"bella monster"

Bella Monster and Friends are Back!

Your favorite furry monster is back with new adventures!

Puppet Playtime with Bella
and Friends!
by Brenda Huggins and Phil Berman
Wednesdays at 10:30am

WINTER: Jan 8-Feb 12
SPRING: Mar 5 - April 16 
(No session Apr 23) April 30 - May 14

After a short winter break, Puppet Playtime is back for new weekly performances staring Brookline's favorite pink monster, Bella! These weekly interactive performances for the very young (children 3 and below) feature live music, imaginary play, and short puppet vignettes.  Each week is a new adventure! Ride a rocket ship to outer space, have a teddy bear picnic, make friends with bugs in the garden, or go on a camping trip!

5 Session passes available: Adult/ child pairs are invited to drop-in for just one interactive-performance, or you can purchase a flexible 5 session pass for the price of 4! PASS INFO

Phil Berman, Bella Monster, and Brenda Huggins
About the performers: For the past year, Puppet Playtime has delighted very young audiences at Puppet Showplace Theatre in Brookline as well as many other venues in the Greater Boston Area including the Cambridge River Fest, Duckling Day on the Boston Common, First Night Boston, the Boston Children's Museum, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and many pre-schools and libraries.

Phil Berman, Puppet Playtime creator and performer
Phil Berman is a Boston-based actor, guitarist, and dramaturg. He loves writing original music for kids, and is thrilled to be performing at Puppet Showplace Theatre. Phil is a member of the puppet company Free Hands Productions, with whom he created "The First Person to Consider the Sun" and "Three Blessed Brothers." Phil has a BFA from Boston University.

Bella with Brenda Huggins, Puppet Playtime creator and performer
Brenda Huggins is an educator and theatre artist who has taught puppetry classes to students of all ages throughout greater Boston area. She received her MA in theatre Education at Emerson college after studying vocal performance at Western Connecticut State University. Her work as a director, costume designer, and solo performer has been seen throughout the New England region.

Bella goes on an outer space adventure!
Bella Monster was created by Jonathan Little of Little's Creatures and has been Puppet Showplace Theatre's "monster in residence" since 2011. She enjoys puppet shows, singing, dancing, and the color pink (of coarse!) Oh, and she also loves giving MONSTER KISSES!

Puppets at First Night Boston 2014!

For the first time EVER, Puppet Showplace Theatre is producing a puppet festival as part of this year's First Night Boston festivities! Join us on New Year's Eve: Tues, Dec 31 at the Hynes Convention Center for an exciting line-up of amazing puppetry performances!

First Night Boston Buttons start at just $10 each (premium seating also available) BUY BUTTON


Afternoon Family Festival

Room 207 - 1:15, 2:15, 3:15, 4:15pm
“Little Red Riding Hood (and Other Stories),”
by Andrew and Bonnie Periale, Perry Alley Theatre

Room 208 - 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30pm
“The Yankee Peddler: Stories and Songs from Old New England”
by Brad Shur and Chris Monti, Puppet Showplace Theatre

Room 209 - 1:45, 2:45, 3:45, 4:45pm
“Puppet Playtime with Bella Monster (and Friends!)”
by Brenda Huggins and Phil Berman, Puppet Showplace Theatre

Room 210 - 2:00, 4:00pm
“Midwinter Magic”
by Len Gerwick and Deborah Costine, The Gerwick Puppets

Convention Center Hallway and Room 210 – Ongoing
Roving performances and puppet demonstrations featuring The Dolly Wagglers, Spybird Theatre, Traveler’s Attic, and Foreign Landscapes Productions.

Puppets at Night 

Room 210
“First Night Puppet Slam”
Start times: 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30pm

Join us for Boston’s first-ever First Night Puppet Slam! This cabaret-style event features astonishing and irreverent puppetry acts in different styles, from elegant trick marionettes and elaborate shadow puppets to a Boston-themed Punch and Judy show. Featured performers include National Marionette Theatre, Puppet Master Jake, the Dolly Wagglers, and more!

Recommended for all ages, 13+.

Enchanted Vanity Set by Travis Lope

Halloween Extravaganza at Puppet Showplace!

Celebrate spooky stories this Halloween at Puppet Showplace with two special events on Halloween Night!

Trick or Treat! Thursday, October 31, 4 to 7pm

Tricker-treaters of all ages are invited to drop-in between 4pm and 7pm Halloween night for an open-house event with free refreshments, activities and prizes! Come make your own Halloween-themed puppet, show off your costume with Bella Monster, and meet Dr. Doohickey and explore his monster laboratory. No reservations required, and this event is free!

Spooky Story Slam! Thursday, October 31, 8 to 10pm


Forget kitten costumes and candy corn...Halloween is a time to get scared! Witness the dark side of traditional folklore as MassMouth's professional storytellers duke it out in an uncensored scary story showdown. Not frightening enough? Spooky gets REAL as audience members take the stage to tell their own first-person accounts of the supernatural, spooky, and surreal. From apparitions to zombies (and everything in between) this is a night you won't want to miss!

Puppet Playtime is BAAAACCK!

(For ages 3 and under)
Wednesdays at 10:30am through June 5, 2013

Revenge of the Furs! Puppet Playtime Returns to PST!
by Guest Blogger: Phil Berman

March went out like a crocheted lion, April showers brought May flowers to blossom, and the shining sun over the city can only mean one thing: Puppet Playtime is back at PST for four more shows this spring!

Last week Brenda, Bella Monster and I traveled back to the garden where we met a potpourri of friendly (and hungry) bugs. We even got the chance to take our show on the road last Sunday as we performed for the annual Duckling Day Parade at the Boston Common.

On Wednesday, the three of us will embark on a new camping adventure to explore the night sky with our intrepid audience members. Come for the canoeing and stay for the stargazing as we spend a night in an imaginary forest together with all of our puppet friends.

See you at the theater!

Phil Berman
Performer/Co-Creator Puppet Playtime

This Week in Puppet Playtime...TREES!

Rumble rumble rumble . . . 
by Guest Blogger: Phil Berman, Puppet Playtime performer

Do you hear that? Underneath all the snow? It’s the sound of the acorns stretching in their sleep as they wait patiently for spring.

Performers Phil Berman and Brenda Huggins perform "The Girl and the Squirrel",
on stage tomorrow as part of PST's Puppet Playtime!
But how did they get underground when they come from a tree? They’re buried by squirrels saving their nutty snacks for later! The seeds the squirrels forget about start to sprout underground and break out when the weather gets warm.

Join us in the trees tomorrow morning for our fifth session of Puppet Playtime. We have lots in store for you: an arboreal Irish sing-a-long; interactive squirrel games; ballads celebrating American agricultural icons; and of course, the naughtiest crocheted squirrel south of the Charles River.

Brenda, Bella monster and I will be taking a break next week to get ready for the next five sessions of Puppet Playtime. We made it halfway – we hope you’ll continue to join us for the home stretch!!


Puppet Playtime
Wednesdays at 10:30am
Feb 13 & 27
March 6, 13, 20 & 27

Puppet Playtime is Puppet Showplace Theatre's NEW weekly interactive performance recommended for children 3 and under (and their grownups)

5-Session passes still available! 
Save by purchasing 5 sessions at one time; buy 4 get one free! There are only 6 sessions left, so now is a great time to take advantage of the 5-session flex pass.  Every week features a new theme with brand-new music and puppet show!

5-Session Flexible Pass: $100 ($75 for members) PURCHASE PASS

This week in Puppet Playtime...

In the Village, in Brookline Village, the Lion Sleeps Tonight . . .
by Guest Blogger: Phill Berman, Puppet Playtime performer

Shhhh…be very quiet…we’re walking through the deep dark Jungle: who knows what friendly animal companions could leap out at any minute? A lion? A mouse? An exotic bird that may-or-may-not-be a chicken? Or could it be the jungle’s most dangerous predator of all – TODDLERS! When the jungle is in the middle of New England’s oldest puppet theatre, the possibilities are endless.
This week's session of Puppet Playtime features the story of the
 "Lion and the Mouse!"
(in this photo, Bella recreates her own special version!)

As Brenda, Bella Monster and I put the finishing touches on our fourth episode of Puppet Playtime, we find ourselves coming back to the same question: how can this show be more interactive?

We’ve marched with ants, speckled a galaxy with stars and clucked with all the chickens in the barn. As we approach our halfway point in the series, we are still committed to find opportunities for the invisible lines between performers, toddlers and grown-ups to truly disappear.

Bella had a blast last week clucking with our chicken friends!
So far our audiences have done a great job of encouraging each other (as well as the three performers onstage) to commit deeply and fully to the imagination journeys we’ve embarked on. As we adventure into the jungle tomorrow morning, I hope more than ever that everyone is there for each other.



Puppet Playtime
Puppet Showplace Theatre's NEW weekly interactive performance recommended for children 3 and under (and their grownups)

Wednesdays at 10:30am
Feb 6, 13 & 27
March 6, 13, 20 & 27


Drop in rate: $25 per child-adult pair ($10 additional child)
5-Session Flexible Pass: $100 ($75 for members)

This Week in Puppet Playtime!

Puppet Playtime: Opening circle with Phil Berman and Brenda Huggins

Wednesdays at 10:30am through March

Bella Monster and the very hungry Caterpillar!

We are two weeks into our brand new interactive program for young children (ages 0-3) and it has been a blast!  So far we have adventured with our fabulous furry friend Bella Monster to outer space, marched with ants in the garden (hurrah, hurrah!), dined with a very hungry caterpillar, and sang our favorite songs and new original tunes composed by our very own Puppet Playtime performer, Phil Berman.  

One of the participants with a 2 year old child said:

 "My daughter was singing the songs from Puppet Playtime all day long, the experience has definitely stuck with her.  We will be back next week!"

Guest Blogger: Phil Berman


Wake up and smell the corn husks, this Wednesday morning Puppet Playtime is off to the farm! 

Brenda, Bella Monster and I have been blessed with Puppet Showplace's rich and eclectic stock of puppets from past productions that are (literally) hanging around every corner of the theater. When developing new shows every week we try to take our cue from the wealth of materials already available to us. Bella Monster discovered a box of chicken puppets created by my dear friend from Free Hands, Allie Herryman, and we knew they were too good not to use in a show.

It turns out there's a lot of great children's music featuring these fearless flightless fowl. There's something hilariously satisfying about these birds to folks of all ages: is it the noise? the movement? the prideful attitude? We humans may never truly understand why we love chickens so much. What I can tell you is that we have a fun-filled interactive show ready for our littlest chicks: 

We'll crow and squawk and bark and whinny with the rest of the animals in the farm; plant wheat with a well-known avian baker; shake eggs while we cluck with the hens; and recount the stresses and joys of poultry puppet parenthood.

Don't stay cooped up all winter - we'll see you at the theater on Wednesday morning -- don't forget your overalls!

See you at the Theatre!


This week in Puppet Playtime....

Two 5-week sessions: Weds @ 10:30am 
Last week's Puppet Playtime with Bella:
 "Adventure in the Night Sky"
Jan 16 - Feb 13; Feb 27 - Mar 27



What a blast! Our BRAND NEW programing for toddlers and tiny tots kicked of last week, to great success. This interactive program is designed especially for little ones and their grown-ups to sing and sway along, and join in the fun. Today, Puppet Playtime performer, Phil Berman returns as a guest blogger to talk about the program, and give us a sneak-peek at what is in store for tomorrow!


Phil Berman

What a whirlwind week! It's hard to believe that Brenda, Bella and I are already on our second episode of PUPPET PLAYTIME. The three of us had a blast last Wednesday on our adventure in the night sky with all the kids and grown-ups who braved the snow to play, sing songs and experience the magic of live puppetry.

As a kids' performer with no children of my own, I spend a lot of time thinking about how my work can best fit in with the busy lives of the families we entertain. With very young children it can be a hassle to leave the house to go anywhere, let alone attend arts events! What can my work offer to kids and grown-ups alike that makes each show a "must-see?"

What I saw last week was a beautiful preview of things to come: parents, caretakers, relatives and lots of little tykes playing with their familiar faces. By the end of the program, kids were singing, clapping and laughing together (as well as some of thier older companions.) I hope that this feeling of family and community continues to grow as we continue with the series through the winter.

Tomorrow we're in for an icky treat at PUPPET PLAYTIME: we'll march with the ants, meet a quartet of quarrelsome critters, wash out spiders and feed some very hungry caterpillars. Leave the OFF! at home, because this buggy adventure is sure to bring a smile to kids and grown-ups alike.

See you at the theater!


Come dance, play and pretend with us, Wednesdays this winter at 10:30am!

Puppets at the Pru!

31 Nights of Light at the Prudencial Center

The Shops at Prudential Center will shine a light on Boston organizations this holiday season. Each night, the top of Prudential Tower is lit a different color in support of that night's partner. 31 Nights of Light was created to help community organizations gain key visibility during the holiday season. Participating groups will "flip the switch" each night, with a host of musical performances and speakers each night. LEARN MORE

On Friday, December 28th, the Prudential Tower will light up orange at 5pm in honor of Puppet Showplace Theatre!

Help us Celebrate
Join us from 12:00pm to 5pm for a puppet extravaganza!
  • Puppet making activity: Make your own snowman puppet!
  • Enjoy displays of puppets made by our founder, Mary Churchill and Artist-in-Residence Emeritus, Paul Vincent Davis.
  • Bella Monster and friends will be there too with stories and songs!
  • And don't forget to help us "Flip-the-switch" at 5pm!
Stop by anytime between 12pm and 5pm, we will be in the Huntington Arcade, next to the South Garden.

Directions to the Prudential Center: CLICK HERE

Brookline Local Businesses "Lend A Hand"

It Takes a Village to Keep Our Theatre Open!

Many generous private donors have contributed to our "Lend A Hand" fundraising campaign this December.  Our goal is to raise $15,000 by January 1st, and we are close to reaching that goal!  In addition to the many individuals who support our non-profit theatre, there are local businesses right in Brookline Village also "Lending A Hand!"

Read more about our "Lend A Hand" campaign, including donation incentives and matching challenges on the PST Website: MORE INFO

Koko FitClub Brookline
39 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02445, (617)-566-5656

At Koko, you can now support Puppet Showplace Theatre while Koko helps you stay healthy!

For every patron of the Puppet Showplace Theatre who joins Koko FitClub by 12/31/2012, Koko FitClub will donate $50 to the Theatre to help meet its fundraising goal. Thanks to Koko, here is a great way to help us and help you get healthier at the same time. 

 Use promo code: BRPST-1112. 

Better than personal training. It’s Koko SMARTRAINING.

If you’ve been thinking about getting back in shape, about improving your health, and finding some much-needed YOU time in your busy schedule, we welcome you to experience Koko FitClub. Koko gives you all the benefits of personal training without the personal trainer. Our patented Koko Smartraining System plans your workouts, guides you through each exercise, and tracks your progress. All built into our award-winning equipment and all customized just for you. It’s the most effective and affordable 30-minute strength and cardio training system in fitness. And you can come in whenever you want. So the only schedule that matters is yours. For men and women, Koko is the world’s best 30 minute workout. Visit www.kokofitclub.com to see Koko in action. 

Henry Bear's Park, Brookline
19 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02445, (617) 264-2422

Shop local this holiday season!  All three stores (Brookline, Cambridge and Arlington) offer a lively assortment of toys, books, and games for all ages. From the very first infant rattle, right on through family board games.  Henry Bear's Park strives to find toys that promote healthy and positive play.

Community Wraps:  Henry Bear's Park has invited PST to wrap gifts at their Brookline location on Saturday, Dec 22nd and Sunday, Dec 23rd.  Shoppers are asked to give a small cash donation to PST for this service.  The store will provide all of the wrapping materials, and even MATCH every dollar donated with a gift certificate for PST to use at their store.  Puppets LOVE playtime! This generous gift is perfect timing for our upcoming "Puppet Playtime" program beginning in January, where little patrons ages 0-3 and their grown-ups will join us Wednesdays at 10:30am for free play, sing-along, storytelling and puppet shows.

Thank you Henry Bear's Park from "Puppet Playtime" performers
Phil Berman, Bella Monster, and Brenda Huggins!

Bella "Lends a Hand!"


Bella Monster here, your favorite, furry and fabulous puppet friend! I love being at Puppet Showplace Theatre, there is always so much to see. Not just the puppet shows, but the workshops, the store, the special events, and all the wonderful people here. I sometimes like to lend a hand around the theater. Have you heard about the "Lend A Hand" campaign? Let me show you what goes on!

You can also read more about it on the Puppet Showplace Theatre website. CLICK HERE

TICKET MONSTER: To to right here, I am helping at the Box Office, processing ticket orders. We get a lot of school groups visiting the theater, families with young children, nanny's, and even grandparents who bring their grandchildren.

I LOVE to "Lend A Hand" at PST. Here are a few more ways that I like to help out around the theatre:

RETAIL MONSTER: I sometimes help organize items in our puppet store. The puppets and I get along well, we can relate to one another.

DISPLAY MONSTER: Here I am helping put up our winter decorations. We've got some great shows coming up this season, including some world premieres!  VIEW CALENDAR

VOLUNTEER MONSTER: Here I am helping to get the playbills ready for the show. This week is "Tales From Snowy Lands" by Sparky's Puppets, what a hilarious show! BUY TICKETS


Everyone works hard at Puppet Showplace Theatre to produce wonderful programs all year long.  Although I am sure that I am VERY helpful, there is only so much that one monster can do!  Puppet Showplace Theatre needs YOUR help in order to keep doing what we do.

The best way you can "LEND A HAND" is to make a donation to the theater during our Winter Appeal. Not only is your donation tax-deductible, and will help pay for the amazing programs here, but you will also be helping preserve a historic institution that's been inspiring audiences since 1974. How cool is that? 

Well, I've got to go now, Bradley needs me to help untangle the marionettes. Bye!

Love you lots!

-Bella xoxo

From The Pen of Bella Monster

Welcome Bella fans!

Stephanie Gibree
Animator and Intern at PST!
Today is usually the day Bella Monster makes her 'My New Favorite Thing' post, but this week I am going to post on her behalf. My name is Stephanie Gibree and I am a recent college graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design from the Animation Department.  I have a passion for children’s media and a love of bringing my wildest imaginations to life through animating. I have also been lucky enough to have the privilege to intern at the amazing Puppet Showplace Theatre this summer!

As the Marketing and Graphic Design intern I had many projects to bounce from. I had a blast working on them all, such as helping design flyers for upcoming shows and animating the Puppet Showplace Logo for a future video channel.

I was always hesitant about taking on an internship in fear that I wouldn't have any active responsibility and would be somewhere getting people coffee. I am thankful I chose Puppet Showplace Theatre because I had so many opportunities to try something new and I learned so much in this short period of time.

I also made a lot of great connections such as participating and showing my work in this summer's Puppet Slam. I admired every piece and was grateful to be a part of something so one of a kind.

Yes, that’s who I was about 60% of the time.

Though I have to confess that I have been leading a double life these past few months. You see, I am also the voice and heart behind Bella Monster's weekly blog posts, 'My New Favorite Thing'. I have been living Bella's social media life and Monstering all over Brookline! I have been Monster tweeting, Monster blogging, Monster photographing and Monster living, loving and laughing!

My goal in these weekly blog posts was to present information about upcoming shows in a way that puppet fans would admire. If someone is visiting our blog, that means they love puppetry so why not let the puppet do the talking? 

I hope you have enjoyed reading Bella's posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. It's been a pleasure investigating the world of puppetry with the curious, fabulous, and loving Bella Monster. Bella has a joy for life and that joy is contagious. I can’t say I will miss her, only because I will never leave her behind.

Thank you to everyone at Puppet Showplace Theatre who helped give me an amazing internship. I learned a lot from all of you. I am very thankful for the opportunity. It was a great summer!

With Love,
 Stephanie Gibree and Bella Monster


Jack Tuesday: Fairytale Investigator
By LionHeart Puppets
Saturday, September 8, 2012 @ 1:00pm

The puppet investigation continues with Jack Tuesday, Fairytale Investigator! For our last case, me and Bella would like to tell you a little about this weeks up coming show. Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep and doesn't know where to find them...But Jack Tuesday's the guy who can figure out why someone would try to hide them! Audiences will love this original "whodunit" mystery show, starring a cast of familiar storybook characters and the world's greatest (and only?) fairytale detective. Hope to see you there!

My New Favorite Thing: Puppetry Festivals!

Hello to all my favorite people,

Fall is steadily approaching! It's almost time for playing in the leaves, apple picking, pumpkin carving and Oh! Halloween! Where you can dress up like spooky, scary things! I'm a monster and supposedly I am scary but Monster is just my last name. I am filled with sweetness like all of you. I use Halloween as an opportunity to show everyone how adorable I am.

However, my absolute favorite thing about Fall is our Fall Fairy tale Festival, which is a collection of fairytale puppet shows presented throughout the season of Fall.

Fall Fairy Tale Festival
September 1 - October 14

To kickstart this year's event is "Cinderella" by Tanglewood Marionettes. The classic story we all know and love told in wit and style, and featuring your favorite characters in a whole new look of lavishly costumed marionettes!

Cinderella by Tanglewood Marionettes
Sat 9/1/2012 & Sun 9/2/2012 | 1pm & 3pm
Buy Tickets!

I am so excited for our upcoming event that festivals are my new favorite thing! So what is a festival and what does it mean to be festive? A festival is a day or period of celebration. We do lots of celebrating at PST for all the performers who put on great shows for everyone. To be festive is to have a joyous or merry mood. I am always full of joy! I think I have been participating in more festivals than I realize... 

If you love celebrating the art of puppetry with merry or joyous people, you might be interested in some of these other puppet festivals.

Puppeteers of America Festivals
September 7-9, 2012

Puppet Festivals are Awesome! They also have great opportunities for performers to do slam pieces, network, and volunteer. There is a regional festival happening this September 7-9 in New York, lets go!

Puppets In The Green Mountains
September 22-30, 2012
Annual Puppet festival held every other year in Sothern Vermont. Check out the site for more info.

The Grand Auditorium Puppet Festival
October 5-7, 2012
Set in Ellesworth, Maine with performances by FrogTown Mountain Puppeteers, Tanglewood Marionettes, Nappy's Puppets and The Manipulators it is the ultimate celebration for any puppet fan. More info at www.grandonline.org.  

In the mean time, lets try and make every day a festival and be merry together!

The always joyous,
Bella Monster  

My New Favorite Thing: Dragons

Hi Everyone!
I am so excited for our puppet show this weekend, "Sir George and The Dragon" by Pumpernickel Puppets. What is better to talk about than dragons? I am curious to learn about the history of dragons with all of you. Especially, since they are a kind of monster. Being descendants of my people it is my duty to educate all of us. To the library!

Different stories of dragons appear throughout every culture in history. Dragons were often an answer to the unknown... During the time that the Earth was believed to be flat, people thought that dragons were on the edge of the Earth, waiting to consume anyone who dared travel that far into the sea. This idea stopped people from exploring the unexplored. On maps, these areas had the warning, "Here be dragons" printed on them.

Being one of the more popular fantasy creatures, dragons often appeared in mythology. In most myths, dragons are the keeper of some treasure. To retrieve the prize the dragon must be slain! This is the challenge our character, Sir George faces, in Sir George and the Dragon.

Sir George and The Dragon is a story that began in the Middle Ages and has been retold for centuries! In this version by Pumpernickel Puppets, we meet a clumsy dog, a babysitter named Zelda, a silly bat and a lovable dragon to help George along the way.

Sir George and The Dragon
by Pumpernickel Puppets
August 25 @ 10:30-11:30 am and 1:00-2:00 pm
Buy Tickets!

Dragons are often still portrayed in stories. Here are some of the dragons portrayed by the story tellers of our time.

Uncle Deadly from the Muppet Show

The Muppet Show transforms the idea of fearsome dragons into those who believe in the power of friendship. Jim Henson believed in individuality in the way that Miss Piggy is a pig but she is beautiful. Vincent Price and Uncle Deadly both have a spooky reputation but as Jim believed, don't judge a book by its cover.

Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon

This animation makes everyone want a pet dragon of there own! The animators on this film brought there lovable dragons to life by giving them cat like qualities. They aren't terrifying monsters! Just big cats with wings... that happen to breathe fire. Making the dragons pets, makes them like children. They are innocent and only know how to love, like Toothless, the dragon in this video.

The Hungarian Horntail from Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

The Harry Potter series is known to use ancient myth and folklore as inspiration to create the world of the story. It is clear in this scene of Harry battling what is called, a Hungarian Horntail dragon, that they took the Medieval approach. Never fear! Harry Potter does persevere.

However, a Bella Monster is still the best monster. Don't you agree?

Bella Monster

My New Favorite Thing: Glove Puppetry!

Hello Puppet fans,
It's your favorite time of the week, "My New Favorite Thing" from me, your favorite puppet, Bella Monster! This week I want to tell to you about glove puppetry. Glove puppetry is totally awesome! It's one of the most recognizable and common forms of puppetry. Being one of the oldest forms of theatre, you might recognize it as one of the most famous puppetry acts, Punch and Judy.

Brad Shur, my friend and artist in residence here at PST, is teaching a class for adults this Summer on glove puppetry. (photo right)  I wanted to know what glove puppets are all about, and boy did I find out!

Glove Puppetry Boot Camp
Instructor: Brad Shur, Artist in Residence

I took the class and can now unleash the expressive power of my hands in glove puppetry, like a pro. I also got to interview my pal, Brad for all of you to become experts on glove puppetry too. 

Here is what the glove puppet master had to say:

Me: Hi Brad!
Brad: Hey Bella

Me: When did you know you wanted to be a puppeteer?
Brad: I grew up watching the Muppets and the Fraggles and Dark Crystal, and I always loved to act and write and make things. By the time I got to high school, I realized that I could do all those things in one job as a puppeteer and be a part of the art form that I'd loved so much.

Me: What is a glove puppet?
Brad: A glove puppet is a very old style of puppet that fits over the puppeteers hand. The fingers are used to move the head and hands of the puppet. It's called a glove puppet because it fits over your hand like a glove.

Me: I'm a mouth and rod puppet, what's the difference between a glove puppet and the kind of puppet that I am?
Brad: Glove puppets mostly don't move their mouths like you do. They use body language like clowns or mimes do. That's how they communicate. A mouth and rod puppet like you takes two hands to manipulate, but I only need one hand for a glove puppet, so I can perform two puppets at a time, and that's a show!

Me: What was the first glove puppet show you saw?
Brad: The first one I remember was Liz Joyce's Punch and Judy show. Punch and Judy is a show that began in England hundreds of years ago. People perform it all over the world today. I'm not quite that old. I saw the show about twelve years ago and loved it.

Me: What was the name and personality of your first glove puppet?
Brad: I made a puppet in college named Oatmeal because he was made from brown paper the color of oatmeal. He didn't really have his own personality, I used him in different stories and he would become the character the story needed.

Me: How do you prepare before a show?
Brad: I'll go through the show in my head to make sure I remember everything and all the puppets and props are set up where they need to be.

Me: How do you start creating your awesome characters for your puppet acts?
Brad: The idea comes first. I think of the story that I want to tell, and then I figure out what characters I need to make to tell it.

Me: Thanks for letting me interview you!
Brad: Thank you! I've never been interviewed by a monster before.

Now that you love glove puppets as much as I do, check out Clown Circus performed by Brad Shur this week: Wed, July 25th through Sat, 28th, performances as 10:30am and 1pm!  The show and all of the glove puppets are hand made by Paul Vincent Davis, and Brad brings the characters to life with silly voices and lots of laughs! See you at the theatre!


Bella Monster
Clown Circus by Paul Vincent Davis
Performed by Brad Shur, PST Artist in Residence
July 25th-28th | 10:30am & 1pm

My New Favorite Thing: Object Theatre!

Hi my beautiful friends!
Bella Monster here. Today I would like to tell you about my new favorite thing, OBJECT THEATRE! At first I didn't quite understand what it was. But after some research I fell in love with it. I know you will too. Take a look at my research. These videos are performances of object theatre. Lets watch them together! The first two are from Europe and the third is from the U.S. Dont worry, you dont have to cross an ocean to see object theatre you can see many shows like these at PST in Brookline, MA with me!

Wow! Object theatre involves every kind of puppetry and is where anything can come to life to tell a story. I'm a puppet and I thought I could only interact with other puppets like me. But an ordinary object could suddenly be my best friend. I can be friends with everything!? 

This amazes my furry little mind. What kinds of objects would you want to come to life? I will start by creating my own object theatre and making friends with everything I see. See you next Tuesday puppet fans to find out my next new favorite thing!

If you're interested in seeing a live object theatre show check out Snow White and Other Tales starting tomorrow at PST by Perry Alley Theatre!

Bella Monster

Snow White and Other Tales 
July 18, 2012 - July 21, 2012 

My New Favorite Thing: Puppets At Night

Hi Everyone!
It's me again your favorite, furry, fabulous, friend, Bella Monster! It's Tuesday and it's time for My New Favorite Thing. This week my new favorite thing is Puppets at Night at PST! What is Puppets at Night? Well I'll tell you! Its programming for adults in the evening for ages 16 and up at PST. After dusk the puppets come out to play in performances and classes, including me!

Adult Classes
In our adult classes, teachers, artists, puppeteers and puppet enthusiasts come to strengthen their puppet skills. This summer we are offering a brand new class which starts on Sun, July 22nd.  Can puppets make puppets? I want to! More info.

Puppets and Play-Making In the Classroom
July 22nd-Aug 12th, Sun afternoons, 

Puppet Slam
Our upcoming performance for Puppets at Night is the Puppet Showplace Slam; a collection of mini plays using puppets with content ranging from elegant to satiric. All kinds of artists show up from all over to put on an amazing show and have lots of fun!

Last slam this season! 
Saturday, July 21, 2012, 8:00 pm 

Now that Puppets At Night is my new favorite thing, I better learn how to become an adult so I can go! Check out this video of my friend Phil teaching me about what it means to be an adult.

Bella Monster

My NEW Favorite Thing

Hello all,

I am pink, furry and fabulous. Thats right its me, Bella Monster! Reporting live from Puppet Showplace theatre, the first puppetry center in New England. Thank you for visiting our blog. This post is about my new segment called 'My New Favorite Thing', by me! Every Tuesday I will update you with my new favorite thing, things like puppets, pink and strawberries.

This week my new favorite thing is Pinocchio! PST's new show coming out Fourth of July weekend. Pinocchio is a story about a puppet who wants to become a real boy. I'm a puppet, like Pinocchio, and I am on a quest to find out what it means to be real. What do you think it means to be real?

The trees outside are real and give us oxygen. I try to be kind and generous like the trees but they don't laugh and sing like me. The kids I meet are real! Kids play and learn like me. Together we learn from each other. But they aren't covered in fur the way I am.

So being real must come from inside. Being real can't always be seen or heard. The love we have inside is what makes us real. I'm Bella Monster, I'm proud to say I'm real and I know you are too!

                                                                    Bella Monster