Meet the Artists: Eric Wright, Matt Singer, and Emily DeCola at The Puppet Kitchen

Puppet Showplace is serving up a delicious serving of puppetry for adult audiences this week as our Puppets at Night series presents, "What Are You Eating?", created by Eric Wright and Matt Singer, and directed by Emily DeCola. Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Puppet Kitchen's brilliant chefs arrive in Boston to cook-up a witty antidote to holiday indigestion. If you're feeling overwhelmed, lonely, confused and hungry for something (but you don't know what exactly), come sit and eat, and we'll work it out over something delicious. "What Are You Eating?" combines irreverent puppetry with original live music.  Recommended for ages 13+

Still hungry? Join us after the show Friday Nov 20 for an Opening Night Reception at The Middle Gray down the street. RSVP

What Are You Eating?
by Eric Wright and Matt Singer

Fri & Sat, November 20 & 21 at 8pm

Opening night reception, Friday November 20 at 9pm

Interview with Eric Wright

What is The Puppet Kitchen?

The Puppet Kitchen is a full-service puppetry studio that Emily DeCola, Michael Schupbach and I co-founded in New York's East Village. We design, build, perform, teach and direct puppetry in every style for events, screens, and stages all over the world.    

How did you become a puppeteer?

I've always had a wide range of interests: science, music, design, natural sciences, art, and theater.  In high school I became very interested in movie special effects - what we would call practical effects today - and I was also very influenced by the muppets and other puppet theater I had seen.  When I attended Sarah Lawrence College I met Dan Hurlin, who teaches the puppetry classes there, and I began to meet the community of puppeteers in New York that were creating exciting theater, as well as a supportive environment for new work. I knew almost immediately that if I focused on puppetry, and becoming a puppeteer, I would be able to combine all of my interests and never give any of them up.  I studied at the University of Connecticut's puppetry program, and attended the O'Neill National Puppetry Conference several times, meeting and learning from as many different people as I could. I practice a lot, say 'yes' to as much as I can, and take every opportunity I can to perform, build, and create more opportunities for other puppeteers.

Who are your collaborators to create this show, and what was the process to work with them?

I approached Matt Singer and Emily DeCola to help create the content of the show during a residency at the St. Ann's Warehouse Puppet Lab, and approached Michael Schupbach and the other folks at the Puppet Kitchen to help make the actual puppets for the show. At first, it was a very nerve-wracking and uncertain path to the creation of this show, because I wanted to fit a lot of message and substance into the show, while still keeping it entertaining, which I've never done before on my own work. Working with Matt and Emily to refine what that message was really great.  They're very generous with their ideas, and I always love working hard with close friends. We generated a lot of material (and cut a lot of cardboard) over the creation of this show, and I'm really pleased with what we've put together.

Who are the puppeteers/artists who have inspired you the most during your career?

I've always been inspired by good storytelling and entertainment that stretches or enhances reality. I also have really eclectic tastes, and love fine craftsmanship. I'm consistently inspired by the work from: The Muppets, Looney Tunes, Stan Winston Studios, Laika, Dan Hurlin, Mummenschanz, Philip Huber, Manual Cinema, Aardman Studios, Calvin and Hobbes, and Pixar.

What do you hope the audience will get out of their experience attending a performance of "What Are You Eating?"

I'd love the audience to remember how enjoyable it can be to share an experience together, whether it's a puppet show, a tasty dish, or even a question we've pondered.

What is your favorite part of the show?

I love that we've set our show up like a dinner party. I love greeting our audience as guests and sharing a snack with them afterward.

And the most important question, what is your favorite pie for Thanksgiving?

When we first performed the show at St. Ann's Warehouse, we served Occupie.  An Occupie is a chocolate dessert which has 70% of the sugar concentrated in the upper crust, making the bulk of the dessert pretty bitter, and forming an impenetrable ceiling of sugar which must be shattered in order to be enjoyed.  It's very rich, and appropriate for every occasion.  For Thanksgiving, though, I'll generally have pumpkin, pecan, apple, and a little of what you're having.

About the Artists:

ERIC WRIGHT (puppets) Performance credits include: The Firebird (City Center), Alice in Wonderland (New York City Opera), P.S. Jones and the Frozen City (New Ohio Theater) Compulsion (Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, The Public), Disfarmer (St. Ann's Warehouse) Madama Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera), Peter and Wendy (Arena Stage), Powerhouse (Fringe Festival NYC), Petrushka (Lincoln Center), La Bella Dormente… (Spoletto Festival), Hiroshima Maiden (St. Ann's Warehouse) Don't Trust Anyone over 30 (Art Basel Miami). He is an Associate Artist of Sinking Ship Productions, and regular performer in Puppet Playlist. With Emily DeCola and Michael Schupbach, Mr. Wright is one of the co-founders and 'Head Chefs' of The Puppet Kitchen, a puppetry studio in New York's East village.

MATT SINGER (music) Brooklyn-based with New Jersey roots, Matt has played premier New York venues including Bowery Ballroom, Joe’s Pub and Gramercy Theatre and toured the U.S., U.K., and Europe. Matt’s live performance has been described as a “joyous roots sound strung through an urban outlet” (Village Voice). With a combination of his “silly yet sincere” persona (The Deli), improvisational stage antics, and infectious melodies, Matt generates a cozy atmosphere at his shows, transforming his audience into a small community. Recently, he has collaborated with filmmakers, puppeteers and playwrights, co-creating three music videos, two of which were featured at BAM's Puppets on Film Festival.

EMILY DECOLA (direction) is a proud co-founder of the Puppet Kitchen; working with partners Eric Wright and Michael Schupbach and a crowd of talented craftspeople and interns. Her performance, direction and design credits include: Compulsion and Hamlet (Public Theater), Peter & Wendy, Prelude to a Death in Venice and La Divina Caricatura (Mabou Mines), My Fairytale (Stephen Schwartz, world premiere, PCPA Theaterfest), Master Peter's Puppet Show (Castleton Opera Festival - Maestro Loren Maazel), A Soldier's Tale (Orchestra of St. Luke's) Pericles, Revengers Tragedy & Women Beware Women (Red Bull Theater), Animal Farm (Synapse Productions), Taylor Mac's The Lily's Revenge (HERE Theater) John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean (New World Stages) and LazyTown (Nickelodeon).

Lollipops for Breakfast!

As part of our 40th Anniversary Season "New Year, New Shows!" Series,  we are so very excited to present the World Premiere of "Lollipops for Breakfast" by Bonnie Duncan of They Gotta Be Secret Agents, running January 31st- February 16th! Bonnie rocked the house in 2013 with her production of "Squirrel Stole My Underpants" and we can't wait to see what she has in store for us next!



Saturday, January 31st @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Sunday, February 1st @ 1:00 & 3:00pm
Friday, February 6th @ 7:00pm (Nighttime Show!)
Saturday, February 7th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Sunday, February 8th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Saturday, February 14th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Sunday, February 15th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Monday, February 16th @ 10:30am & 1:00pm


About the Show:

You can't have lollipops for breakfast! 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.

About They Gotta Be Secret Agents:

They Gotta Be Secret Agents, established in 2007 by Bonnie Duncan and Tim Gallagher, immerse audiences into simply constructed worlds that play with and distort the grand themes of time, scale, formality and reality. Short segments of clowning, dance, puppetry, and theatre flow into one another and spin together touching moments with humorous ones. 

The Agents first show, Poste Restante, toured nationally and internationally and won numerous accolades and standing ovations, including the Austin Critics Table Award for 'Best Touring Show of 2011,' Best of the Fringe & Best Physical Comedy, San Francisco, 2009. Their follow-up show for families, Squirrel Stole My Underpants, has been selling out venues and inspiring kid-made puppet shows up and down the east coast and beyond since 2012.

Bonnie Duncan has blended puppetry, dance, and physical theatre in surprising and delightful ways for the past 14 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 Agents with Tim Gallagher. Their show, Poste Restante, continues to tour worldwide, winning 'Best Touring Show of 2011,' Austin, TX; Best of the Fringe, San Francisco, 2009; and a nomination for Most Innovative Show at Prague Fringe Festival. She is currently touring her solo family show, Squirrel Stole My Underpants, throughout the US to delighted audiences. She just celebrated show #100! 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.


This show is sure to sell quickly so make sure to get your tickets in advance! And as always, don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @Puppetshowplace and to Like us on Facebook! See you soon, Puppet Friends!

-Katie B, PST Marketing Intern

New Year, New Shows!

Happy New Year, Puppet Friends! We hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a fabulous New Year's Eve! We had the pleasure of performing at First Night Boston, and boy was it a fun time! Parades, Puppet Shows, Fireworks--what an awesome way to kick off 2015. We can't wait to do it next year! Check out our photo album below for a glimpse into all the puppet fun at the Puppet Showplace Theater First Night Puppetry Festival:

We have SO much going on this January to keep you warm and entertained, starting with our great new series titled "New Year, New Shows!" The first production we have on deck is the World Premiere of  "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" by CactusHead Puppets, and it is sure to be a great time!

"The Pied Piper of Hamelin" by CactusHead Puppets
Jan 10-25, 2015


Show Description: The town of Hamelin has a rat problem, and there's only one person who can help! CactusHead Puppets bring the story of the Pied Piper to life with a cast of colorful characters in this comedic adaptation of the traditional folktale. Not only does the town find a musical solution to pest control, but the kids of Hamelin also teach the grownups a lesson about generosity. In the end, the townspeople all come together in celebration. Join puppeteers John and Megan Regan as they present this classic tale, told with multiple puppetry styles, and plenty of dancing rats!

About CactusHead Puppets:

CactusHead Puppets are known for their playful performance style and exuberant creativity. The West Springfield-based company was founded in 2010 by husband and wife team John and Megan Regan. Since then, they have created six 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 is originally from the Kansas City area, where she worked with Paul Mesner Puppets. John is from Western Massachusetts, and is honored to be performing in the same libraries where he saw puppet shows growing up. Megan collects pop-up books, and John has a love for giant monster movies. Both John and Megan were interns at Puppet Showplace Theater, and they are excited to return to Boston to share their work as professional puppeteers!

Saturday, January 10th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Sunday, January 11th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Friday, January 16th @ 7:00pm (Evening Show!)
Saturday, January 17th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Sunday, January 18th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Monday, January 19th @ 10:30am & 1:00pm
Saturday, January 24th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Sunday, January 25th @ 1:00pm & 3:00pm


Coming up after that will be the World Premiere of "Lollipops for Breakfast" by Bonnie Duncan of They Gotta Be Secret Agents, running Saturday January 31st through Monday February 16th!

We also have our Winter Session of Puppet Playtime starting on Wednesday, January 21st! Tickets sold out during the last session so get your tickets early!

New Adult Classes are starting this month as well, starting with Character Construction with Artist-in-Residence Brad Shur and many more! Check out our offerings here!

Last but not least, we are SO excited to host our next Puppet SLAM on January 17th @ 8:00pm! This event always sells out so make sure to get your tickets now to ensure an awesome Adults-Only night of Puppet Fun!

We can't wait to see you at all of our fun and festive events this month, stay warm out there Puppet Friends!

-Katie B, PST Marketing Intern :)