and 3:00PM, and Monday, October 10 @ 10:30AM and 1:00PM

 

About the Show:

This delightful puppet performance is a warm and witty retelling of the classic tale of a crafty cat and his outrageous adventures. With a little help from a feathered hat and a pair of magical boots, Puss arranges a wealthy conclusion for his poor master. This show is artfully presented with a marvelous mix of Renaissance style and pure fantasy. A "Cat-Rap" introduction adds to the fun. BUY TICKETS HERE

About the Artists:

Andrew and Bonnie Periale founded Perry Alley Theatre in 1986 and moved to their current home and studio in NH in 1988. Together, they’ve produced a dozen major shows and many shorter pieces for touring. Andrew and Bonnie have performed at numerous national and regional puppetry festivals, at the Smithsonian Institution, the Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta), the Jim Henson International Festival of Puppetry and at many other venues across the U.S. as well as in France and Italy. Recognitions include The Paul Vincent Davis Award, the George Latshaw Award, 3 Henson Foundation grants, 2 UNIMA Citations, an Emmy nomination, finalists in the International Festival of Film and Television and, from UNIMA-USA, a Lifetime Achievement award.

Meet the Artists: Pumpernickel Puppets

Would you kiss a frog if you knew he was really a prince? Well, we know a princess who might! With "The Frog Prince," yet another beloved tale is brought to life this weekend at Puppet Showplace. This enchanting and interactive show are sure to capture your heart. VIEW CALENDAR

"The Frog Prince"

Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2 @ 1:00PM and 3:00PM

About the Show:

An enchantment has turned handsome young Prince Tad into a hideous beast. The only way to reverse the spell is for someone to fall in love with him in spite of his beastly appearance. Will a kind young woman be able to see past his looks and love him for whom he truly is inside?

All ends happily as the characters learn about being kind and keeping promises. "The Frog Prince" features a colorful cast of puppet characters, live voices and sound effects, and behind-the-scenes puppet demonstrations, with a riveting classical music score! BUY TICKETS HERE

About the Artists:

The Pumpernickel Puppets are the creation of John McDonough of Worcester, Massachusetts. John was four years old when he saw his first puppet show, and he immediately knew that he wanted to be a puppeteer. By his teens, John was presenting shows all over the New England area. The Pumpernickel Puppets have had the honor of appearing at the Puppet Showplace Theatre, the Boston Children’s Museum, the Institute of Professional Puppetry Arts at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., the Cultural Olympiad at the Center For Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, and the prestigious International Festival of Puppet Theatre sponsored by the Jim Henson Foundation at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York. For each production, John creates and performs all of his own puppets, which range from small hand puppets to larger-than-life figures.

Hello From an Intern!

A Norwegian Whaler from a informative show Paul performed in

I'm Jason and this summer, I worked as an intern at Puppet Showplace Theater though a program sponsored by my high school. Over the last seven weeks, I have worked on various different projects at Puppet Showplace. Everything from washing windows to marketing and promotions, each project I finished taught me more and more about how the theater operated. 

The most important of these many projects was the very last one I worked on. In an attempt to document Puppet Showplace Theater's rich history, I visited Resident Artist Emeritus Paul Vincent Davis's studio, where puppets have been created for decades. The old studio was largely unused since Paul's retirement, but it was still a treasure trove of originality and puppet history.                                                                                                      

The  goal of this project was to document these puppets through photography, preserve them, and ask their creator about his work. The first step of this endeavor was to move the ancient puppets out of the studio and into Puppet Showplace. Many of the puppets were decades old with layers of dust on them. Fortunately, Paul's studio was directly above the theater, and I was able to discreetly extract the puppets in laundry baskets through the building's backdoor. 

Inside the theater, a small puppet stage had been set. A small lamp placed on top of a milk carton, a phone camera, and a table draped with a black velvet curtain created the setting for most of the photos I would be taking. The documentation process was the last time many of these puppets would ever see the spotlight. Using the phone camera and the lamp, I was able to capture these puppets in their former glory. In total, I captured about 35 fully finished puppets, and forty unfinished ones. We safely tucked each puppet away in the basement in bins. Each bin became a miniature time capsule into the life of Paul Vincent Davis. Each photo was uploaded into a folder on flickr, which would serve as a reference for future exhibits. 

The final step in this project was to invite Paul Davis downstairs for an interview. Together, we went over pictures of each puppet. Paul combed through five decades of puppeteering to tell me the details of each puppet. We went through each individual performance Paul performed; from commercials to variety performances to shows at the theater, Paul's puppets have entertained thousands across decades.

Check out parts of the puppet album here: 

The most impressive aspect of this project was each puppet's originality. Although each puppet was made of similar materials, such as fabric and paper mache, each puppet was imbued with its own personality and special characteristics.  There were puppets of dogs, clowns, witches, ordinary townspeople and everything in between. 

The common ground between all of my projects this summer is the continued improvement  of this theater, which has been open for 42 years. With the help of the staff and my fellow interns, I hoped that my efforts this summer has helped Puppet Showplace Theater in a small way.

Meet the Artists: Dream Tale Puppets

"Jack and the Beanstalk"

Beans, beans, magical beans! Watch as Jack ascends the bean stalk and meets a host of fun and friendly characters on his journey. Using numerous styles of puppetry, Dream Tale Puppets puts a fresh twist on this classic tale that you won't want to miss. VIEW CALENDAR

Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 1:00PM and 3:00PM

About the Show:

When Jack sells the family cow for three magic beans, he launches his family on a rags-to-riches adventure! This joyous and imaginative production transports audiences up the beanstalk and into the land of giants using every style of puppet character, from masks to marionettes. Lively narration, beautiful design, and hilarious physical comedy make this a memorable show for audiences of all ages. BUY TICKETS HERE

About the Artists:

Dream Tale Puppets offers quality original puppetry performances for children and families, and theatrical and educational programs for all ages. The theater is dedicated to the study of both traditional and innovative styles of puppetry, and the richness of theatrical and literary cultures of the world.

Jacek Zuzanski, Dream Tale Puppets’ founder, grew up in Poland and studied theater and puppetry in Wroclaw before coming to the US in 2001. Since then, he has worked as a theatre teacher for Island Theater Workshop on Martha’s Vineyard, and cooperated with numerous schools, art organizations, and libraries, including the Cape Cod Children’s Museum, Cape Cod Conservatory, Falmouth Academy, and Polish Theater Institute.

Margaret Moody - puppeteer and voice actress, loves old stories and the characters that inhabit them. She studied traditional Taiwanese puppetry with the I Wan Jan Troupe in Taiwan, and often uses its lively choreography and small puppets in presentations of Chinese and European folktales. Working with the actors and large puppets of Dream Tales Puppets is an exciting new direction for Margaret!

A Note from the Director: 

Dream Tale Puppets is a growing ensemble of artists and theatre and puppetry enthusiasts. We offer our shows to children and families and we develop projects to share our explorations with new participants. We define who we are every time we work together and every time we meet our audiences or project participants. We believe in the value of asking questions, as children do, and in inquisitive creativity found in children’s play. By emulating the creative improvisations of children’s play, we learn traditional theatrical languages and we create new languages. We cross boundaries between styles, cultures, mediums, and poetics; we venture beyond the boundaries of what we know. We enjoy doubt and a lack of words to express wonderment of what we see and feel. We share the adventure of wandering through lands of enchantment and mystery, humor and whimsy, joy and amazement. We follow fairy tales and children’s rhymes toward the beginning of every question, and we question characters we meet. We discover ourselves anew everyday and we have a lot of fun, which we joyfully share with our audiences.

Meet the Artists: Sparky's Puppets

"The Kingdom of Riddles"

Help a knight capture a unicorn by solving riddles in this fun and very interactive show. Along the way, we'll meet a King and a Jester, a Witch and a Dragon! In this magical kingdom, there will be animal riddles, food riddles, and more! Known for her charming hand puppets, this week Sparky brings us a fun and interactive set of stories sure to capture the minds and hearts of the whole family. Don't miss out! VIEW CALENDAR

Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 @ 1:00PM and 3:00PM

About the Show:

This performance also includes a special version of “The Princess and the Pea,” featuring a book-loving princess, a silly storekeeper, and a mischievous mouse. BUY TICKETS HERE

About the Artists:

Kathleen “Sparky” Davis began dramatizing stories with hand puppets while working as a children's librarian. Since 1980, Sparky's Puppets have delighted children and family audiences at schools, libraries and festivals throughout New England. Every summer, Sparky creates a special show for the Rhode Island statewide public libraries' summer reading program.

Sparky loves to see children's reactions to their favorite stories brought to life with endearing puppet characters. She is known for her quick wit and hilarious sense of humor. A preschool child at a recent show was heard to say, "It was so funny I burst out laughing!"