"Jon Little"

Learn Mouth and Rod Puppetry at Puppet Showplace!

Furry Monsters 101 with Jonathan Little, Little's Creatures

4 sessions, February 25 - March 18

Tuesdays, 6:30-9:00pm
Members save 10% on registration!


MORE INFO/ REGISTER ONLINE

Some characters are too good to keep bottled up. Let out your inner monster with the "Furry Monsters 101" class at Puppet Showplace Theatre taught by master puppeteer Jonathan Little of Little's Creatures. This class is for adults and mature teens ages 16 and up.


Students practicing with puppets made by Little's Creatures at Puppet Showplace.

Take a page of the Muppet, Sesame Street, or saucy Avenue Q handbook and create your own character through the use of a professional hand and rod puppet. Work with “Little Creatures” puppet company founder Jonathan Little, and give life to your inner characters. Will your puppet character be sassy? Meek? A childhood hero or an inner demon? Explore an exciting, visual storytelling medium in a supportive classroom environment with fellow adventurers.


Jon Little of Little's Creatures, Fury Monsters 101 instructor at Puppet Showplace

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Jonathan Little is the founder of Little’s Creatures, a full service puppet company based in Medford, MA. Little’s Creatures has built puppets and performed for individuals and companies across the United States and abroad. Current puppetry projects include the Time Machine Guitar TV series and the National Fire Prevention Association’s “Sparky the Fire Dog” fire safety videos. Jon has been a Puppet Showplace teaching artist since 2011.

Jon and Chris Little, Little's Creatures performing Sparky the Fire Dog.

He received his own puppetry training from some of the nation’s best television puppeteers including Muppeteers Martin P. Robinson, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Tyler Bunch, Tim Lagasse, and Jim Kroupa. For the past four years, Jon has worked as the teaching assistant in Jim Kroupa’s mechanism workshop at the Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference. In addition to performing, Jonathan is skilled in the fine arts, including sculpture, film, video, drawing, and painting. He holds a degree from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He is a skilled dancer, with over 14 years of ballet training (Red Shoes Ballet, South Shore Dance, and Boston Ballet). He has also trained in comedy improv with ImprovBoston.

ABOUT THE CLASS:

In Furry Monsters 101, participants will learn the proper technique of hand and rod puppetry. Professional puppeteers know how to make these characters appear as living, breathing beings with their own thoughts, desires, and motivations. After learning the basics (breathing, lip-synch, focus, and body position), participants will also be able to bring their own characters to life too. Their hands will start to have minds of their own!

For samples of last year’s students’ creations in the Furry Monsters class checkout Little’s youtube page:



Participants will also cover essentials such as character interpretation, rhythm and timing, storytelling, puppet-assisting , working with props, creating a puppet film, improv and comedy, television monitor technique, and puppet/actor interactions. This is an ideal class for actors, comedians, die-hard Muppet fans, dancers, animators, or anyone interested in learning puppetry.



For those ready to embark on the hilarious, rewarding adventure of bringing your own puppet character to life, “Furry Monsters 101” is the perfect opportunity!

You can find more info about upcoming classes at Puppet Showplace online. CICK HERE.

Behind the Scenes of Adult Classes at Puppet Showplace

Adventures in Puppetry: Part Two
by Guest Blogger Holly Hartman

For Part One, click here.

It is Monday night at the Puppet Showplace Theatre,  I am at the third class of Jonathan Little’s  “Furry Monsters 101,” and I don’t know when I have last laughed this much. I have forgotten about my long day at the office and the sardine subway ride that capped it and have succumbed to the hilarity of playing with monster puppets.

Class Three: Where Is My Head?

Last week we saw ourselves—or rather, our puppets—on the screen of a video monitor for the first time. Like an infant, I was riveted by my own image (in this case, I was a shaggy orange creature with a bow tie). This week we’re sharing the camera in small groups. Our puppets’ movements onscreen are slow, absurd. I’m reminded of how it takes practice for young children to learn where their limbs are in space.

Many of our puppets look like dopey pets: mouths ajar, heads cocked, too clumsy to heed Jonathan as he urges us to move the puppets together and make them look at the camera. My golf-ball-like eyes can’t find the camera; my furry neck cranes in the wrong direction, as if the puppet is captivated by a faraway song. (Note: the students who’ve taken the class before--one is on his fourth enrollment--are a testimony to the benefits of practice. But most of us newbies are pretty klutzy.)



Things a Director Would Never Say to a Human Actor, Yet Prove Helpful When Spoken About a Puppet:

“Your neck looks broken. Hey Chris, would you go un-break his neck?”

“Oops, let me adjust your eyeballs.”

“Next time, remember to open your mouth when you sing.”

More Lucid in Gibberish

Seeing our puppets in groups is also a lesson in how tricky it is to establish spatial relationships among them, in part because we are manipulating them overhead. Many of our puppets end up talking nose-to-nose (or nose-to-where-a-nose-might-be), or leaning away from each other, or failing to make eye contact. As a group, they don’t look very socialized.

We sing “Frere Jacques” with simple choreography that nonetheless goes astray as often as not. (Some of us are self-conscious. “But it’s a puppet,” Jonathan counsels. “It wants to sing and dance.”) Then we try an exercise in which we pair off and have a conversation in gibberish: one puppet speaks nonsense words, the second riffs off of that, and so on. This becomes interesting fast. When the two puppeteers are attuned to each other, a relationship between their puppets begins to arise.

I find it oddly liberating to speak in a nonexistent language. With words cut off from meaning, it’s easier to play with voice and gesture. Plus I like the surrealism of it. At times I brush up against what for me is the most gratifying part of the creative process, when my cognitive mind fades away; and at those times I cannot quite tell whether I am playing with the puppet or the puppet is playing with me.

Class Four: Think Less, Skit More

I thought we were going to start our fourth class with more camera work, but Jonathan greets us by saying that last week he could see us thinking too hard. So instead we’ll begin with vocal and movement practice, then write skits and perform them onstage, then rewrite them and perform them on camera. Well! Is that all for the first hour?!

Soon we have broken into groups to write and rehearse our skits while Chris and Jonathan make the rounds to check on our progress. I feel grateful at how formal instruction accelerates learning, especially when Chris advises us on manipulating our puppets (“When you open the mouth all the way on that one it looks crazy, see?”).

Instructor, Jon Little
The skits end up being pretty hilarious. There’s an operatic saga of family dysfunction, complete with Wagner-length high notes; a Shakespearean trio trying to throw off a gypsy curse; and a tale of infidelity in the American West that features a make-out scene so heated the furry lovers have to pause for a breath. All of this, out of thin air.

Puppet Party

Coordinating my puppet’s jaw, arm, and body movements while I am talking remains a challenge. “Holly, your puppet is on roller skates,” Jonathan says after I glide my blue monster across the stage, having forgotten to give it the natural side-to-side motion of walking. (Which would have been okay if roller skates had featured in the scene.) Some puppets appear to be victims of quicksand, sinking out of the camera frame over time.

Before long, nine puppets are on camera at once. It turns out that much consolidation is possible when we angle our bodies sideways (I recall Jonathan telling us in the first class that “puppetry is the art of working in someone’s armpit”). But onscreen, the puppets don’t look crowded. In fact, they look pretty relaxed and happy as they mingle, sharing puppet observations on party clothes and nachos.


As my rudimentary skills increase, so does my appreciation for the video monitor as a teaching tool. In a nutshell: you can see where you are going wrong and fix it, then and there. Crookneck-squash neck, fixed. Zombie arms, fixed. For someone new to performance, this is like magic.

What the Puppet Wants

I took the class partly in the hope of demystifying puppetry for myself, at least a little bit. In this I have both somewhat succeeded and happily failed.

As to the success: In four whirlwind classes, I have been introduced to the skills necessary to operate hand-and-rod puppets (those icons of my circa 1975 worship of all things Muppet). I now have a novice’s sense of how to make this kind of puppet speak, move, and interact. I see that it takes a tremendous amount of practice to make these actions appear realistic, and that it’s a tremendous amount of fun.

Yet there’s something about puppetry that resists demystification. In skilled hands, a puppet in motion has a life of its own--with its own disposition, its own demands, and the capacity to outwit its puppeteer--and I am happy to say that this aspect of puppetry remains mysterious to me.

UPCOMING FALL CLASSES:
Click Here  for a full list of upcoming classes.

Introduction to Puppetry Arts

Instructor: Brad Shur, Artist in Residence
Four sessions, September 16 - October 7
Monday nights, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

What makes a great puppet show? Participants will be introduced to the exciting and multifaceted world of puppetry through hands-on exploration of the materials and performance methods used by professional puppeteers. Participants will survey basic puppetry construction methods, build their own puppets, and learn the basic techniques for making puppets come to life.
Mask and Physical Theatre Intensive
Instructor: Avital Peleg
Four sessions, September 18 - October 9
Wednesday nights, 6:30 to 9:00 pm

This workshop invites participants to immerse themselves in the physical and visual world of mask theatre, discovering the power of their own poetic body through a non-verbal approach to acting. Participants will focus on in-depth and detail-oriented physical performance with full-face white neutral masks. Beginning with solo scenes, adding objects, and building towards duo and ensemble work, participants will heighten their awareness of timing, breath, spatial composition, and audience perception.

Introduction to Shadow Puppetry
Instructor: Brad Shur, Artist in Residence
Four sessions, October 1 - October 22
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Shadow puppetry is a centuries-old art form that is constantly evolving to incorporate new materials and technologies. In "Introduction to Shadow Puppetry," students will learn the history of shadow performance and encounter examples of the exciting work being developed by today's shadow puppeteers. Through building and performance exercises, the class will explore diverse styles of shadow puppets ranging from simple hand shadows to elaborate cut-out figures with moving parts. 

Behind-the-Scenes of Furry Monsters 101

Adventures in Puppetry: Part One
by Guest Blogger Holly Hartman

Holly Hartman
I’m a few minutes early for class, and instructor Jonathan Little, the puppeteer and fabricator behind Little’s Creatures, is chatting with students about puppetry. He tells us where he buys the fur he uses in building his own monster puppets, why medical-grade foam is a good choice for puppet hands, how he fixes a puppet’s eyes and arms in place. I learn why all the Muppets are a bit cross-eyed and what makes Kermit’s head especially difficult to construct.

This serendipitous conversation (among others) is one of the pleasures of a class I’m taking at Puppet Showplace Theatre: “Furry Monsters 101,” an introduction to Muppet-style hand-and-rod puppets. One of the things that impresses me about Puppet Showplace is how it supports puppetry not just as a theater venue but also with workshops and courses like this, offering the public a chance to work with seasoned teaching artists.

I’m a longtime fan of Puppet Showplace and a current volunteer, but this is my first class. Seeing puppet shows here has gotten me curious about what it would be like to try my own hand (literally) at puppetry. It’s an art with many forms, but all, in my view, seem to involve some alchemy by which a puppeteer brings an object to life. How does this happen?

Class One: Inhale, Exhale

In our first class, Jonathan tells us that one of the surest ways to hook an audience is by letting them see your puppet breathe. He demonstrates with a lifted hand: an inhale, wrist shifting upward; an exhale, fingers subtly releasing the puppet’s breath. I am transfixed—it’s a creature! But no—it’s a hand.

Jon Little hand makes all of the puppets for Furry Monsters 101

 This suspension of disbelief is part of what fascinates me about puppetry. Jonathan’s brother Chris, also a puppeteer, is helping out with this class, and during our introductions he describes watching Puppet Showplace artist emeritus Paul Vincent Davis animate a milk carton—it became “the happiest milk carton in the world,” then the saddest. Puppetry, Chris says, involves the ability to imbue objects with energy.

We make our hands into puppet mouth shapes and practice making them breathe, sigh, sneeze, sniff, snore. Like infants, our hands then progress from sounds to words. The technique involves one precise flap of the thumb per syllable—downward, the way the human jaw moves in speech. We sing the alphabet, slowly. My thumb sags in confusion when we reach the impossibly multisyllabic letter W.

Finally, we try lip-synching to music. Time flies when your puppet hands are having fun. Suddenly it’s 9:00 p.m., class is over, and around the room students’ hands are rocking out to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Practice Makes Puppetry

For homework, I practice lip-synching with my hand. It’s hard. It’s fun. The occasional moment of fluidity is a thrill. My puppet hand has an affinity for the songs of Leonard Cohen—slow, simple lyrics punctuated by danceable instrumentals and the odd long word. Hal-le-lu-jah.

Class Two: Hands in Puppets

In the second class, when we start using hand-and-rod puppets, lip-synching feels different, strange. Each puppet is a new experience. I feel awkward maneuvering the tiny mouth of the first one I try, and enjoy posing the jointed neck of the second. Each student performs a scripted monologue, and when my turn comes I keep flapping my hand upward, causing what Jonathan calls, during the critique, “a bit of flip-top head.” Whoops.



Like everything else we’ve done in this very immersive class, the critique is fun and illuminating. I like seeing what qualities each person brings to their puppet performance. Some puppet characters are kinetic, others droll. Talking about what we saw that worked—and what didn’t—is invaluable.

Lights, Camera…

Next, we take our first steps—or, rather, make our puppets take their first steps—in front of the camera and video monitor. It’s harder than I would’ve guessed, both because it’s tricky to keep your puppet moseying along on its fictional floor level without slumping, and because on a video monitor, left and right are reversed. When you stroll your puppet onscreen from stage right, its furry face appears on the monitor at stage left. Surprise!



Also surprising: I love working with the monitor. It’s magic to see the puppet isolated in the world of the television screen, moving within its own reality, the puppeteer nowhere seen. I think I could watch that furry monster explore its onscreen world for hours, or at least until my arm went numb from holding it overhead. I feel like the kid who does not want to stop playing with a new toy.


As I leave the theatre, I am a little stunned at how much I’ve gotten to try in the last two hours. For someone who grew up with Sesame Street, it’s a heady feeling. And we have two more classes to go… I’ll be back in a couple weeks with a final report!

Monster Mondays are Moving In

Summer 2013 Adult Class

By: Joanna McDonough, Deitch Leadership Intern 

We have all heard it, that familiar falsetto voice that can usually be heard talking to a pet goldfish, or a man named Mr. Noodles, or Mr. Noodle's brother, coincidentally also named Mr. Noodles. Some of us were even lucky enough to take part in many giggles with this furry red friend in childhood, when he exclaimed "That tickles!" every time he was hugged. Yes, I am talking about Elmo my favorite Muppet character from Sesame Street and yes, my Tickle Me Elmo still has batteries in it.

Hello! My name is Joanna. I am 18 years old and an intern at the Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline, and I am proud to say that like many of you, I love Elmo. Interestingly enough however, until today I did not know anything about the mechanics behind the puppet that resides on Sesame Street.

It is sad to think that despite my knowledge of every song composed by him, I had no idea who the puppeteers who made Elmo come alive were, or who even created the character. As it turns out, the character was created in the 1970s and first performed by Caroll Spinney and Jerry Nelson then later by Kevin Clash. These puppeteers were responsible for Elmo's portrayal, providing his audience with the lifelike movements of the puppet's arms and legs.

How do they do it, you ask?

The techniques used by artists and performers such as Kevin Clash to create believable puppet characters may seem out of reach to master, but there is good news for aspiring performers and Muppet fans alike.

The Puppet Showplace Theatre is bringing back a class due to popular demand called Furry Monsters 101 which will be starting up in July.

REGISTER ONLINE

'Furry Monsters 101' spring class 2012 show off Little Creature monsters

 What happens in the class?   



The class, taught by Jonathan Little of Little's Creatures, will focus on the proper manipulation of Muppet-style hand and rod puppets featured on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Avenue Q. Jonathan will teach the class how to make these puppet characters appear as living, breathing beings with their own thoughts, desires, and motivations; some of the basics he will include are breathing, lip-synch, focus, and body positioning.

The sessions for Furry Monsters 101 run July 15 - Aug 5 on Monday nights from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. The registration price by July 1st is $150 and after July 1st it will be  $175.
And don't forget PST members save 10% on registration! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Even though it is only my third day here at the Puppet Showplace Theatre, I can already tell that the programs this organization has planned for the summer will be great ways to beat the heat and enjoy the arts, for both children and adults. I hope to see you this summer in the theatre!



Save the Planet with Puppets!

A marionette made from recycled materials!
ALL AGES WORKSHOP:

Build Your Own Recycled Puppets
With Brenda Huggins, PST Teaching Artist
Saturday February 2, 10:30 am - 12:00 PM

Cost: $15/Individual; $10/Member
*Children under age 13 must participate with a parent or guardian.  Recommended for ages 5 & up

REGISTER ONLINE

Climate Action Week continues in Brookline through Feb 3rd, and Puppet Showplace Theatre is excited to participate with a SUPER FUN puppet making workshop!

Have you ever wondered what to do with those old jeans with holes and rips, or have a pillow that is not fluffy or comfortable to sleep on and more? Or maybe your recycling bin is piling up with cardboard and plastic bottles, and you have always wondered if maybe there was a more creative way to Reduce, Re-use, Recycle than just dropping the bin at the curb?

Join us for an all-ages workshop on Saturday to learn how to turn materials already in your home into creative characters that come to life! No need to stop by the craft store, or spend tons of money on a bolt of fabric!  All materials are included for this hands-on, all-ages workshop. Each participant will make a puppet from recycled materials to take home.

Teaching Artist, Brenda Huggins is today's guest blogger.  Let's find out what to expect during class on Saturday:

ANYTHING CAN BE A PUPPET!
by Guest Blogger, Brenda Huggins

Brenda Huggins and her puppet Bella Monster, made by
Jon Little of Little's Creatures.
I love the idea that "any thing can be a puppet." It is a catch phrase that I use often in my teaching, and I am sure I picked it up from an immersion in puppetry education programs at PST for the past three years.  Often when I teach puppetry, I begin with "Object Theatre", or the idea that any everyday object can become "alive" when the puppeteer discovers how it can move, how it looks around in its environment, how it breathes, and perhaps even what its voice sounds like.  These are the fundamental basics of puppetry manipulation.  Why is this important in a puppet building class?  As a puppet builder, I like to think about how the characters I am creating will exist in the world, as this greatly inspires their design and the materials they will be made out of.

Yes, the MATERIALS! Let's talk about the materials, because that is why we are here isn't it?  When we are creating puppets from recycled, or re-purposed materials, the goal is to take an everyday object and be inspired to transform that object into something new-and also perhaps save a little money from not having to buy brand new materials at the craft or fabric store.  It is also a FANTASTIC way to recycle materials you wouldn't even think to recycle.  How many times have you thrown out an old shirt because it had a stain or rip in it? I know many of us are very good about donating clothing to Good Will or other second hand shops, but what do you do with those old things that cannot be resold?  Instead of flooding landfills with these precious textiles, let's make puppets!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as seen in "Puppet Playtime"
When I am building puppets, I LOVE to be inspired by the materials I will be working with, especially the textiles.  Maybe this comes from my work as a costume designer.  As an example, some of the most recent puppets I built are for a new program at PST called "Puppet Playtime." The materials I used are  a towel and recycled clothing  (I have a huge suitcase full of cut up clothes and other goodies for crafty projects! I can't wait to share it with you!) To create the character of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, I used a bright green towel for the body, and created three dimensional spots by cutting circles out of a dress shirt I have from when I was in college. (I will admit that was almost 10 years ago! I held onto the shirt, because the fabric was so beautiful and I just HAD to use it for a fabulous crafting project!)

Join me on Saturday for an hour and a half of recycling, creation, and play! I can't wait to see each of your unique pieces of art come to life!

-Brenda

More about… “Puppet Pandemic: The Boston Outbreak!"


This Saturday night - January 22nd - at 8pm, the Puppet Showplace Slam is proud to present "Puppet Pandemic: The Boston Outbreak", a showcase of works curated and cultivated by alumni of the O'Neill National Puppetry Conference. In addition to the performed pieces — 13 in all — the Puppet Pandemic organizers will be holding a raffle filled with amazing puppet items, including a personalized voicemail recording by a Sesame Street character! The funds raised by the raffle as well as donations to Puppet Pandemic will benefit the Alumni Scholarship to attend the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

The scholarship was founded on the belief that puppetry is a contagious art form. The Alumni Scholarship is meant to support artists and encourage them to propagate provocative theatrical works.

Performing artists who have benefitted from the scholarship include 2010 recipients Jonathan Little, Alissa Hunnicutt, Elizabeth Hara, and Marta Mozelle Macrostie.


There will be 13 different pieces performed as part of the program. Below is more information about the performers.

Frankie Cordero has worked as a puppeteer/designer/builder/director in NYC for the past 10 years. Theater: Lemony Snicket's "The Composer is Dead" at Berkeley Rep, "Walking with Dinosaurs," "Ko'olau" with Tom Lee, "Bride" with Lone Wolf Tribe, "Madama Butterfly" at The Met Opera. TV: Comedy Central/McDonald's commercials, "Sesame Street," "Oobi," "Its a Big, Big World," "Jack's Big Music Show," and many music videos and pilots. Directing/Producing: "The Whole World and You," (Atlantic Record's), "IRL FILES" (The Motorola Backflip Phone). www.frankiecordero.com

Melissa Dunphy plays strings on the side, but her day job is composing. Her best-known work, The Gonzales Cantata (see www.gonzalescantata.com), was performed at the 2009 Philly Fringe, receiving rave press and reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Harper's Magazine, The Huffington Post, and Rachel Maddow. She has composed and performed music for many Philadelphia-area theaters and is currently getting a Ph.D. in composition at UPenn. More information at www.melissadunphy.com

Thomas Getchell I am currently working on my MFA thesis project at the University of Connecticut, a cabaret marionette performance called Proleptic Voice: A Visual Poem. The show, which was inspired by Emily Dickinsonʼs prose “I Heard a Fly Buzz--When I Died,” will run February 18-19. I did my undergraduate studies in theatre and dance at California State University Sacramento, where I learned about puppetry from professor Richard Bay.

Honey Goodenough is a producer, puppeteer, clown, costume designer, and arts educator. She received her MA in Educational Theater from NYU in 2006. Her theatrical credits include Phantom Limb's "The Fortune Teller" at HERE Arts Space, Puppetworks, and The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater. Video credits include puppetry for "Clap your Hands" by Sia, and puppet costume construction for "IRL FILES," web ad for Collegehumor.com. You can also find her clowning around NYC hospitals for the Starlight Children's Foundation. She is very proud to consider Puppet Showplace a fellow sponsor of Puppet Pandemic and the NPC Alumni Scholarship. And yes, Honey Goodenough is her real name.

Elizabeth Hara is a costume and puppet builder who has worked for Parsons-Meares (Spiderman, The Lion King, and Shrek the Musical), The Jim Henson Company, Puppet Heap, and the Puppet Kitchen. Liz has lived in New york City for 3 years, but still goes home to Minnesota every year for the State Fair. She likes dirty jokes, candy, and dancing.

Alissa Hunnicutt is the resident puppeteer at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. She is an alumnus of the O’Neill Puppetry Conference, has performed at Great Small Works’ International Toy Theater Festival and is a regular in both puppet theater and slams around the tri-state area. Alissa debuted her full-length cabaret show “The Kid Inside” in 2010 and was a featured performer at the Orlando Puppet Festival. www.alissahunnicutt.com

Bradley Kemp is a composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in NYC. He is a member of chamber-punk ensemble Anti-Social Music and creates electronic music under the name b-radius. Kemp is currently developing a puppet play with live music based around the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire centennial, which received a Jim Henson Foundation Seed Grant. www.catapultparlor.com

Jonathan Little has attended the National Puppetry Conference twice and is an award recipient of the Puppet Pandemic Alumni Scholarship. Jonathan graduated from the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston. He is an accomplished dancer as well as puppeteer having studied with Boston Ballet. Jonathan toured with Kaiju Big Battle performing as Giant Club Sandwiches to the furry super hero Slo Feng. He is currently the primary puppet builder for Little's Creatures and a skilled puppeteer with a wide range of characters.

Marta Mozelle MacRostie is an NYC-based puppeteer, puppet builder, theater educator, and jazz vocalist. Recent credits include Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead at Berkeley Repertory Theater in CA and Puss in Boots at the New Victory Theater dir. Moises Kaufman (Off-Broadway). Marta appears on an ongoing basis with the puppet company Chinese Theater Works in NYC. She has studied at Umass Amherst, UConn, and of course at O'Neill National Puppetry Conference.

Ian Sweetman is a three-time veteran of the O'Neill National Puppetry Conference. In addition to the NPC, Ian's puppet work has been seen all along the Atlantic coast with productions in Florida, Maryland, New York and Connecticut. Recently, Ian completed a run with Phantom Limb Company's "The Fortune Teller" at the HERE Arts Center in New York City.

Showplace fun at the Eugene O'Neill National Puppetry Conference!

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re getting psyched for Summer at Puppet Showplace! We’ll be changing up our schedule with the start of July (more on that soon!) This week we welcome to the Showplace Lionheart Puppets with The Reluctant Dragon, followed by Nappy’s Puppets with Father Goose Tales. Get your tickets today!

I had the great fortune of seeing Nappy perform last night in an outdoor amphitheatre under the stars at the (regional Tony award-winning!) Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center where I’m currently attending the National Puppetry Conference (it just so happens that the conference is also where I met Matt Leonard of Lionheart Puppets for the first time!).

This year, PST Artist in Residence Brad Shur, PuppetSLAM Emcee Jon Little, and I are all here learning from master puppeteers drawn from all over the world. We’re also hard at work on new projects that will be presented at the end of the week (if you happen to be in Waterford, CT come check them out!). While we’re here, we’re also promoting the Showplace to puppet artists from all across America—thanks to all of our current family (Nappy, Michael Graham) and SLAM performers (Z. Briggs, Jones, Carole D'Augustino) for talking up the theatre as a great place to perform!

Stay tuned for announcements of our upcoming SLAM season, and more news from Jon and Brad about their experiences at the O’Neill!

Roxie (artistic@puppetshowplace.org)

PuppetSLAM is coming... Saturday May 22nd at 8pm!

Our 4th and final PuppetSLAM of the 2009/2010 season is coming this Saturday night at 8pm! And what a show we have planned for you: Jon Little is set to host, plus there will be at least 22 performers making up nine performance troupes, including...

- Brodrick Jones of Virginia, with his "Piece of Dirt"

- Little's Creatures

- Lesley Smith, the talented ventriloquist behind Sammy Snail and the Theater of Life Puppets

- Evan O'Television and his televised self

- Puppetmaster Jake

- Michelle Finston making her debut performance!

- Elephant Tango Ensemble, an eight-member troupe consisting of puppeteers, actors, musicians, designers and dancers

- a short stop-animation film from Brittanie Marques

- The Puppet Showplace Incubator Hatchlings, a group of individual performers including Jim Sedgwick, Gary Pappas, Michelle Finston, and John Lechner, plus Puppet Showplace Theatre Artistic Director Roxie Myhrum, Artist in Residence Brad Shur, and Artist in Residence Emeritus Paul Vincent Davis

Tickets are still available but going fast. Get yours before we sell out! BUY TICKETS

Check out video of a piece from our previous PuppetSLAM in March 2010...
"The Conductor" by Little's Creatures

PuppetSLAM is March 20th!


Hi all. We're getting excited for our next PuppetSLAM, coming this Saturday at 8pm. If you've never been or are unsure just what we're talking about when we say "PuppetSLAM", check out this article from this week's Brookline Tab.

We've got a great lineup of performers scheduled, including Brad Shur, Mike Cohen, Bonnie Duncan, Little's Creatures, Lorraine Gilman, Kyle Mackesey, Diane Kordas, and Dagen Julty. And Jon Little is revving up to host once again!

Tickets are $15 general admission and $13 for members and students. Call 617-731-6400 or click here to get yours today. PuppetSLAMs tend to sell out days in advance, so make sure you get yours soon.

We can't wait to see you at the show!