"Shadow Puppets"

Local Folklore Kicks-off “Puppeteers of New England” Series!

As we count down the days until our 40th Anniversary, we have invited the region's top puppetry companies to share their work on our stage through June 14.

“The Yankee Peddler” 
by Brad Shur and Chris Monti [ MASSACHUSETTS ]

May 1 & 2 (Thur & Fri) | 10:30 am
May 3 & 4 (Sat & Sun) | 1 pm & 3 pm


Discover local myths and old legends through the use of shadow puppets and live music at Puppet Showplace Theatre. “The Yankee Peddler” features music and anecdotes sure to entertain and please all ages. Meet a singing bear, dancing chicken and a mammoth wheel of cheese! Yes, CHEESE!

Chris Monti sings the tale of a mischievous fox headed to a local town in, "The Fox"
About the Performance:

Have you ever wanted to sing along with a sea shanty? Or dive deep into a fox's den? Then join us for a whirlwind tour of New England's lesser-known folklore! Along the way, you'll help make the world's largest wheel of cheese, sail the ocean with the giant sailor Alfred Bulltop Stormalong, and meet a very fashionable bear. Drawing from three hundred years of stories, songs, and local history, there is sure to be something for everyone from the peddler's cart!

VIDEO CLIP listen to folk song, "Cluck Old Hen" from “The Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs from Old New England” here:

About the Performers:

Brad Shur is a versatile puppeteer who has created and performed characters made of everything from pixels to papier mache. As the Resident Artist at Puppet Showplace Theatre he performs regularly and teaches puppetry classes to students of all ages, Pre-K to adult. As protégé of master puppeteer Paul Vincent Davis, Shur trained extensively in glove puppetry and currently performs two of Davis’ classic shows at venues across New England. Shur’s original works include The Carrot Salesman, Dr. Doohickey and the Monster Machine, The Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs from Old New England, and The Magic Soup and Other Stories, recently featured at the Puppeteers of America National Festival 2013. Shur is currently working on a new adaptation of Robin Hood, set to open in January 2014. Prior to becoming the Artist in Residence at Puppet Showplace, Shur toured the country as a performer with Big Nazo (Rhode Island), Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee) and The PuppeTree (Vermont). As a builder Shur has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, Avenue Q, and the U.S.S. Constitution Museum. Shur is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Performers Brad Shur (left) and Chris Monti (right) 
Chris Monti is a writer, singer, and musician based in Somerville, MA. He has released three records: Home, Locust Grove, and Swampland Flowers on CMO Records. Chris has opened for and toured with country-blues great Paul Geremia, and has had the pleasure of playing music with the Providence Wholebellies (led by harmonica wizard Chris Turner), with Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, and with composer Steve Jobe (playing the gigantic Bosch Hurdy-Gurdy). Monti regularly performs for children all over New England in schools, hospitals, and community settings. In addition to guitar, Monti plays harmonica, banjo, mandolin, dobro, piano, lap steel, and kazoo.

Bella Monster loves the music from “The Yankee Peddler!” CDs with Brad and Chris’s music are now available for purchase! Call the Box Office: 617-731-6400 x 101 for more details.

CD Release: Take Home the Music of "The Yankee Peddler"

Songs from The Yankee Peddler
New Album by Chris Monti & Brad Shur

Now you can take your favorite folk songs from the show home with you! This 12 track album features full length recordings of "The Fox", "Cluck Old Hen" and "Jenny Jenkins," just to name a few.

Musician, Chris Monti's guitar playing paired with Puppet Showplace artist in residence, Brad Shur's amazing character voices creates an exciting adventure through New England history, folklore and rich musical traditions.

CD's are available for $14.99 at the puppet store.  

Call the Box office for more info: 617-731-6400 x 101

Folk Music at Puppet Showplace: Interview with musician, Chris Monti
by Guest Blogger: Brenda Huggins, Puppet Showplace Communications Director

As the center for puppetry arts in New England, Puppet Showplace Theatre is the home of many artists as they develop new works. In January of 2013, we presented the first “New Year, New Shows” series which included the world premiere performance of “The Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs of Old New England." The show is by New England performing artists Brad Shur (puppeteer and Puppet Showplace artist in residence) from Boston, MA and Chris Monti, a folk musician from Providence, RI.

Chris Monti and shadow puppets performed by Brad Shur during the song, "The Fox."
“The Yankee Peddler” is a 45min puppet show performed with live music and shadow puppets that take the audience on an adventure through New England history, folktales and traditional folk music.  For the past year, audiences from all over New England and beyond have flocked to experience this unique and beautiful storytelling on stage at Puppet Showplace.

Who is the real STAR of the show? Is it the intricate shadow puppets made by Brad? (Over 100 puppets make an appearance through out the show.) Brad even built a wooden contraption with a crank that scrolls a New England landscape across the bed of an overhead projector behind the puppet screen. This modern overhead projector method used for shadow puppetry is Brad’s signature style.

Is the MUSIC the main event of the performance? “The Yankee Peddler” features about a dozen traditional tunes curated by the artists from a rich history of American Folk Songs from the late 19th century.  Chris expertly performs songs including “Cluck Old Hen”, “The Fox”, “Jenny Jenkins” and others on his acoustic guitar with occasional harmonica licks or response for a kazoo. The reality is that these two important elements of the production, the shadow puppets and the folk music, work together to create a live performance of sounds and images that aptly capture the culture and community of old New England.

Chris Monti and Henrietta the Hen (performed by Brad Shur, puppeteer) in "Cluck Old Hen"
With that being said, I had the opportunity to interview folk musician, Chris Monti, specifically about the music of “The Yankee Peddler”, and the brand new CD just released featuring all of the songs from the show.  Audiences can now take home all of their favorite songs from the show and cluck along with Henrietta the Hen, sing a sea shanty with Storm Along (New England’s Paul Bunyan character) and even write a letter to a rat!

Here’s what Chris Monti had to say:

What are the songs that make up “The Yankee Peddler?”

Half of the show is music: great old traditional songs, specifically. These songs have been passed on through an oral tradition, and it wasn’t until the late 19th century that musicians were able to put them on wax cylinders to document them. This was the first time that people recorded themselves and could hear what their music sounded like played back to them.

These songs are about emotion, and about people’s lives and work. The music is very different from commercial 1950 blue glass made specifically in the studio for the radio.  The songs in “The Yankee Peddler” are from the pre-recording era or right on the edge. They are all old, old songs.

What do you like about performing folk music?

I very much like the idea of playing songs that are 100’s of years old, and playing them in 2013 in a way where I’m not pretending to be anything that I'm not. I play them from the heart in an honest way, even though I am playing a character during the show.  Folk music is a big part of my music identity, and I try to learn music from other people to keep old music alive.  This is an important thing to me.  My personal folk music revolution happened when I was 19. I loved the grittiness of folk songs, the literal crackly sounds of the first recordings from the late 1800’s. 

At 19, I heard live old time string music (fiddles, banjo, mandolin, guitar) in the form of social dance music in providence, RI.  I made friends with musicians who would play this music at home and at dance parties.  From the first listen, I was inspired to take out old records from the public library.  Some of my favorite recordings are the Doc Watson Family album and folk musician Bruce Molskey.

How does the CD capture the music from “The Yankee Peddler?”

It is nice to document the show so people can listen to it, and take it home with them. The 12 tracks that make up the album are in the running order of the show, and it is a stand-alone piece of music to listen to. The main difference from the show is that the tracks on the CD are all fleshed out to full-length songs.   In the show, some of the songs are shortened to be part of the storytelling with the shadow puppets. Cluck old hen is about 1min long in the show, but on the CD, it is a fully fleshed out piece of music that tells its own story.

"Songs from the Yankee Peddler" is available for purchase at the Puppet Showplace puppet store, Brookline MA.
Another difference is that Brad over dubs many vocal parts on the CD, where in the live show, there is only his one voice.  He uses many over dubbed characters voices on “The Fox”, and “Cape Cod Girls” as examples.  There was only two of us in the studio making the album, so anytime you hear another voice, it is one of Brad’s character voices.

One of my favorite tracks on the CD is “100 Years” because I wrote a guitar arrangement specifically for the album.  When the song is performed live in the show, we sing it a cappella over a percussive beat.  I was inspired by middle eastern music when I made the guitar part for the CD, and you can hear a drone in the background as an example of that.

What advice would you give parents about encouraging their children to get into folk music?

Nothing takes the place of seeing live music. It is a completely visceral experience to watch someone play, or to sing along with someone who is playing.  I heard my dad play the guitar when I was 4 years old, and it was in that moment that I knew that I wanted to do that too.

"The Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs
 from Old New England"
By Brad Shur and Chris Monti

Friday-Sunday, October 25-27/ PURCHASE TICKETS

The Yankee Peddler Peddles to Puppetshowplace!

Folklore Galore! Brad and Chris Bring History Back!

New England's Oldest Tales Performed with a New Twist!

Ever wanted to sing along with a sea shanty? Or dive deep into a fox's den? Then join us for a  whirlwind tour of New England's lesser-known folklore where you'll discover a giant sailor, a fashionable bear, and the world's largest wheel of cheese. Drawing from three hundred years of stories, songs, and local history, this show is a delight for audiences of all ages.

"The Yankee Peddler: Songs and Stories from Old New England"
by Brad Shur, and Chris Monti
Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat
July 31-Aug 3rd
10:30 am & 1:00 pm


Meet Brad Shur! Puppet Showplace Artist in Residence

In the Fall of 2009 Puppet Showplace Theatre (PST) announced the arrival of Brad Shur as the theatre’s new Artist in Residence. Brad performs almost every month at PST and teaches classes and workshops to students aged 3 to adult.

Brad has been professionally involved in puppetry for almost 15 years. He began as a performer with the Providence puppet and mask company Big Nazo while studying film and animation at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has worked in various capacities with Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee), and Vermont PuppetTree, and as a builder has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, and other theaters and performers from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts. 

All of the puppets Brad uses in his performances come from his workshop, where he builds them by hand from wood, paper, plastic, foam and fabric.

"The Yankee Peddler: Songs and Stories from Old New England" is Brad's newest show. See you at theatre!

Sharing Stories: Under the Night Sky At Puppet Showplace!

No More Wishing Upon A Star, Under A Night Sky Has Arrived

Take A Journey Through Time

Pictures can be worth more than a thousand words. 

Through the images on her quilt, Grandmother makes 
the story of the Underground Railroad come alive in 
Puppetkabob's production of "Under the Night Sky." July 17-20 at 10:30am & 1pm. BUY TICKETS 

Three children must discover the meanings of courage, 
love and hope as they overcome obstacles and
strengthen their belief in themselves. Watch as a young girl from Irleand bewilders her classmates as she proudly wears her coat of rags, stitched to patchwork perfection. 

A Show with Cinematic Puppetry Style

Puppeteers Sarah Frechette and Carol D'Agostino combine table top and shadow puppets to create a show that captivates the audience through light and perception. Depth and space are manipulated through light techniques in this unique and  mesmerizing show.

Meet the Artist: Sarah Frechette

After graduating from UConn, receiving her BFA through the Puppet Arts Program, Sarah continued her puppetry education by learning from Master Puppeteer Albrecht Roserin Germany. Sarah's voice can be heard on the PBS kid's show "Seemoure's Playhouse" through her character, "Penny Pup". When she is not being recorded, Sarah can be found touring her award winning show "The Snowflake Man".

 As the stories told by Puppetkabob are unraveled here at the Puppetshowplace, we hope you are here to listen alongside and learn a thing or two about the magic of a memory quilt.

Shadow Puppetry Class for Adults!

Advanced Shadow Puppetry Workshop
Five sessions, May 6 - June 3
Monday nights | 6:30 - 8:30 pm


We invite you to advance your skills with us! Unleash the storytelling powers of darkness and light! Learn to build and perform a complete shadow puppet show in this rigorous and supportive class.

Image from "Trash: A Love Story" designed by Matthew Woellert, a PST shadow puppetry class alum


Participants will explore advanced mechanisms and building techniques using hinges, rivets, springs and slides crafted from durable materials to create professional quality shadow puppets. Then participants will focus on performance skills and visual storytelling to create an original short piece.

This is an advanced-level class: "Introduction to Shadow Puppetry" or equivalent experience is highly highly recommended.  If you have questions, please contact bshur@puppetshowplace.org.


Shadow Puppets
Shadow puppetry began 1000’s of years ago in China and India. Now it is regarded as the oldest form of puppetry in the entire world! Traditional shadow puppets are flat and made out of leather in which holes are punched out in order to imply features and clothing. Contemporary ones can be made combining a multitude of materials including: paper, plastic, wood, found objects, scarves, almost anything really! Puppeteer’s use flat articulated figures in order to give the appearance of three-dimensional moving objects with the assistance of light.  


Artist in Residence Brad Shur

This workshop is led by PST’s own Artist in Residence Brad Shur. Brad performs almost every month at PST as well as teaches classes and workshops to students aged 3 to adult. For nearly 15 years he has been professionally involved in puppetry since he began as a performer with the Providence puppet and Mask Company Big Nazo. He has worked in various capacities with Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee), and Vermont PuppetTree, and as a builder has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, and other theaters and performers from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts. 


Have you seen Brad's newest production at PST? In January of 2013, Puppet Showplace Theatre presented the world premier performance of "Yankee Peddler: Songs and Stories of Old New England" created and performed by Brad Shur, and musician, Chris Monti.  This exciting adventure through local New England Folklore features incredibly beautiful and intricate shadow puppets made by Brad Shur, and live folk music performed by Chris Monti.

If you missed the January performances, you can see "Yankee Peddler" on our stage this Spring: May, 23  through 26.

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!

World Premiere Performance Series starts with Songs and Shadows

Chris Monti and "The Fox"
“Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs from Old New England” by Brad Shur and Chris Monti
Saturday & Sunday | Jan 19 & 20 at 1pm & 3pm
Monday | Jan 21 at 10:30am and 1pm 


Puppet Showplace Theatre (PST) will present two world premiere performances of puppetry works created by Boston-based artists as part of the theatre’s “New Year, New Shows!” series, running from January 12 – February 3. The series begins with "The Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs from Old New England", by PST Artist-in-Residence Brad Shur and Folk Musician Christopher Monti.  There are additional performances on Monday, Jan 21st at 10:30am and 1pm.  PST is open for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday!  As part of the theatre's shows in repertoire, look for "Yankee Peddler" on our calendar in the spring and beyond- it is sure to become a fan favorite!

Behind the puppet stage: Brad Shur's signature shadow puppets
performed on an overhead projector

In this brand new show, two very different types of media come together to create storytelling magic! Both shadow puppetry and live music have a long history and tradition rooted in rich cultures of many peoples all over the globe. Brad Shur’s signature shadow puppetry style uses cut-outs manipulated on a overhead, and then projected onto a large screen.  During the entire show,  Chris Monti is the only performer visible to the audience. This creates a unique interaction between performer, spectators and characters on the puppet screen. Chris as the live performer acts as a go-between to draw the audience into the two dimensional world of the shadow puppets.

Chris Monti and Brad Shur

Puppeteer Brad Shur knew he wanted to make a show with live music, so he tapped folk musician Chris Monti to collaborate on “Peddler.” Comrades and past roommates, this storytelling team is a perfect pairing of sound making and tale-crafting. Together, they scoured songbooks and dusted off folklore anthologies in search of material that would make for good visual storytelling while celebrating life in the Northeast.  Chris dove into the depths of his own repetorie that comes from playing with New England folk musicians and old time musicians. As an example, the song “The fox” comes from the Scotts who compiled a book called “Ballad of America.” The text is a history of America through folk song. 


After narrowing down an enormous list to 10 songs and stories, the result is a collection of unique folktales. All of the stories are pieces of folklore from the New England region. Some are based on historical facts, others express interesting cultural practices, and a few even tell the tall-tales of local mythology folk heroes. Every part of the world has their own arts and stories. New England has its own history with its own flavor, and “Yankee Peddler” reflects those traditions and local culture.

From "The Mammoth Cheese of
Cheshire Massachusetts"
One of the stories is a piece of real history about giant cheese. This is clearly the kind of history you can’t ignore! The performers picked stories that had unexpected elements, with a lot of energy, and room for silliness. “The Mammoth Cheese of Cheshire Massachusetts , is the true story about Thomas Jefferson and the gift of a giant piece of cheese. Another historically inspired story is “Letters to Rats” which comes from actual letters found in old houses written by people in colonial times addressed to vermin infesting their homes and eating their food. These stories come from a broad range of social classes, including characters from a mayor to the president, and sailors, and even animals!
Often when we study American History, we first address the Revolutionary War, or the Civil war, but Brad and Chris didn’t want to explore Old New England culture using military history. War is only one small facet of history, and it is not something these performers wanted to glorify. They are instead interested in celebrating a different kind of hero. 

One such hero in “Yankee Peddler” is the famous Stormalong who battles with his own demons and whose hero status emerges because of his determination- and also his enormous girth! Stormalong is part of the same tradition as Paul Bunyan and John Henry who found fame in being very good at the thing they loved, and putting their passion into it. Have you ever seen Stormalong face-off with the Kracken, a giant octopus sea creature? Now is your chance! 

From "Cluck Old Hen"

Other stories in the show feature man’s connection to nature. Living more closely to the grand out doors was a huge part of life in old New England. In “Yankee Peddler”, expect to see forest creatures galore, like “The Fox” who dives into his den, and a bear who needs a little help getting dressed in “Jenny Jenkins”, some rats who love to eat cheese and crackers with jam in “Letters to Rats”, and the fastest egg-slinging hen in the east in “Cluck Old Hen.”

Chris Monti rehearsing in the PST lobby

All of the music in the show is performed live by Chris Monti.  The orchestration is mainly vocals, harmonica, guitar, kazoo and a few other noise makers like a triangle and symbol crashes for those pointed moments requiring special effects. Chris composed original music and adapted licks from fiddle tunes for incidental music that underscores about half of the shadow puppets stories.   Other visuals in the show are entirely based on the songs themselves.


“Yankee Peddler” has benefited a lot from wonderful feedback of other local puppeteers and performing artist during its development. Scenes from the show were workshopped in 2010 at the Eugene O’Neil Puppetry Conference in Connecticut, as well as at PST’s own Incubator program for the development of new works. The show received support from the Harris Grant Program of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America.


Rehearsal footage from "Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs of Old New England"


“This is Americana, but a different kind of Americana. It will make you proud to be a New Englander for reasons you never thought!” –Brad Shur

Brad Shur created over 100 shadow puppets for
"Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs from Old New England"

My New Favorite Thing: Yiddish Folk tales

Me and my new friend "Truth", a character from one of the
 Yiddish folk tales in "Magic Soup & Other Stories."
Attention Puppet Fans,

I, Bella Monster, have discovered something amazing that I need to share with all of you. It's my new favorite thing, Yiddish folk tales! They are imaginative and entertaining stories that have been passed down from generation to generation in Jewish culture. What makes them different from other folklore is they also help teach you about life, family and community in the Jewish tradition.

These stories are told at festive occasions like weddings or at synagogues and also at home with close friends. Storytelling was a favorite past time among the community. Anyone could tell them, but some people gained reputations as the best storytellers.

I found these stories very interesting because I come from a Monster background. Growing up in my family, my monster parents always told me stories about my people, like the Lochness Monster and Big Foot. What kind of stories did your family tell you about your culture? Please tell me in comments, I love to learn new things!

If you're interested in experiencing traditional Yiddish Folktales, puppet style, come to PST this week! The traditional Yiddish folk tale, "The Magic Soup", teaches us that those with wit, humor and imagination can fulfill their dreams.

Magic Soup & Other Stories
by Brad Shur, PST Artist-in-Residence
August 8-11 | 10:30am &1pm
Buy Tickets

Here are a few more Yiddish stories:

The Instruments: There was a great pipe made of reed in the Jerusalem Temple. The pipe dated back to ancient times and played exquisite music. The King, knowing how valuable the pipe was, ordered it to be covered in gold. But after it was, it no longer played great music. So they took the gold off, and it once again played well.

Story of Chelm: The town of Chełm decided to build a new synagogue. So, some strong, able-bodied men were sent to a mountaintop to gather heavy stones for the foundation. The men put the stones on their shoulders and trudged down the mountain to the town below. When they arrived, the town constable yelled, "Foolish men! You should have rolled the stones down the mountain!" The men agreed this was an excellent idea. So they turned around, and with the stones still on their shoulders, trudged back up the mountain, and rolled the stones back down again.

The Pants: A Rabbi commissioned a tailor to make him a new pair of pants. Six days later, the tailor delivered it to him in person.  “Thank you for the pants,” he said to the tailor. “But allow me to ask this question: Since it took the Lord six days to create this entire vast universe, how is it that it took you six days just to make a single pair of pants!”

“Rabbi,” the tailor replied, “that is easy to explain. Just look around you at the mess that the Lord made. And now look at this exquisite pair of pants!”

If you are interested in even more stories, here are some other traditional Yiddish folk tales that you can read about! Collected from people of all walks of life "Yiddish Folktales" has over 200 tales by research associate at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York, Beatrice Weinreich. 

As Always, Love,

Bella Monster

The Perfect Recipe for an Awesome Puppet Show!


Magic Soup and Other Stories
by Brad Shur, PST Artist-In-Residence
Wed-Sat | August 8-11 | 10:30am & 1pm


PST is thrilled to welcome our Artist-In-Residence back to the stage this month with his newest show:"Magic Soup and Other Stories", a collection of Yiddish folk tales told with great humor and exciting mixed puppetry styles.  What ever your favorite ingredient for good theatre, Brad's "Magic Soup" is sure to make you laugh, clap and have a great time!

About the show: Uncle Murray is coming over for dinner, but there's no food in sight! A young man's search for a family recipe ends up bringing folk tales to life...in his kitchen. Based on a collection of traditional Yiddish stories, "The Magic Soup" teaches that it is those with wit, humor and imagination who have the best chance of filling their bellies -- and fulfilling their dreams.

About the performer: Brad has been professionally involved in puppetry for almost 15 years. He began as a performer with the Providence puppet and mask company Big Nazo while studying film and animation at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has worked in various capacities with Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee), and Vermont PuppetTree, and as a builder has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, and other theaters and performers from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts.  Brad performs almost every month at PST and teaches classes and workshops to students ages 3 to adult.

All of the puppets Brad uses in his performances come from his workshop, where he builds them by hand from wood, paper, plastic, foam and fabric.

Puppet Showplace welcomesThe PuppeTree on November 6th and 7th!

This weekend, Puppet Showplace Theatre welcomes a NEW company to our stage! The PuppeTree was founded by Ann Legunn and tours widely from its home base in Vermont. They will be presenting their fabulous piece "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." This shadow spectacle uses three puppeteers! We are excited to see the show come to life on our stage.

The PuppeTree’s mission is to promote an appreciation of the performing arts, with an emphasis on children’s theater and puppets, among diverse audiences. Rather than start a traditional puppet or theater company that just performs theater pieces before an audience, founder Ann Legunn created a “touchable” theater--one in which members of various community groups could become active participants in all aspects of theater arts. The Puppetree is unique in that the participants not only build puppets, but are encouraged to handle those made by Ann--something usually forbidden by most puppet companies--the way they would handle other props, costumes, and scenery.

To this end, the PuppeTree will kick off Puppet Showplace's children's workshop series with a great hands-on workshop! Immediately following their 3:00 pm show on November 6th, members of the troupe will lead a hands-on shadow puppet construction and manipulation activity at the theater. Tickets are $5, or just $3 if purchased in conjunction with a show ticket. Don't miss this exciting event! Buy Tickets Online or call the theatre for reservations at 617-731-6400.

Funded in part by the New England States Touring Program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts Agencies.

Shadow Puppets at Brookline Music School

Since we're closed on Mondays, we encourage you to visit our friends at Brookline Music School on the 13th for a great shadow puppet performance.

Brookline Music School faculty and friends return as The Elephant Tango Ensemble to bring you more classic and original bedtime stories with live music! Shadow Puppet Storytime & Music will debut a new work by Jill Gibson, featuring puppets by Dylan Gould and Karin Webb, with music by Brendan Burns, Valerie Thompson, Vessela Stoyanova and Nate Greenslit. This show will also present a shadow puppet interpretation of three Aesop's Fables: Mice in Council, Mountain in Labor, and The Lion's Paw, with music selections from The Elephant Tango Ensemble.

The Elephant Tango Ensemble is a collective of musicians, actors, puppeteers, designers and dancers who are committed to the preservation of Storytime through the use of original music, puppets and creative storytelling. For more information on The Elephant Tango Ensemble visit www.elephanttango.com.

Monday, April 12, 2010, 7:00pm
Lincoln Sc
hool Auditorium, 19 Kennard Rd., $5

Webelos Earn Badges at the Puppet Showplace

On March 31st, 2010 a group of 13 Webelos earned their Showman Badge at the Puppet Showplace Theatre.

PST Artist in Residence Brad Shur led a Shadow Puppet Making Workshop for this group of young men from Wayland. The Webelos were able to fulfill all of their Showman Badge requirements, and best of all, have FUN!

Webelos is a 20 month program for 4th and 5th grade boys to prepare to join a Boy Scout troop while learning outdoors skills and participating in 20 different activity badges. A group of Webelos is a gradual change from being an 'adult-run' den to being a 'boy-run' patrol ready to fit right into an adventurous scouting troop. This migration requires the parents and den leaders to give the scouts more and more control, decision-making power, and responsibility as they progress in skills, abilities, and maturity.

If you would like more information about group workshops and other educational opportunities led by our Artist in Residence, call our Box Office at 617-731-6400. We are able to host groups in our lobby and theatre, or come to you!