"Nappy's Puppets"

Mother Goose in Brookline this May!

"Puppeteers of New England"
Series of puppet shows that celebrate exciting and diverse 
work by puppetry artists from the Northeast.

It's a weekend filled with your favorite Mother Goose rhymes at Puppet Showplace...or rather...FATHER Goose!  Join Jim Napolitano of Nappy's Puppets from New Haven, CT for hilarious renditions of your favorite nursery rhymes. His signature shadow puppet style will have you in stitches!

If that's not enough laughs for you, then join us Saturday, May 17 for two special performances of "Mother Goose and Friends" by Sparky's Puppets from Providence, Rhode Island.  Help us celebrate these two amazing performers from New England during our "Puppeteers of New England" series. VIEW FULL CALENDAR

"Father Goose's Tales" by Nappy's Puppets
Thurs & Fri, May 15 & 16 at 10:30am
Sun, May 18 at 1 & 3pm

About the show: There is trouble in the nursery! Mother Goose has taken the day off, and Father Goose must do all of her chores, including the storytelling! But try as he might, Father Goose just can't get the stories quite right. "Father Goose's Tales" is a hilarious modern retelling of favorite nursery rhymes, stories, and children's songs that will delight audiences of all ages. Each performance includes a puppet demonstration and lots of audience interaction!

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 wife and two children.

"Mother Goose and Friends" by Sparky's Puppets
Sat, May 17 at 1 & 3pm

About the show: See your favorite tales come to life in this fun and interactive show, with the one and only Mother Goose as your guide! Watch Grandmother teach a wolf some manners in "Little Red Riding Hood." Then, help the hard-working "Little Red Hen" bake a loaf of bread. Meet "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" and "The Three Little Pigs." Finally, bring a "Gingerbread Man" to life with some make-believe ingredients...and a pinch of magic!

About the performer: Kathleen “Sparky” Davis began dramatizing stories with hand puppets while working as a children's librarian. Since 1980, Sparky's Puppets have delighted children and family audiences at schools, libraries and festivals throughout New England. Every summer, Sparky creates a special show for the Rhode Island statewide public libraries' summer reading program.

Sparky loves to see children's reactions to their favorite stories brought to life with endearing puppet characters. She is known for her quick wit and hilarious sense of humor. A preschool child at a recent show was heard to say. "It was so funny I burst out laughing!"

Travel the World with Shadow Puppets!

Behind the Shadow Screen with
Jim Napolitano of Nappy's Puppets!
Shadows Around the World
by Nappy's Puppets
Thurs & Fr | March 7 & 8 | 10:30am
Fri & Sat | March 9 & 10 | 1pm & 3pm


Travel the world with Nappy's Puppets! For thousands of years, man has manipulated puppets, and one of the oldest and most wonderful forms is shadow puppetry. Don't miss this chance to explore the history of shadow puppetry through classic and original stories with the hilarious Jim Napolitano as your guide!

Humans have manipulated puppets for a variety of reasons: ceremony, religion, education, therapy and entertainment. Of the many forms of puppetry, the most magical and cinematic is shadow puppetry.  Shadows Around The World explores the history of shadow puppetry and its development throughout the world. The program focuses on world cultures and history and the development of Shadow Theater as an art form.

We promise this will be the funniest history lesson you have ever had! Don't believe us? Take a look for your self in this sneak-peek video:


Have we tickled your interest yet? Let's learn some more about shadow puppets from around the world!  Shadow puppets from Indonesia are one of the most famous of all.

Shadow puppet theater is called Wayang Kulit in Indonesia and it is particularly popular in Java and Bali.  The term derived from the word wayang literally means shadow or imagination in Javanese, also connotes "spirit". The word kulit means skin, as the material from which the puppet is made is thin perforated leather sheets made from buffalo skin.

The performances of shadow puppet theater are accompanied by gamelan music in Java. In Bali it is known as wayang kulit, and originally lasted as long as six hours or until dawn. The complete wayang kulit troupes include dalang (puppet master), nayaga (gamelan players), and sinden (female choral singer). Some of the nayaga also performed as male choral singer. The dalang (puppet master) played the wayang behind the cotton screen illuminated by oil lamp or modern halogen lamp, creating visual effects similar to animation. The flat puppet has moveable joints that are animated by hand, using rods connected to the puppet. The handle of the rod is made of carved buffalo horn.

Indonesian Shadow puppets with the gunungan, or "Tree of Life" which signifies the start of the play.
The plays are invariably based on romantic tales, especially adaptations of the classic Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Some of the plays are also based on local happening or other local secular stories. It is up to the dalang (master puppeteer) to decide his direction. At the beginning of each play, a gunungan appears: the tree of life or the holy mountain to signify the start of the story!

Puppets At Night: PUPPET IMPROV!

Puppet Showplace Slam: Improv Edition!
Saturday, March 9 | 8 PM ONE NIGHT ONLY!


Now is your chance to be part of a show like never before! For the very first time, we present the “Puppet Improv” edition of The Puppet Slam. PST challenges its best performers in multiple puppetry disciplines to conceive, construct, and carry out live performances on the spot. The night concludes with an adults-only shadow puppetry set by slam favorite "Uncle Nappy," AKA Jim Napolitano of Nappy's Puppets.

What is a Puppet Slam? It's an evening of varied theatrical mini-plays for adults that use (or sometimes abuse) puppets for all or part of the drama. Each piece is performed by a different artist or artists, and the content can be wide-ranging; some are elegant or poignant, others are satiric, irreverent, or humorous, and still others can be passionate, political, or spiritual in nature. The performers range from the seasoned professional to the nascent puppeteer, and often include musicians, dancers, mimes, actors, and other sundry affiliated artists.

CASH BAR! What is better than puppets on a Saturday night? How about puppets and BEER. We will be serving white and red wine as well, if that better suits your taste.

Jim Napolitano, or "Uncle Nappy" to his fans, is a native of Milford, Connecticut, and a graduate of the University of Connecticut's Puppet Arts Program. Jim worked with Bits 'N' Pieces Puppet Theatre of Tampa Bay, Florida and has performed around the country and around the world, including The National Culture Center in Japan and The National Theater in Taiwan.

"Uncle Nappy"

Little's Creatures, owned by Jonathan Little, is comprised of himself, Stephen Bailey and Christopher Little. From the strange to REALLY strange: all their puppets perform, everything from telling jokes to magic! 

Brad Shur with Puppet Master Jake. Brad is PST’s Artist in Residence and has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, and other theaters and performers from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts. Puppet Master Jake, when he’s not puppeteering, works as a professional zookeeper.  

Brad Shur

Puppet improv is quickly becoming an entertainment sensation!  Not sure what to expect at a puppet improv show? Let's take a look at Puppet Up, a live show produced by the Jim Henson Company which blends improvisational comedy and puppetry, since making its debut in 2006 at the HBO Comedy Festival. Puppet Up uncensored has toured world-wide in places such as Scotland and Australia. After monthly performances at Avalon Hollywood the project evolved in STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG which made its New York premiere on April 1, 2010.


More about...
Jim Napolitano and Nappy's Puppets

Jim Napolitano, or "Uncle Nappy" to his fans, is a native of Milford, Connecticut, and a graduate of the University of Connecticut's Puppet Arts Program. After completion of his degree, Jim worked with Bits 'N' Pieces Puppet Theatre of Tampa Bay, Florida. He performed around the country and around the world, including The National Culture Center in Japan and The National Theater in Taiwan.

Jim's work can be seen on the PBS show Between The Lions. Other television credits include The Book Of Pooh, The Weinerville Chanukah Special, A Show of Hands and Stick Stickly. Jim has also worked on programs for Scholastic Home Video and HBO Pictures.

About Father Goose Tales
Mother Goose is away for the day and Father Goose has to take care of all her chores, including the storytelling. But every time one of those all-too-familiar stories gets started, try as he might, he just can’t seem to get it right. Father Goose Tales is an amusing, modern retelling of nursery rhymes, stories and children’s songs designed with shadow puppets to entertain the whole family.

A well-loved song from Father Goose Tales: "Five Little Monkeys"

TICKETS are still available for Thursday and Friday. Call our Box Office at 617-731-6400 or click below for more information.


Happy Patriots Day and Marathon Monday

In observance of these two events, the Puppet Showplace Theatre will be closed on Monday. But don't let that stop you from having some puppet fun this week.

Because this is also vacation week we've got 12 performances of three fantastic shows. Tuesday and Wednesday is Romper Rhythm and Puppets' production of "Hungry Caterpillar and Forest Folktales." Thursday and Friday Nappy's Puppets bring the hilarious shadow puppet show "Father Goose's Tales." And the weekend features the classic "Jack and The Beanstalk" by Spring Valley Puppet Theatre. All shows are at 1:00pm and 3:00pm. Buy Tickets soon, we're likely to sell out.

But that's not all... Saturday, April 24th is the official National Day of Puppetry and Massachusetts Day of Puppetry! In celebration, we will be presenting a special behind-the-scenes performance of Spring Valley Puppet Theatre's "Three Wishes" at 5:00pm. The curtain will be literally pulled away so that you can see the puppeteer at work. Tickets are only $6 ($4 for members).

And watch out for members of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry (BAGOP) on Saturday. They are taking puppets to the streets of Boston, with visits at the Children's Museum and the Frog Pond.