Sex, Love, Trickery...Chaucer!

Hello everybody!  I'm Ana, an intern at Puppet Showplace and only two weeks into the summer, I'm already blown away by all of the puppet magic I've encountered.  I wanted to work at Puppet Showplace because as a Child Development major I figured this wacky theater was a wonderful place to learn how to bring arts to youngsters.

I'm turning 21 next week (!!!) and while I'm excited to start exploring that side of Boston, I never dreamed I would find it here at Puppet Showplace - but it's true!  The upcoming Puppets at Night show, The Miller's Taleis raunchy, risqué, and certainly not G-rated.  I can't wait to celebrate my newfound freedom in a most unexpected place - Puppet Showplace!

The Miller's Tale

By Michael and Valerie Nelson, Magical Moonshine Theatre

Friday, June 17 8PM                                                     Saturday, June 18 8PM

Recommended for ages 16+                                   Cash Bar with Beer and wine for 21+

About the Show

Sex, love, trickery…Chaucer! Join me as puppetry’s masters of ''naughty'' toy theater Michael and Valerie Nelson bring a medieval literary masterpiece to life. Hand puppets, paper figures, actors, and musicians vie with each other to recount ''The Miller's Tale,'' wherein the Reeve insists the Miller is too drunk to tell a single story. Of course, the Miller goes ahead anyway, spinning a bawdy yarn about midnight shenanigans…and more. This raucous production features live music, medieval costumes, and exquisite paper puppets and scenery inspired by the lavishly illustrated Kelmscott edition of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. 

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I am so excited for medieval times to come to the Puppet Showplace stage.  I grew up watching Monty Python over and over again, it getting funnier and funnier as I understood more than just "killer bunny".  I also know from one of my favorite musicals, Avenue Q, just how delightful and hilarious puppetry for adults can be.  I never dreamed these two hysterical pieces could be combined!  In fact - I don't think I could find anything like this anywhere else in Boston.  I certainly won't miss my opportunity to see this crazy unique experience, and I hope to see you there!  (Everybody over 16 is welcome, and everybody over 21 is welcome to enjoy the beer and wine that we'll be serving as well.)

About Magical Moonshine Theatre:

Magical Moonshine Theatre's award-winning performances have been seen coast to coast in the U.S. and have toured internationally, with performances in 15 countries in 8 different languages. Michael Nelson studied puppetry at the International Puppetry Institute with the late Jim Henson and has taught puppet theatre arts at Napa Valley College. Valerie Nelson majored in vocal music, trained in the Montessori teaching method, and has been a past faculty member of Tennessee Arts Academy. Together they formed Magical Moonshine Theatre in 1979. The have been creating original toy theater productions for over a decade, and their shows have headlined at festivals in Europe and across the U.S. Their productions ''Natalie'' and ''The Widow'' have won the UNIMA-USA citation of excellence, the highest honor in American puppetry.

See them in action:


The Kelmscott Chaucer was published in 1896 by William Morris. It took four years to prepare. It contains 87 wood cut illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones. In addition, there are many large border decorations, frame decorations, large initial word decorations, and ornamental initial letter decorations designed by William Morris. His goal was to make an artistic book that was unified in all aspects of craftsmanship – fine paper, fine ink, fine binding, and fine printing. The Kelmscott Chaucer has been called one of the most beautiful books of the nineteenth century and of all times. Burne-Jones referred to the work as a ''pocket cathedral.''

The Canterbury Paper Puppet Project is a collaboration between Magical Moonshine Theatre and the McCune Collection of Rare Books in Vallejo, CA. The Kelmscott Chaucer, especially the woodcuts of Edward Burne-Jones, serve as inspirations for the design. 

Kelmscott Chaucer Toy Theatre Project is fiscally sponsored by the McCune Foundation.


I can't wait to laugh, drink, and be merry with you all - cheers!

~Ana Baustin

 Artistic Intern Summer 2016


Find out more about internships at Puppet Showplace HERE.