Make Your Own Turtle Marionette Puppet!

DIY PUPPET CRAFTS

Learn how to make this fun and simple marionette puppet, inspired by our newest show, Galapagos George! The show follows George, the last living giant Galapagos tortoise, and his life on the beautiful islands he calls home. Who will your turtle be?

ON STAGE NOW:

Galapagos George by Barefoot Puppets

Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28    @ 10:30AM and 1:00PM

What You'll Need:

Brown and white paint (or light brown)

Paintbrushes and mixing surface

Green cardstock

Pencil

Scissors

Hole punch

Brass fasteners

Paper plate

Googly eyes

Popsicle sticks

Craft/tacky glue (not pictured)

Tape

String

Pushpin

Instructions:

1. Paint the entire underside of a paper plate light brown. This will be the shell.

2. Then, paint dark brown patches to make it look more like a turtle's shell.

3. Outline one foot on green card-stock and cut it out. Trace three more feet, and a head. Also trace a tail if you wish.

4. After you've cut out the feet, head, and tail, punch a hole at the base of each. Then punch holes in the corresponding sections of the shell where you want these to attach.

5. Using brass fasteners, attach the feet, head, and tail to the shell of your turtle. Stick googly eyes on the turtle's head so they can see! You can stop here, but if you want to make your turtle come to life as a marionette, keep reading!

6. Put craft/tacky glue on either end of a popsicle stick. Attach two more popsicle sticks to this one, making a capital I shape. This will be your marionette control.

7. Using a pushpin or other sharp object, carefully poke a hole in each of the turtle's four feet (have an adult do this!). Cut four pieces of thread to equal length. Thread a piece of string through the hole, make a knot on the underside to keep the thread from slipping back through the hole, and tape the thread down to make it secure.

8. Tape the other ends of the string to the ends of the marionette control.

9. Now you can make your turtle, walk, fly, swim, and maybe even dance! What adventures will you go on together?

Meet the Artists: Barefoot Artists Puppet Theater

VIEW CALENDAR HERE

"Galapagos George"

Sat, Aug 27 & Sun, Aug 28 @ 1:00 & 3:00PM 

About the Show:

Meet George, a giant Galapagos tortoise, as he grows up in a world filled with sea turtles, lizards, hungry goats, and dancing blue-footed birdies. This puppet production, called an "uplifting eco-fable" by the Smithsonian Museum, is inspired by the true story of the last remaining Galapagos tortoise and the islands he calls home. Audiences of all ages will be touches by this story that teachers what it truly means to be "one of a kind!"

Meet George, a giant Galapagos tortoise, as he grows up in a world filled with sea turtles, lizards, hungry goats, and dancing blue-footed birdies. This puppet production, called an "uplifting eco-fable" by the Smithsonian Museum, is inspired by the true story of the last remaining Galapagos tortoise and the islands he calls home. Audiences of all ages will be touches by this story that teachers what it truly means to be "one of a kind!"

 

About the Artists:

Having spent most of her early childhood barefoot in Hawaii, it only seemed natural that Heidi Rugg would name her company Barefoot Puppet Theatre. Performing barefoot is very fun - but it's also very useful for operating the foot pedal sound system her husband engineered. 

Barefoot Puppet Theatre began miles away from Hawaii, though, in Richmond, Virginia. Heidi founded the company in 1997 after apprenticing as a puppet builder with Handemonium Puppets in Washington, D.C. In 2001, with a growing touring schedule and a growing family, her husband Sam Rugg  joined the company to help with building stages, managing accounts, and handling the technical side of lighting and sound. For more information, please visit www.BarefoodPuppets.com

 

Make Your Own Alien Peeper!

DIY Puppet Crafts

Inspired by our upcoming performance  "Stories from Outer Space",  these alien peepers are a fun twist on a simple form of finger puppet that is super easy to make!

ON STAGE NOW:

"Stories from Outer Space" with Sparky's Puppets

Saturday, August 20th at 10:30AM and 1:00PM

 

What You'll Need:

Googly Eyes

Bendy Straws

Feathers

Scissors

Fabric Glue (Ordinary Glue will work as well)

Pipe Cleaners 

Foam Shapes

 

 

Instructions:

1. Take a pipe cleaner and bend it around your middle finger like a ring. Twist that middle portion into a loop, and with the remaining pieces, twist them into two more loops to make a place for the eyes of your peeper.

2. Using tacky/craft glue, rim each eye loop you made with glue. Stick two large foam circles on.

3. Cut out the bendy part from two bendy straws for antennae. Glue this to the back center of your peeper's head. We recommend holding down for 15 seconds to be sure that they stick.

4. Youcan also glue feathers to the back of your peeper's head for hair. Lastly, stick on googly eyes so your alien can see!

5. Place the bottom loop around your middle finger to make your alien come to life! Feel free to customize your peeper whichever way you want. With a little imagination, the sky is the limit (or is it?) What stories will you tell with your new alien friend?

Make Your Own Octopus Shadow Puppet!

DIY PUPPET CRAFTS

In just 3 simple steps, learn how to create a beautiful shadow puppet of your very own, inspired by the shadow octopus in our latest show!

ON STAGE NOW:

"The Pirate, the Princess, and the Pea" by Crabgrass Puppet Theater

Wednesday, August 10 - Saturday, August 13 @ 10:30AM and 1PM

What You'll Need:

Black Cardstock

Pencil

Hole Punch

Scissors

Bamboo Spear

Brass Fasteners

Tape (not pictured here)

Instructions:

1. Draw your octopus shape on a sheet of black card stock with pencil. Draw the 4 bottom tentacles connected to the body. Draw the other four tentacles separately so you can attach them later, as these will be the movable ones. Cut these all out.

2. Use a hole punch to punch two holes in the sides of the octopus, as well as holes on the ends of the tentacles that will be connected to the body. Also punch out two holes for eyes. Then secure the "arm" tentacles onto the body using two brass fasteners. Now  your octopus has arms that can move!

3. Tape the bamboo spear, or whatever stick you're using, to the back of your shadow puppet. The finished product will look like this. Now you have your very own shadow puppet that can move its arms! Puppet away!

Adult Classes: Summer 2016

This summer, Puppet Showplace Theater will be hosting a slew of fun and informative classes for adults. Classes cover a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from sock puppet making to using puppetry for social change!

Classes start July 10th. Sign up today!

Puppet Showplace offers creative classes for all levels of puppeteers and, as a early childhood educator and vaudevillian performer, I’ve found inspiration through the professional puppeteers guiding them. I would recommend the Puppet Showplace classes to anyone looking for innovative programming in puppetry and performance.
— Harry Lacoste

Fundamentals of Silly Voices

Sunday July 10, 2-5:30pm

Discover all of the exciting characters hiding within your own vocal cords! The class will make connections between voice, character, and storytelling. Then, we’ll make unique characters come alive using multiple styles of puppetry and object theater.

$50 ($35 for Puppets at Night members)

Split Personality: Sharing the Stage with Your Puppet

Tuesday July 12 & Wednesday July 13, 6:30-8:30pm

Using physical theater games and partner exercises, we’ll explore how to divide your inner attention between performer and puppeteer and how to generate new material for stage without words.

$75 ($60 for Puppets at Night members). Includes 1 free ticket to “Lollipops for Breakfast!”

Comic Gold: Discover the Clown in You

Sunday July 17, 2-5:30pm

Want to discover what makes YOU uniquely funny? Then get ready to crank your comedy up a notch in this fun and challenging workshop! In improvised solo scenes and short puppet vignettes, we’ll explore how to channel your innate sense of honesty, playfulness, and vulnerability into compelling comedic performance.

$50 ($35 for Puppets at Night members)

Puppetry in the Classroom

Sunday July 31, 2-5:30pm

Puppetry is a powerful tool for engaging the imagination! This hands-on workshop will explore how to introduce professional puppetry techniques into pre- and elementary school classrooms. Using readily available craft materials, participants will create puppet characters in different styles and learn how to bring them to life.

$75 ($60 for Puppets at Night members)

Puppetry for Social Change

Tuesday Aug 2 - Thursday Aug 4, 6:30-9:30pm and Saturday Aug 6, 2:30-7:30pm

Discover your potential to reach hearts and minds through meaningful, socially impactful puppet theater. Drawing on the instructor’s decades of experience working in the developing world, participants will work as an ensemble to create table-top scenes that communicate political, social, or public health messages.

Cost: $230. Register by July 16: $205. Puppets at Night Members save 15%.

Kaleidoscope: Women's Mask Ensemble

Year long class with seasonal intensives. Overnight summer session: Saturday Aug 20, 9pm-5am

Explore female identity through the seasons with the art of the mask as your guide. In an all night session, participants will experience the white neutral mask as a tool for self-discovery, non-verbal communication, and “being in the moment.” We’ll learn techniques and aesthetics of mask perfor-
mance in a positive, collaborative, and nurturing setting. $75 ($60 members).

$250 for 4 sessions ($200 members)

Sock Puppet Pro!

Saturday Aug 27 & Sunday Aug 28, 3-6pm

Are you ready to make the most awesome sock puppets ever? Together we’ll learn how to trans-
form simple socks into stunningly awesome characters and bring them to life on stage and screen. Everyone will go home with their own original puppet!

$75 + $15 materials fee (due in class to the instructor). $60 +$15 (Puppets at Night Members).

Make Your Own Puppet Theater!

DIY PUPPET CRAFTS

Want to put on a puppet show, but missing a stage to do it with? We've got you covered! This week's DIY Puppet Craft is inspired by "Cardboard Explosion!" by Resident Artist, Brad Shur. 

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What You'll Need:

Cardboard box ( + extra cardboard if desired)

Sharpie & pencil

Crepe/tissue paper

Scissors

Double sided tape / glue

Exacto knife / box cutter

Instructions:

1. Outline a long rectangle along the top of the box. Cut this out with the box cutter. This is where you will be able to lower in puppets that are manipulated from above, like marionettes.

1. Outline a long rectangle along the top of the box. Cut this out with the box cutter. This is where you will be able to lower in puppets that are manipulated from above, like marionettes.

2. Do the same thing on either side, so that you can insert puppets from the side as well. These will serve as the "wings" of the stage.

2. Do the same thing on either side, so that you can insert puppets from the side as well. These will serve as the "wings" of the stage.

3. Next, make a large rectangular cut-out at the front of the box. This will make the stage itself visible so you can see the puppets!

3. Next, make a large rectangular cut-out at the front of the box. This will make the stage itself visible so you can see the puppets!

4. Cut out and design a headboard using the leftover cardboard from the front of the stage to make your theatre look authentic!

4. Cut out and design a headboard using the leftover cardboard from the front of the stage to make your theatre look authentic!

5. Finally, cut out columns to place on either side for a fancier feel. You can also cut up some crepe paper and tape it to the inside of the back of the stage for curtains! We did two layers.

5. Finally, cut out columns to place on either side for a fancier feel. You can also cut up some crepe paper and tape it to the inside of the back of the stage for curtains! We did two layers.

Your completed theatre should look like this. Now you can put on puppet shows of your own! If you recreate this DIY, be sure to share a picture with us on Instagram with the tag #PuppetShowplaceDIY. Happy puppeting!

Your completed theatre should look like this. Now you can put on puppet shows of your own! If you recreate this DIY, be sure to share a picture with us on Instagram with the tag #PuppetShowplaceDIY. Happy puppeting!

Meet the Artist: Resident Puppeteer Brad Shur

Using nothing but cardboard and a little imagination, resident artist Brad Shur creates an a one-of-a-kind adventure that's not to be missed. We promise: you'll never look at a cardboard box the same way again!  VIEW CALENDAR HERE

"Cardboard Explosion"

Wed - Sat, August 3 - 6 @ 10:30AM and 1PM

About the Show:

“Cardboard Explosion!” brings five original stories to life using nothing but cardboard and the power of your imagination. With help from the audience, puppeteer Brad Shur transforms simple cardboard shapes into elaborate puppet characters, then brings them to life right before your eyes. Get ready to outsmart dragons, choose-your-own superpower, and train adorable animal sidekicks in this fun, energetic, participatory show. BUY TICKETS HERE

About the Artist:

Brad Shur grew up making art out of any materials he could find. In puppetry, Brad discovered a medium that let him share his passion for all forms of creativity: sculpting, writing, performing, and more. Brad began performing in puppet shows while he was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design. He then hit the road, touring nationally with several puppet companies before beginning to create his own full length shows. As a puppet builder, Brad has created characters for American Idol, Dolly Parton, and a number of theater companies and independent performers. As a teaching artist, Brad has led workshops at the Center for Puppetry Arts, the National Puppetry Conference, the Puppeteers of America National Puppetry Festival, and at camps, schools, and colleges across New England.

Since 2009, Brad has been the Resident Artist at Puppet Showplace Theater where he has created four original shows: "Dr. Doohicky's Monster Machine," "The Magic Soup and Other Stories,""Tall Tales" and "Robin Hood." He also trained extensively with master puppeteer and Puppet Showplace Resident Artist Emeritus, Paul Vincent Davis. Brad's newest creation, "Cardboard Explosion!" brings together puppetry, design, and creative improvisation to energize audiences to become art makers themselves. Brad hopes that families and school groups will leave the theater ready to transform their old cardboard boxes into something magical.

Make Your Own Cuppy the Clown!

DIY PUPPET CRAFTS

Want to help your child enjoy learning and literacy at an early age? In just a few simple steps, you can create this cute clown inspired by our upcoming show, "Word Play".

ON STAGE NOW:

"Word Play" by Good Hearted Entertainment

Wednesday July 27th - Saturday July 30th

What You'll Need:

1 paper/plastic cup

pipe cleaners

1 Sharpie

double sided tape

construction paper

googly eyes (we didn't have any)

scissors

Instructions:

1. Roll the red pipe cleaner into a round shape for a clown nose. Cut it out and tape it to the front center of the cup.

1. Roll the red pipe cleaner into a round shape for a clown nose. Cut it out and tape it to the front center of the cup.

2. You can also cut out eyebrows and stick them on. Your clown will appear more expressive this way.

2. You can also cut out eyebrows and stick them on. Your clown will appear more expressive this way.

3. We suggest using googly eyes, but we couldn't find any while we were making this, so we just drew some instead! But we do think googly eyes would be much cuter. You can also add a mouth at this point. Take some artistic liberties with it! You can customize this DIY any way that you want.

3. We suggest using googly eyes, but we couldn't find any while we were making this, so we just drew some instead! But we do think googly eyes would be much cuter. You can also add a mouth at this point. Take some artistic liberties with it! You can customize this DIY any way that you want.

4. "Word Play" is all about using the alphabet and your imagination to describe the world around you, so we thought it would only be fitting to attach the letters that describe this object to the back of it! Finally, if you'd like, you could give your clown a little hat using more pipe cleaner and some construction paper.

4. "Word Play" is all about using the alphabet and your imagination to describe the world around you, so we thought it would only be fitting to attach the letters that describe this object to the back of it! Finally, if you'd like, you could give your clown a little hat using more pipe cleaner and some construction paper.

5. Enjoy your very own clown puppet that fits right on your hand! After you see "Word Play," see what inspiration you can take from the show to create a new narrative of your very own about the world around you and the many words you can use to describe it!

5. Enjoy your very own clown puppet that fits right on your hand! After you see "Word Play," see what inspiration you can take from the show to create a new narrative of your very own about the world around you and the many words you can use to describe it!

Goodbye to Brenda and Bella!

Dear Puppet Showplace Friends,

During the last six and a half years as a staff member at Puppet Showplace, I managed marketing and outreach campaigns, developed curriculum for education programs, and created and performed an interactive show for very young children with Brookline's favorite pink and furry puppet, Bella Monster. It is with equal sadness and excitement that I announce my departure as a core staff member of the theater, as my last day will be Friday, July 29.

Puppet Showplace has been an essential playground for artistic exploration and professional growth for me as the Communications Director, teaching artist and puppeteer. After finishing an M.A. in theater education from Emerson College, I continued my studies at Puppet Showplace in 2010 taking many puppetry building and performances classes in muppet style puppetry, shadow puppetry, giant puppets, and more. Puppet Showplace is an incredibly unique organization, and I am so grateful for the many connections and friendships I have made with our touring artists, business partners, cultural partners, and patrons.

Starting this August, I will join Creative Arts in Reading, MA as the Director of Education and Outreach to develop and manage theater, music, and visual arts education programming for all ages. In the fall, I will join the Urban College of Boston as an adjunct faculty member teaching arts integrated curriculum to pre-school teachers. Working in higher education and managing arts education programs are long-time dreams of mine, and I am so excited to move on to the next chapter of my career in the arts.

Although Bella Monster and I will not be continuing weekly "Puppet Playtime" performances at Puppet Showplace, our show will still be available for birthday parties and tours!
BIRTHDAY PARTIES/ PUPPET PLAYTIME ON TOUR

I invite you to stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, or through email at Brenda.L.Huggins@gmail.com. You can also find my stage directing portfolio at www.brendalynnhuggins.com if you happen to be a puppet AND opera fan. (I have heard there are a lot of those!) Please feel free to stop by the theater during open hours this last week to say good bye to me and Bella, and share memories. 

Best wishes,

Brenda Huggins
Communications Director, Puppet Showplace

 

Make Your Own Monkey Mask!

DIY Puppet Crafts

Looking for a quick, easy, and fun way to have your own monkey adventures? Make your very own DIY monkey mask in just a few simple steps!

ON STAGE NOW:
"Help Save the Monkey" by Brave Bucket Co. Wed-Sat, July 20-23 @ 10:30am and 1:00pm

Our intern, Shona, posing with the monkey mask she made.

Our intern, Shona, posing with the monkey mask she made.

What You'll Need:

1 paper plate

brown paint

1 tan/light brown colored pencil

1 paintbrush

scissors

tape

1 glue stick

1 popsicle stick (we used a bamboo stick)

1 black marker

Instructions:

1. Use the pencil to draw a rounded heart shape on your plate. Then draw 2 semi-circles (ears) and an oval (mouth) within that shape. Carefully cut these pieces out.

2. Paint the paper plate brown, as well as the edges of the ears. Then color the inside of the ears and muzzle light brown with the colored pencil.

3. Glue the muzzle to the front of the plate. Then glue the ears onto the back on either side.

4. Using the black marker, draw on the nose and mouth. Tape the popsicle (or bamboo) stick to the bottom of the back of the mask. Voila!

Now you can create and act out your own version of "Help Save the Monkey," starring YOU!

Meet the Artists: Brave Bucket Company

Monkeys? Outer space? Silly mustaches? If any of these things interest you, then "Help Save the Monkey" is the show for you! Join Howard and Lillian on their wacky and wonderful journey to help save that monkey! Brought to us by the Brave Bucket Company, this show is sure to be a family favorite.  VIEW CALENDAR HERE

"Help Save the Monkey"

Wed-Sat, July 20 - 23 @ 10:30AM and 1:00PM

Check out the trailer for Help Save the Monkey here!

About the Show:

Marta Mozelle and Sarah Nolen in "Help Save the Monkey". The show was developed with a grant from the Jim Henson Foundation. Visit them here: http://www.hensonfoundation.org.

Marta Mozelle and Sarah Nolen in "Help Save the Monkey". The show was developed with a grant from the Jim Henson Foundation. Visit them here: http://www.hensonfoundation.org.

8-year-old Howard and 80-year-old Lillian must rush to save a monkey who is about to land on Earth from outer space. Their friendship helps them overcome obstacles and self-doubts as they travel through tunnels, fly through the air, and sneak past dangerous lasers. Will they make it in time? Find out in this sublimely silly show featuring skillful puppetry, original music, hilarious dance breaks, and plenty of fake mustaches. BUY TICKETS HERE

 

About the Artists


Marta Mozelle (co-creator, performer: Lillian) is a playmaker, puppeteer, and builder. Performance credits include: Puss in Boots (Moises Kaufman, Gotham Chamber Opera & Blind Summit, New Victory Theater), Baby Universe (Wakka Wakka Productions, Studio Theater), Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead (Phantom Limb Company, Berkeley Rep), and Banksy's Sirens of the Lambs (NYC). Marta's work has appeared at cabarets and slams across the country and NYC venues including St. Ann's Warehouse, HERE Arts Center, and The Tank.

Sarah Nolen (performer: Howard) is a puppeteer and filmmaker from Austin, Texas. She has performed at the Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival, with the Boston Pops Orchestra, EnvisionFEST Hartford, Out of Bounds Festival in Austin, TX, and the 2013, 2014 & 2015 National Puppet Slams. Sarah's children's television pilot, Treeples, has been screened at the Slamdance Film Festival in Utah, the USA Film Festival, the AFI Film Festival in Dallas and the Atlanta Film Festival.

Liz Hara (co-creator, original cast member) is a writer, builder, and puppeteer. Her work has been presented at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, the New Orleans Fringe Festival, the National Puppetry Festival, and theaters across the U.S. Liz also toured internationally with Wakka Wakka’s production of SAGA. Liz has built puppets and costumes for Mirror Mirror (Miramax, 2012,) Avenue Q, The Lion King, and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. She currently works for Sesame Street as a writer, puppet and costume builder, and wrangler. http://www.bravebucket.com/

 

 

Meet the Artists: Bonnie Duncan and the Gottabees

Known for her interactive style of theater, Bonnie Duncan of The Gottabees will perform "Lollipops for Breakfast", a perfect show for the whole family! Filled with dynamic puppetry, original music, acrobatics, and even chances for audience participation, this one-of-a-kind show is not to be missed! VIEW SHOW CALENDAR

"Lollipops for Breakfast"

Wednesday July 13th - Saturday July 16th @
 10:30AM and 1:00PM

About the Show:

Everyone knows you can’t have lollipops for breakfast! But today, Sylvie decides she’s going to break that rule, even if it means she has to make her own amazingly perfect lollipop from scratch. Come along as she and her trusty pet bird search for missing ingredients, wrestle with giant candy machines, and get lost in a magical pop-up cookbook. "Lollipops for Breakfast" is a wildly imaginative ode to children’s boundless creativity. The performance, told entirely without words, features multiple styles of puppetry, original music, acrobatics, and lots of audience participation. Created & performed by Bonnie Duncan, Music by Brendan Burns & Tony Leva, Directed by Dan Milstein, Costumes by Penney Pinette, Set by Brett Bundock, Set Painting by Kristine Cortese.     BUY TICKETS HERE

About the Artist:

Puppets! Original music! Acrobatics! Adventure and Invention! The Gottabees started making super fun theater for families in 2013 with the creation of Squirrel Stole My Underpants and it’s follow-up, Lollipops for Breakfast, in 2015. They have since been selling out venues and inspiring homemade puppet shows throughout the US and Canada. We find it deeply satisfying to create original physical theater so families can do something fun together that allows them all to giggle, gasp, sigh, and cheer in 45 minutes or less. Our shows are often stories told without words—we embrace the physical and the visual in theater. The result is a poetic, non­linear story that surprises audiences. One of the things that makes us happiest is when we meet children who have seen our show and their parents tell us how their child acted out the entire show for weeks after seeing it. This is the core reason why we make theater for young audiences: we want them to know in their hearts that they, too, can make theater wherever they are and whomever they are.

Bonnie Duncan (creator & performer) has blended puppetry, dance, and physical theatre in surprising and delightful ways for the past 15 years. Her work has been described as “an artful world of silent dreams, mime, and dance” (Austin Live Theatre). She has most recently been working as one half of They Gotta Be Secret Agentswith Tim Gallagher. Their show, Poste Restante, continues to tour worldwide, winning “Best Touring Show of 2011,” Austin, TX and Best of the Fringe, San Francisco, 2009. She is currently touring her solo family show, Squirrel Stole My Underpants, throughout the US and Canada to delighted audiences. Prior to her work as a Secret Agent, Bonnie was a company member of Snappy Dance Theater for 8 years, performing sculptural, acrobatic dances nationally and internationally. Her movement was called “breathtakingly simple” and “delightfully crafty” by the Boston Globe. When Bonnie is not performing, she is the mother of three young children, an avid runner, and vegan cupcake maker.

Watch Bonnie Duncan and The Gottabees in Action!

Meet The Artists: Good Hearted Entertainment

Join us as local artists from Good Hearted Entertainment bring their world premiere performance of "Word Play" to Puppet Showplace Theater. Adventure through the alphabet as letters and words come to life to foster early literacy and a love of reading in children. Plus, it's a ton of fun!

This program was developed with support from Puppet Showplace Theater's Incubator Program. 

VIEW CALENDAR

"Word Play"

Wed - Fri, July 27-29 at 10:30am & 1pm
Sat, July 30 at 10:30am, 1pm, & 7pm

                    Harry LaCoste and Honey Goodenough in "Word Play"

                    Harry LaCoste and Honey Goodenough in "Word Play"

"Word Play" uses clowning and puppetry to take audiences on an adventure through the alphabet. Words come to life in the hands of two skilled performers, who clown around with sounds and colorful puppet letters to create dozens of dynamic, interactive characters and imaginative scenes. Audiences can make friends with vowels, teach tricks to a “C-A-T” and “D-O-G,” and visit a Word Zoo full of surprises. It’s the perfect blend of education and entertainment—a play on words, literally!

About the Artists

Honey Goodenough (Clown/Puppeteer) is a puppeteer, educator, and children’s party entertainer. Her company, Good Hearted Entertainment is dedicated to creating quality entertainment and educational programs for families and children of all ages. WORD PLAY is inspired by her own educational journey with dyslexia, which has given her a unique perspective on literacy. As a teaching artist she has worked with diverse student populations in greater Boston, New York City, Vermont, and Texas. She has taught a wide variety of professional development courses for educators and aspiring puppeteers at Brooklyn College, the University of Utah, and City College CUNY. Honey is also a trained marionette performer and has toured nationally with The National Marionette Theater, Frisch Marionettes, and she has produced and performed in Puppet Slams across the country. She holds an MA in Educational Theater from New York University, and a BA in Theater Crafts and Technology from the University of Texas, Austin. http://www.honeygoodenough.com

Harry LaCoste (Clown/Puppeteer) is a performer, teacher and rocks a ukulele. After working behind the scenes on Sesame Street, he was inspired to try his hand at puppeteering. Since then, Harry has performed all over the country with puppets including with NYC-based puppet improv team,Team Lopez, and cofounded Total Feltdown, a new team featured recently at ImprovBoston. During the day, he travels to 21 different Bright Horizons Day Care Centers  as an enrichment teacher using puppets, songs, and magic tell stories and inspire creativity. His fuzzy yellow friend, Good News Gus, makes personalized videos to share exciting news with the world. Gus has appeared at the Kids Really Rock Festival at the Lawn on D and will be at the New England Festy at Prowse Farm this September. (www.goodnewsgus.com)

Paul Watkins is a composer and trombonist from San Jose, CA. He holds a Master of Music degree in composition from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in music and psychology from the University of CA, Davis. His music has been performed by such esteemed groups as the Meridian Arts Ensemble, Empyrean Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, and the Freya String Quartet, among others. Paul also has had the great fortune to work with a number of puppet artists in the New England area in creating incidental music for their works. These include "Word Play" by Good Hearted Entertainment, "Robin Hood" by Brad Shur, and several short pieces developed at the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT.

Meet the Artists: National Marionette Theatre

This week, father-and-son duo David and Stephen Syrotiak from National Marionette Theatre travel to us from Pennsylvania to perform their rendition of "Hansel and Gretel". Accompanied by vivid scenery and masterful music, these beautifully crafted marionette puppets are sure to inspire awe in viewers of all ages. VIEW SHOW CALENDAR

"Hansel and Gretel"

Wednesday July 6th - Saturday July 9th @ 10:30AM and 1:00PM

Take a sneak-peek look at National Marionette Theatre's "Hansel and Gretel," performed by father and son, David and Stephen Syrotiak.

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About the Show:

The story of Hansel and Gretel has captured audiences' imaginations for generations. National Marionette Theatre's adaptation of this classic tale brings the Grimm brothers' story to life with exquisitely crafted marionettes, scrolling scenery, and the beautiful music of Engelbert Humperdinck. Audiences of all ages will cheer on this brother-and-sister team as they navigate the dark woods, outsmart the witch (by turning her into a giant cookie!), and finally get reunited with their family.

BUY TICKETS HERE

About the Artists:

Left to right: Peter Syrotiak, David Syrotiak Sr., David Syrotiak Jr.

Left to right: Peter Syrotiak, David Syrotiak Sr., David Syrotiak Jr.

National Marionette Theatre is one of the oldest continually-running marionette companies in the United States. Founded in 1967 by artistic director David A. Syrotiak, this award-winning company has been entertaining audiences around the world with their extraordinary productions for over forty years. Notable performance venues have included the Smithsonian Museum, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and numerous international puppetry festivals. The company has been twice honored with the prestigious UNIMA award for excellence in puppetry. In 2014, founder David A. Syrotiak also received Puppet Showplace Theater's first-ever Paul Vincent Davis Award for excellence, mentorship, and service to the field.

Arabian Nights. Left to right: Peter Syrotiak, David Syrotiak Jr.

Arabian Nights. Left to right: Peter Syrotiak, David Syrotiak Jr.

David J. Syrotiak has been building and performing with the company since he was a boy. As the son of founder and artistic director David Syrotiak Sr., he has been around puppetry all his life. He has been involved in every NMT production from the planning stages to the performances with key roles in Aladdin, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Peter and the Wolf, Hansel and Gretel, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Rip Van Winkle, Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Alice in Wonderland. Over the past thirty years and thousands of performances David has dedicated his life to keeping the tradition of marionette performance alive in the United States.

Peter Pan. Left to right: Peter Syrotiak, Mariana Syrotiak, David Syrotiak Jr.

Peter Pan. Left to right: Peter Syrotiak, Mariana Syrotiak, David Syrotiak Jr.

Stephen A. Syrotiak has been around puppetry his entire life. He is David’s son. At six weeks old, he attended his first international puppetry festival in Charleville-Mezieres, France. Stephen has been working behind the scenes since his early teenage years and made his performing debut in the summer of 2015 for a tour of Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp. Since then he has become an indispensable member of the company.

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:

Chaucer?

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.

Meet the Artists: Crabgrass Puppet Theater

Embark on a whirlwind adventure through African folk lore with artists Jamie Keithline and Bonny Hall. With vivid scenery and creative storytelling, "African Adventure Tales" is sure to become a family favorite! VIEW SHOW CALENDAR

"African Adventure Tales":

Thursday June 2 @ 10:30 am, Friday June 3 @ 10:30 am, Saturday June 4 @ 10:30 and 1:00

 

About The Show: 

Two folktales from Africa come to life in this vibrant new production. In “Koi and the Kola Nuts,” the youngest son of a tribal chief only receives one small kola nut tree as an inheritance instead of his father's riches. On his travels, he meets a snake, a crocodile, and a colony of ants, all in need of the one thing Koi has: kola nuts. Koi's kindness to the creatures he meets is later rewarded when their help saves his life. Then, the trickster Anansi eats his way into a melon and, finding himself too full to get back out, fools the other animals into believing that the melon itself can talk. Spectacular scenery and skillful storytelling make this a must-see performance. BUY TICKETS HERE!

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.  

Watch Crabgrass Puppet Theatre in Action! 

 

 

Meet Jim Napolitano: Nappy's Puppets

Our "Heroes and Tricksters" series kicks-off this week with Nappy's Puppets' "Father Goose's Tales." These are not your average rhymes and bedtime stories! Performer Jim Napolitano's hilarious twist on your favorite Mother Goose stories will leave you in stitches, all performed with amazing shadow puppetry.

Father Goose's Tales
by Nappy's Puppets

Thur & Fri, April 28 & 29 at 10:30am
Sat & Sun, April 30 & May 1 at 1pm & 3pm

About the show:

Mother Goose has taken the day off, and Father Goose must do all of the storytelling. "Father Goose's Tales" is a hilarious modern adaptation of favorite nursery rhymes and children's songs performed with masterful shadow puppetry. Each performance includes a puppet demonstration and lots of audience interaction that will delight audiences young and old! BUY TICKETS

About the performer:

Jim Napolitano, a.k.a. “Uncle Nappy,” is a Connecticut native and one of America’s most-loved shadow puppeteers. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts program, and has taught puppetry to students of all ages throughout New England. For over 20 years Nappy’s Puppets has toured nationally to theatres, festivals, libraries, and museums, delighting audiences of all ages with quality shadow theatre productions.

Jim has also worked extensively as a freelance artist and puppeteer. As a member of Bits and Pieces Puppet Theatre he performed musicals with giant puppets across the country and around the world, including at the National Cultural Center in Japan and the National Theatre in Taiwan. His television credits include Between the Lions, The Book of Pooh, and segments for Nickelodeon, Scholastic Home Video, and HBO Pictures. He currently resides in Connecticut with his two young children. www.nappyspuppets.com

"One of America’s most beloved shadow puppeteers." - Metro Boston

"One of America’s most beloved shadow puppeteers." - Metro Boston

Uncle Nappy in the Press:

All Hail the Brookline Puppet Master! Go behind the shadow screen with Nappy in this amazing feature by Metro Boston from 2015: READ ARTICLE

2016 Paul Vincent Davis Award

Each year, Puppet Showplace honors the work of a local puppeteer at our annual spring gala event. This lifetime achievement award, named after Puppet Showplace Resident Artist Emeritus Paul Vincent Davis, recognizes New England-based puppeteers for artistic excellence, mentorship, and service to the puppetry community--all traits inspired by Paul himself. Past Award Recipients

Paul Vincent Davis, Artist in Resident Emeritus

Paul Vincent Davis, Artist in Resident Emeritus

Puppet Showplace Theater Gala
Encounter the Extraordinary
June 7 from 6:00 - 9:00pm

Wightman Mansion, 43 Hawes Street, Brookline

At the Puppet Showplace Theater Gala, you and your guests will have a chance to encounter Sara's giant puppet characters, brought to life by professional puppeteers...and by YOU! Our family-friendly event will also feature a giant puppet dance party, dozens of mini-performances and hands-on activities, live music, culinary delights, a benefit auction and more. All proceeds help us bring world class puppetry to Greater Boston and subsidize tickets for children from Boston's neediest communities. MORE INFO

2016 Paul Vincent Davis Award Recipient: Sara Peattie, The Puppeteer's Cooperative

Sara Peattie is the director of Puppeteers Cooperative, which specializes in community workshops, giant puppets, pageants, and parades.  It inculdes The Back Alley Puppet Theater, which operates the Puppet Free Library, Puppaganda, which works in toy theater and video, and The Construction Section, which builds puppets and masks.

She also runs an informational website about making giant puppets: http://puppetco-op.org/. Sara joined Bread and Puppet Theater in 1969 and toured internationally with the company before co-founding the Puppeteers Cooperative in San Francisco in 1976. For 40 years, the Puppeteer's Cooperative has created iconic parades and pageants for Boston's First Night celebrations, and has participated in hundreds of political rallies and cultural celebrations throughout greater Boston, New York City, and throughout New England.

Master Puppeteer Paul Vincent Davis is widely recognized as one of America's foremost glove puppeteers. For over 30 years he served as Artist in Residence at Puppet Showplace Theater where he and founder Mary Churchill worked tirelessly to establish a home for puppetry in New England. Throughout his career, Paul was a dedicated member of the Puppeteers of America and the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry.

Davis created over a dozen full-length puppetry productions and received five prestigious UNIMA Citations of Excellence for his work. He was honored with the President's Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Puppeteers of America. Now retired from performing, Davis remains active as a teacher and mentor in the New England puppetry community. He is the subject of the book Puppeteer by Kathryn Lasky and is currently writing his own book about the art and philosophy of glove puppetry. MORE INFO

Join the Puppet Showplace Family!

Members make great puppetry possible at Puppet Showplace! Join our family this Spring during our April Membership Drive and receive awesome savings on tickets during April Vacation Week (Members pay only $10 instead of $15 on premium-priced tickets), get access to exclusive members-only events like the upcoming Pirate Party with Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers on April 24, and much more!

Members Only Event with Brad Shur, Resident Artist - 2015

Members Only Event with Brad Shur, Resident Artist - 2015

Why Become a Member?

In addition to supporting our mission to bring high-quality puppetry performances to the Greater Boston area and serve diverse audiences, members receive discounts on tickets and store purchases, fee-free phone orders, and more. Already a member? Purchase a gift membership or upgrade to a higher member level today and help our family grow. Memberships are great for Grandparents too!

Which Membership is right for me?

BASIC MEMBERSHIP- Do you have one child that you bring to the theater? This membership is perfect for you. You receive one complimentary ticket for a Mainstage performance ($12 value), and TWO discounted tickets per performance. This means you pay only $8 instead of $12, or $10 instead of $15 during premium show times during the holidays or vacation week.

FAMILY MEMBERSHIP- This package is for families who attend with 3 or more people at a time. You receive two complimentary tickets for a Mainstage performance ($24 value), and FOUR discounted tickets per performance. This means you pay only $8 instead of $12, or $10 instead of $15 during holiday show times. Planning a birthday party? BOTH basic and family members save on birthday party bookings.

PUPPETS AT NIGHT MEMBERSHIP- Do you attend our evening performances for adults like Puppet Slams? This membership is for you! Not only do you get two complimentary tickets to any Puppets at Night performance ($30 value), but you get TWO discounted tickets per performance to all Puppets at Night Performances. This means you pay only $10 per ticket instead of $15. You also get a 15% discount on adult classes and invitations to special Incubator events to meet artists developing new work.

ENTHUSIAST- What if you like to attend both Mainstage AND Puppets at Night performances? The enthusiast membership is for you! In additional to ALL of the benefits received by members at the Family and Puppets at Night levels, you also get TWO tickets to our upcoming Gala event, Encounter the Extraordinary on June 7. Introduce your friends to Puppet Showplace by sharing your complimentary tickets, take an adult class, and then help us celebrate with our donors and community supporters during our annual Spring fundraising event.

Even more benefits!

Don't forget, all members at the Basic, Family or Enthusiast level also receive discounts to Puppet Playtime, our interactive show for toddlers and tiny tots on Wednesday and Saturday mornings! 

MEMBER ONLY EVENT APRIL VACATION WEEK

Frogtown Mountain

Members Only: Pirate Party with Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers

Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 4:00PM
All members are invited to meet the artists after the 3pm performance of Everybody Loves Pirates on April 24th and enjoy free food, prizes and pirate-themed fun. FREE Admission! Fun for all ages!

See you at the theater puppet fans! Become a member, or renew your membership today.

 

Like Mother, Like Daughters

Happy March, puppets fans! Our Puppets Around the World series continues this week with a very special performance of "Kasper and Fritzi" by Sandglass Theater, passed down from mother to daughters. Go behind-the-scenes of the show with performers and sisters, Jana and Shoshana.

"Kasper and Fritzi"
by Sandglass Theater
Thur & Fri, Mar 3 & 4 at 10:30am

Sat & Sun, Mar 5 & 6 at 1pm & 3pm


Introduction by Jana

I grew up in Germany and was three years old when my mother Ines made her Kasper piece. She premiered it at my birthday party. Kasper is a traditional hand puppet hero in Germany, but Ines gave him her own interpretation and character for her show. He still wears his signature stocking cap, but her Kasper is friendlier, and his adventure is not traditional at all. I grew up helping her set up the show, and watching it, and breaking it down.

When we immigrated to the States, Kasper and his company began talking in English, but somehow it didn't make a difference because their characters stayed the same. When I inherited the piece form my mother it was at first very odd for me to be inside of a show I had watched for my whole life, and for her to be outside of a show she had performed for 30 years. But at the same it felt very natural for me to play these puppets because I already knew them so well. Now I am working on bringing Kasper back to Germany after all these years and completing some kind of circle. I am always touched that puppets have the power to bring us out into the world, and connect us with strangers.


Interview with Shoshana

"Kasper and Fritzi," also known as "Punschi," is part of the "Puppets around the World" series at Puppet Showplace Theater. What are the international origins of this show?

"Punschi" is an abbreviation for the German words Puppentheater Unterm Schirm, which means "Puppet theater under the umbrella." We both grew up speaking German, and still use a lot of German language in our performance of the show. 

The Flea circus has it's roots in European tradition, and these days one can still see a live flea circus at the German October fest. The flea trainers would be set up on tables for about 5 people to view through a large magnifying glass, while the fleas would move balls and pull little gold carriages, and such. Though the flea circus in it's full form was created once Sandglass had moved to the US, it's previous incarnation was part of "The Box Show", an early work of Ines Zeller Bass's, in which the flea emerged out of a box and walked a tightrope. Fritzi the flea has learned a great many new tricks since then! 

"Punschi" was originally created by your mother, Ines Zeller. What was it like to see this show while growing up? How did you go about learning this show from her? 

Jana and I have both played assistant to setting up the Punschi stage and know the show like a child knows it's favorite children's book or stuffed animal. The show was a close companion through my whole childhood; I remember a time when I would stop calling out to Kasper on stage to leave room for the fresh experience of the other children watching, after all, I knew what they were supposed to shout and I wanted to see if they would get it right;)

Ines was very gracious in the passing of these pieces. She directed with her amazing skill set as puppeteer, clown and mime. She has also been a great coach on how to work specifically for children, walking the line of guided participation, with a luminescent sense of play and joy. I have also learned so much about building, and the mechanisms Ines dreamed up for the flea circus are so inventive. Most of all in this rehearsal process, and in reflection of how she made these shows she instilled in me the idea that one has to just try things, and when you don't know what to do, just do anything. Creation is putting in the work to build and rebuild, and not settle for something incomplete or inconsistent. 

What are your favorite memories of growing up as the daughters of internationally-touring puppeteers? 

There are so many memories, because most of my childhood consisted of touring with my parents. I think the most important of which is that I experienced the world through it's art forms. The political, geographical and linguistic landscapes we passed through where always held within the performances we encountered. And our relationship with artists from so many countries has made the world a smaller place, and these connections bring me an assurance of the good in the world, and trust that I will always find a home among puppeteers in any foreign land. We have also hosted many of these puppeteers in our own community for the Puppets In the Green Mountains festival, and those times are always full of celebration, hard committed work, and a sense of growing community.  

 

You both worked on producing Sandglass Theater's recent "Puppets in the Green Mountains" festival in Vermont, which had a particular focus on immigration stories and human rights. How does puppetry help to address these sorts of issues? 

This is a huge question, which we needed an entire 10 day festival to begin to investigate. I could talk about the puppet and its ability to let us navigate difficult questions with a little objectivity, and remove the immediacy of human emotion. The puppet has an amazing capacity to hold every persons experience, because it is after all, only a puppet. It has a capacity to transcend human delineations of identity and therefore can offer more perspective and accessibility in addressing difficult issues. We hosted puppeteer from Mexico, Cuba, Canada, England, and Germany, all countries which hold high stakes in the discussions of immigration, to bring them all into our community (they are housed by and fed by our community) brought a very tangible dialogue to the stage as well as in all our daily interactions. 

 

You have performed "Punschi" all over the Northeast, from New York City to Vermont. What is it like traveling and performing with your sister?

Just the best of times! It has been this little sister's dream to get to tour around with my big sister performing our mother's work. We have dreams to continue touring and cover wider and wider circles, perhaps even returning to German with the shows that began there. It has all really been true to the blessing our mother gave us when she gave us these shows: Long Life, Long Laughs, Good Play!!!

Purchase tickets to "Kasper and Fritzi" , call the Box Office 617-731-6400 x 101 or purchase online.

Puppet Showplace Theater thanks the Brookline Commission for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and other generous donors for supporting this production.