"puppet playtime"

Bella Monster and Friends are Back!


Your favorite furry monster is back with new adventures!

Puppet Playtime with Bella
and Friends!
by Brenda Huggins and Phil Berman
Wednesdays at 10:30am

WINTER: Jan 8-Feb 12
SPRING: Mar 5 - April 16 
(No session Apr 23) April 30 - May 14


After a short winter break, Puppet Playtime is back for new weekly performances staring Brookline's favorite pink monster, Bella! These weekly interactive performances for the very young (children 3 and below) feature live music, imaginary play, and short puppet vignettes.  Each week is a new adventure! Ride a rocket ship to outer space, have a teddy bear picnic, make friends with bugs in the garden, or go on a camping trip!

5 Session passes available: Adult/ child pairs are invited to drop-in for just one interactive-performance, or you can purchase a flexible 5 session pass for the price of 4! PASS INFO

Phil Berman, Bella Monster, and Brenda Huggins
About the performers: For the past year, Puppet Playtime has delighted very young audiences at Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline as well as many other venues in the Greater Boston Area including the Cambridge River Fest, Duckling Day on the Boston Common, First Night Boston, the Boston Children's Museum, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and many pre-schools and libraries.

Phil Berman, Puppet Playtime creator and performer
Phil Berman is a Boston-based actor, guitarist, and dramaturg. He loves writing original music for kids, and is thrilled to be performing at Puppet Showplace Theatre. Phil is a member of the puppet company Free Hands Productions, with whom he created "The First Person to Consider the Sun" and "Three Blessed Brothers." Phil has a BFA from Boston University.

Bella with Brenda Huggins, Puppet Playtime creator and performer
Brenda Huggins is an educator and theatre artist who has taught puppetry classes to students of all ages throughout greater Boston area. She received her MA in theatre Education at Emerson college after studying vocal performance at Western Connecticut State University. Her work as a director, costume designer, and solo performer has been seen throughout the New England region.

Bella goes on an outer space adventure!
Bella Monster was created by Jonathan Little of Little's Creatures and has been Puppet Showplace Theatre's "monster in residence" since 2011. She enjoys puppet shows, singing, dancing, and the color pink (of coarse!) Oh, and she also loves giving MONSTER KISSES!

Puppet Playtime is BAAAACCK!




PUPPET PLAYTIME
(For ages 3 and under)
Wednesdays at 10:30am through June 5, 2013


Revenge of the Furs! Puppet Playtime Returns to PST!
by Guest Blogger: Phil Berman

March went out like a crocheted lion, April showers brought May flowers to blossom, and the shining sun over the city can only mean one thing: Puppet Playtime is back at PST for four more shows this spring!

Last week Brenda, Bella Monster and I traveled back to the garden where we met a potpourri of friendly (and hungry) bugs. We even got the chance to take our show on the road last Sunday as we performed for the annual Duckling Day Parade at the Boston Common.

On Wednesday, the three of us will embark on a new camping adventure to explore the night sky with our intrepid audience members. Come for the canoeing and stay for the stargazing as we spend a night in an imaginary forest together with all of our puppet friends.

See you at the theater!

Phil Berman
Performer/Co-Creator Puppet Playtime

This Week in Puppet Playtime...TREES!

Rumble rumble rumble . . . 
by Guest Blogger: Phil Berman, Puppet Playtime performer

Do you hear that? Underneath all the snow? It’s the sound of the acorns stretching in their sleep as they wait patiently for spring.

Performers Phil Berman and Brenda Huggins perform "The Girl and the Squirrel",
on stage tomorrow as part of PST's Puppet Playtime!
But how did they get underground when they come from a tree? They’re buried by squirrels saving their nutty snacks for later! The seeds the squirrels forget about start to sprout underground and break out when the weather gets warm.

Join us in the trees tomorrow morning for our fifth session of Puppet Playtime. We have lots in store for you: an arboreal Irish sing-a-long; interactive squirrel games; ballads celebrating American agricultural icons; and of course, the naughtiest crocheted squirrel south of the Charles River.


Brenda, Bella monster and I will be taking a break next week to get ready for the next five sessions of Puppet Playtime. We made it halfway – we hope you’ll continue to join us for the home stretch!!

-PB

Puppet Playtime
Wednesdays at 10:30am
Feb 13 & 27
March 6, 13, 20 & 27


Puppet Playtime is Puppet Showplace Theatre's NEW weekly interactive performance recommended for children 3 and under (and their grownups)

5-Session passes still available! 
Save by purchasing 5 sessions at one time; buy 4 get one free! There are only 6 sessions left, so now is a great time to take advantage of the 5-session flex pass.  Every week features a new theme with brand-new music and puppet show!

5-Session Flexible Pass: $100 ($75 for members) PURCHASE PASS


This week in Puppet Playtime...

In the Village, in Brookline Village, the Lion Sleeps Tonight . . .
by Guest Blogger: Phill Berman, Puppet Playtime performer

Shhhh…be very quiet…we’re walking through the deep dark Jungle: who knows what friendly animal companions could leap out at any minute? A lion? A mouse? An exotic bird that may-or-may-not-be a chicken? Or could it be the jungle’s most dangerous predator of all – TODDLERS! When the jungle is in the middle of New England’s oldest puppet theatre, the possibilities are endless.
This week's session of Puppet Playtime features the story of the
 "Lion and the Mouse!"
(in this photo, Bella recreates her own special version!)

As Brenda, Bella Monster and I put the finishing touches on our fourth episode of Puppet Playtime, we find ourselves coming back to the same question: how can this show be more interactive?

We’ve marched with ants, speckled a galaxy with stars and clucked with all the chickens in the barn. As we approach our halfway point in the series, we are still committed to find opportunities for the invisible lines between performers, toddlers and grown-ups to truly disappear.

Bella had a blast last week clucking with our chicken friends!
So far our audiences have done a great job of encouraging each other (as well as the three performers onstage) to commit deeply and fully to the imagination journeys we’ve embarked on. As we adventure into the jungle tomorrow morning, I hope more than ever that everyone is there for each other.

AND WATCH OUT FOR THAT LION!

-PB

Puppet Playtime
Puppet Showplace Theatre's NEW weekly interactive performance recommended for children 3 and under (and their grownups)

Wednesdays at 10:30am
Feb 6, 13 & 27
March 6, 13, 20 & 27

LEARN MORE/ BUY TICKETS!

Drop in rate: $25 per child-adult pair ($10 additional child)
5-Session Flexible Pass: $100 ($75 for members)

This Week in Puppet Playtime!

Puppet Playtime: Opening circle with Phil Berman and Brenda Huggins

PUPPET PLAYTIME FOR TODDLERS AND TINY TOTS!
Wednesdays at 10:30am through March

MAKE A RESERVATION
Bella Monster and the very hungry Caterpillar!

We are two weeks into our brand new interactive program for young children (ages 0-3) and it has been a blast!  So far we have adventured with our fabulous furry friend Bella Monster to outer space, marched with ants in the garden (hurrah, hurrah!), dined with a very hungry caterpillar, and sang our favorite songs and new original tunes composed by our very own Puppet Playtime performer, Phil Berman.  

One of the participants with a 2 year old child said:

 "My daughter was singing the songs from Puppet Playtime all day long, the experience has definitely stuck with her.  We will be back next week!"


WHAT IS IN STORE FOR THIS WEEK?
Guest Blogger: Phil Berman

Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Wake up and smell the corn husks, this Wednesday morning Puppet Playtime is off to the farm! 

Brenda, Bella Monster and I have been blessed with Puppet Showplace's rich and eclectic stock of puppets from past productions that are (literally) hanging around every corner of the theater. When developing new shows every week we try to take our cue from the wealth of materials already available to us. Bella Monster discovered a box of chicken puppets created by my dear friend from Free Hands, Allie Herryman, and we knew they were too good not to use in a show.

It turns out there's a lot of great children's music featuring these fearless flightless fowl. There's something hilariously satisfying about these birds to folks of all ages: is it the noise? the movement? the prideful attitude? We humans may never truly understand why we love chickens so much. What I can tell you is that we have a fun-filled interactive show ready for our littlest chicks: 

We'll crow and squawk and bark and whinny with the rest of the animals in the farm; plant wheat with a well-known avian baker; shake eggs while we cluck with the hens; and recount the stresses and joys of poultry puppet parenthood.

Don't stay cooped up all winter - we'll see you at the theater on Wednesday morning -- don't forget your overalls!

See you at the Theatre!

-PB

This week in Puppet Playtime....

Two 5-week sessions: Weds @ 10:30am 
Last week's Puppet Playtime with Bella:
 "Adventure in the Night Sky"
Jan 16 - Feb 13; Feb 27 - Mar 27

LEARN MORE/ REGISTER

THE FUN IS JUST BEGINNING!


What a blast! Our BRAND NEW programing for toddlers and tiny tots kicked of last week, to great success. This interactive program is designed especially for little ones and their grown-ups to sing and sway along, and join in the fun. Today, Puppet Playtime performer, Phil Berman returns as a guest blogger to talk about the program, and give us a sneak-peek at what is in store for tomorrow!

GUEST BLOGGER: PHILIP BERMAN


Phil Berman

What a whirlwind week! It's hard to believe that Brenda, Bella and I are already on our second episode of PUPPET PLAYTIME. The three of us had a blast last Wednesday on our adventure in the night sky with all the kids and grown-ups who braved the snow to play, sing songs and experience the magic of live puppetry.

As a kids' performer with no children of my own, I spend a lot of time thinking about how my work can best fit in with the busy lives of the families we entertain. With very young children it can be a hassle to leave the house to go anywhere, let alone attend arts events! What can my work offer to kids and grown-ups alike that makes each show a "must-see?"

What I saw last week was a beautiful preview of things to come: parents, caretakers, relatives and lots of little tykes playing with their familiar faces. By the end of the program, kids were singing, clapping and laughing together (as well as some of thier older companions.) I hope that this feeling of family and community continues to grow as we continue with the series through the winter.

Tomorrow we're in for an icky treat at PUPPET PLAYTIME: we'll march with the ants, meet a quartet of quarrelsome critters, wash out spiders and feed some very hungry caterpillars. Leave the OFF! at home, because this buggy adventure is sure to bring a smile to kids and grown-ups alike.

See you at the theater!

PB

Come dance, play and pretend with us, Wednesdays this winter at 10:30am!

PST Premieres New Interactive Show for Tiny Tots!

Children interact with the performers, Phil Berman
and Brenda Huggins

What IS "Puppet Playtime?"

Two 5-week sessions: Weds @ 10:30am
Jan 16 - Feb 13; Feb 27 - Mar 27

VIEW CALENDAR/RESERVE

Puppet Playtime is a fun, interactive performance experience designed for very young children - ages 0 to 3.  In each hour-long sessions, two friendly performers guide children (and the grown-ups) through free play, sing-a-longs, stories, and imagination-based games.  Puppet characters, like our very own Bella Monster, appear throughout the performance to introduce the theme of the day - and to just join in on the fun.

We are excited to have Puppet Playtime performer, Phil Berman talk about the show, and give a sneak-peek into the first session, Jan 16th at 10:30am.

GUEST BLOGGER: PHIL BERMAN

Phil Berman
Hi everybody! My name is Phil Berman; one third of the collaborative team behind PUPPET PLAYTIME, Puppet Showplace Theatre’s new programming for toddlers and tiny tots. My partners in crime Bella Monster and her puppeteer Brenda Huggins have been hard at work with me these past few months preparing this ten show series for very young audiences in Brookline and throughout the Boston metro area.

When PST Artistic Director Roxanna Myhrum first approached me last summer about creating this series, I was both excited by the challenge to write, rehearse and perform ten new shows in a relatively short period of time. As Brenda, Bella Monster and I continue to work on the series, the creating part is not only moving faster but also getting more fun!

Having tough deadlines is pushing me as a composer and playwright to generate a consistent flow of new material that I can develop on my feet in front of an audience every week. I’m having a blast writing a new kids song for each session to perform with Brenda and Bella. It’s also incredibly inspiring to be creating new puppet plays with Mary Churchill’s beautiful crocheted glove puppets. Her puppets have brought joy to generations of young audiences and I’m honored to help bring these characters back to life in brand new adventures.

Bella and her Magical Story Box!
After about 15 minutes of free play, each session of PUPPET PLAYTIME begins with a Sing-Along with Brenda and me. We’re then joined by Bella Monster and her Magical Story Box, where we discover three objects that inspire us to tell stories and sing songs based on the theme of the day. Our first theme is “An Adventure in the Night Sky”: you may recognize some classic sing-along songs about twinkling stars, as well as a jazzy new song sung by a backpack; we’ll fly through the stars and dance on the moon and be back in time for a starlit puppet bedtime story all before noon!

Keep checking the Puppet Showplace blog for more posts about future PUPPET PLAYTIME shows and updates. I’ll see you at the theater!

-PB

More about the performers:

The masterminds who developed Puppet Playtime are Phil Berman and Brenda Huggins.  They're also the performers - with special appearances by Bella Monster!  

Phil, Bella, and Brenda!
Phil is a Boston-based actor, guitarist, and dramaturg who loves writing original music for kids.  In addition to performing at PST many-a-times, Phil is also a member of the puppet company Free Hands Productions, with whom he created "The First Person to Consider the Sun" and "Three Blessed Brothers." Phil has a BFA from Boston University.

Brenda is an educator and theatre artist who has taught puppetry classes to students of all ages throughout the greater Boston area - and she is our very own Communications Director.  She received her MA in theatre education at Emerson College after studying vocal performance at Western Connecticut State University.  Her work as a director, costume designer, and solo performer has been seen throughout the New England area. 

Bella Monster was created by Jonathan Little of Little's Creatures and has been PST's "Monster-in-Residence since 2011.  She enjoys puppet shows, singing, and the color pink.