Puppet Showplace Celebrates 40th Anniversary

40th Anniversary Legacy Gala

Monday June 2, 2014

6:30 - 9:30 PM

at the

George H. Wightman Mansion

43 Hawes Street

Brookline, Massachusetts 

Join us this Monday, June 2nd, at the beautiful George H. Wightman Mansion for an evening that celebrate our 40 year history as New England's puppet theater, as well as the art of puppetry! With performances by some of our favorite puppeteers, a silent auction of incredible items, cocktails, and delicious catering provided by Whole Foods Brighton, this will not be a night to miss!

The George H. Wightman Mansion 


Throughout the evening, we will have performances taking place all over the Mansion, including live music. Many of our favorite puppeteers from across the years will be performing in rotation, so everyone will be able to see their talent and skill.

-Featured Performers-

Tanglewood Marionettes

Dream Tale Puppets

Crabgrass Puppet Theatre

Great Small Works

Resident Artist Brad Shur

Brenda Huggins and Phil Berman

Ronald Binion

John Lechner

Mask Ensemble with Avital Peleg

Michelle Finston and Christine Dempsey

Gavin Cummins

With musical performances by: 

Brendan Burns & Tony Leva, Phil Berman & Paul Watkins


Aside from our performances, we will be having a silent auction inside of the Mansion. There will be many items available to bid on, the majority of which were donated by our very generous partners in the community. Check out a sampling of our wonderful donors below:

Fundraising Goals:

All Legacy Gala contributions will support our three major fundraising initiatives:

Artists' Fund:

As New England's puppet theater, we are always expanding our roster of artists. This fund provides audiences access to regional premieres of exceptional puppetry productions from companies they may not have seen before.

Facilities Fund:

As a cultural destination, we are planning upgrades and renovations to the spaces that make up the theater, enhancing the physical aspects of what makes our theater a gateway to creativity and self-discovery.

Mary Churchill Memorial Fund

: As a community partner, we are committed to increasing access to live performing arts for school children regardless of their ability to pay. Named for our founder, this fund is exclusively available to school groups who otherwise would not be able to attend our performances, in order to reach a broader audience of children.


Join us in honoring these remarkable individuals in the areas of excellence in puppetry arts and exceptional creative leadership!


Dr. John Bell & Trudi Cohen

Great Small Works

John Bell is Director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and an Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut. He and Trudi Cohen met as puppeteers in the Bread and Puppet Theater where they both worked from 1975 to 1986; and are founding members of the Great Small Works theater collective, based in NYC.

John received his doctoral degree in theater history from Columbia University in 1993 and is the author of many books and articles about puppet theater, including co-editing the forthcoming Routledge Guide to Puppetry and Material Performance. Trudi has been producing director of Great Small Works’ three most recent International Toy Theater Festivals in Brooklyn, NY; and John is artistic director of the 2015 Puppeteers of America National Festival. Trudi and John play in the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, and are organizers of the annual HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands in Somerville, MA.


Dr. Susan Linn

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

Susan Linn is Director of

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

. Her book, Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood launched the movement to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers.

Dr. Linn is also an award winning ventriloquist and children’s entertainer and is internationally known for her innovative use of puppets in child psychotherapy, which she pioneered at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Among many other honors, Dr. Linn received a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association for her work on behalf of children. Her work with puppets has been honored by the Union Internationale de la Marionette and Puppeteers of America.