Behind the Scenes at PST: A Woodland Cinderella

It's Not Just Cinderella, It's A Woodland Cinderella
Deborah and Cinderella

Hellooo, Readers!  This week at PST, we conclude the 2012 Fall Fairytale Festival with A Woodland Cinderella, which, we promise, is a fitting send-off for the first half of our magical fall season.

Deborah Costine: Puppeteer!

All right, folks.  Let's meet the woman responsible for A Woodland Cinderella.  That's right.  I'm talkin' bout Deborah Costine!

Deborah's first puppet
Deborah grew up in a region of Lancaster, NH known as "The Great North Woods."  Unfortunately back then, there were no visiting assembly programs, so the only puppet Deborah knew was "Bunny Rabbit" on Captain Kangaroo.  Of course, that all changed when she made a puppet of her own, a papier mache clown that sits in her studio to this day.  Does it surprise you that such a creative child grew up to be a master puppeteer?  Right.  I didn't think so.  And you know what?  The creativity didn't end there.

Since 1974, Deborah has been one-half of the well-known Gerwick Puppets, touring throughout New England at schools, libraries, museums, and events such as First Night Boston.  She writes the scripts with her partner-in-crime, Lenny Gerwick, and makes all the puppets - over two hundred to this day!
Deborah, with Lenny Gerwick
Yes, Deborah's quite the busy bee.  You don't believe me?  She has presented over 5,000 performances to over a million children.  Productions include: Aladdin and the Magic LampPilgrim Adventure in AmericaInside the Haunted House, and Midwinter Magic - just to name a few.  And in addition to her work with Gerwick Puppets, Deborah has designed, constructed, and performed solo shows such as the upcoming Woodland CinderellaThe Three Pigs and Other Tales, and The Twig Family in the Oak Tree.

And then, there's her teaching job.  Deborah has taught puppetry classes at Plymouth State University, Worcester State College, and Northeastern University.  It's almost like she's running on a never-ending battery.  She's always up and running, trying to spread the joys of puppetry, not just to students but to everyone around her, which is great news for us all because she is just delightful!
Deborah Costine: Puppeteer!

A Woodland Cinderella vs. Every Other Cinderella

Now, some of you may be wondering: what makes A Woodland Cinderella different from, let's say, Disney's Cinderella?  Well, I'll tell ya.

In 1950, Disney released their version of Cinderella, one of their best - not to mention one of the greatest adaptations of all time.  Though, back then, it was considered a major gamble.  The story goes: if Cinderella had failed at the box office, then Disney Studios would have shut down forever.  Luckily for them, it was a huge hit, one of their first since Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, which they released in 1937.  So imagine that - it took Disney Studios thirteen years to get back on top.  Hard to imagine, right?  Considering they're very much on top of their game today.
Disney's Cinderella (1950)
Anyway, you know the story: Cinderella is the much-loved daughter of a widowed aristocrat.  Feeling that his daughter needs a mother's care, he marries Lady Tremaine, a proud woman with two daughters from her first marriage, Drizella and Anastasia, both plain and socially awkward and bitterly envious of the beautiful and charming Cinderella.  After Cinderella's father dies, Lady Tremaine takes over the estate and she and her daughters (even their cat, Lucifer) mistreat her out of jealousy.  Regardless, Cinderella grows up to be a kind woman and she gets the happily-ever-after-ending.  You know, the one with a gorgeous pair of shoes and that sweet, sweet Prince Charming.
Deborah Costine's A Woodland Cinderella
Yes, it can't be denied: Disney's Cinderella is a lovely adaptation, but I'm more interested in Deborah Costine's version, A Woodland Cinderella.  Why?  Because it's a one-woman show!  Every detail that went into making this show - the script, the puppets, the set - it's all Deborah's doing.  She put a lot of thought into.  And it's not just the beautiful set design or the elaborate puppetry that make A Woodland Cinderella so different (in fact, better) than most versions of Cinderella.  It's the theme: that it's not how beautiful you are on the outside or how much stuff you have that makes you a beautiful person.  It's "the goodness in your eyes."

You know it would be a shame to waste a wonderful opportunity like this - to see Deborah, whose fairytale puppets will be sure to please you.  Take my word for it: A Woodland Cinderella is funny, touching, and everything in between.  Be sure to come on down to PST to see a performance, starting October 12 (BUY TICKETS).  And for more information on Deborah and her amazing puppetry, please go to her website: http://www.deborahcostinenaturepuppets.com/.

Till next time!  Your's truly, Esra Erol - marketing intern at PST.

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  

Fall Fairytale Festival 2012 Kick-Off Weekend!

2nd Annual Fall Fairytale Festival
2012-2013 Season Kick-Off Event
this Labor Day Weekend at PST!

Cinderella by Tanglewood Marionettes
Sat & Sun | Sept 1 & 2 | 1pm & 3pm

Join us this weekend for a very special celebration of mythical stories and fantasy lands! The 2nd Annual Fall Fairytale Festival at Puppet Showplace Theatre Kick's off this Labor Day weekend with complementary refreshments provided by Whole Foods Brighton, a special guest balloon-animal artist, and other fun activities! Get ready for a magical time at PST!

About the Festival: (September 1 through October 14) Castles, giants, woodland fairies, talking frogs... do you love fairytales as much as we do? We are proud to once again kick off our season with the annual Fall Fairytale Festival. Experience classics like Cinderella and The Magic of Hans Christian Andersen while discovering original adaptations like Jack Tuesday: Fairytale Investigator. We’ve fit more beanstalks, princesses, and house-building pigs than you can imagine onto our stage.

About the show: Set in the eighteenth century and featuring a dozen lavishly costumed 30” marionettes, this production of "Cinderella" is a Tanglewood Marionettes showpiece. The story unfolds as the pages of a giant book open to reveal each beautifully painted setting--the village square, the rustic kitchen, the magnificent ballroom, plus many more (one of our scenes even “pops” right out of the book!). All your favorite characters are here, from gentle Cinderella to the bumptious stepsisters and the charming Prince, and each marionette is manipulated with precision and grace by our talented puppeteers. Our telling is based on the original beloved tale, but we do offer a few new surprises: Cinderella’s method of conveyance to the ball is NOT your traditional coach-and-four, and, when all hope seems lost, a clever little bluebird saves the day for Cinderella. A classic fairy tale told with wit and style, Tanglewood Marionettes’ production of "Cinderella" is sure to please audiences of all ages.

About the performer:  Peter Schaefer was born into a family of puppeteers and has been performing with hand puppets, rod puppets and marionettes since he was a child. After refining his skills with a local puppet company for several years, Peter purchased a marionette show from a retiring Boston puppeteer and launched his own company: Mountain Marionettes. After touring nationally for two years, in 1993 Peter decided to join with a fellow puppeteer and form a new company: Tanglewood Marionettes.  Over his career, Peter has brought his unique marionette artistry to hundreds of thousands of children and families across the country! 

Performance Schedule
(Sept 1 - October 14)

The Magic Of Hans Christian Andersenby Applause Unlimited

Cinderella by Tanglewood Marionettes
September 1 & 2 | 1pm & 3pm
Marionettes. Recommended for ages 4 & up.

Jack Tuesday: Fairytale Investigator  PST PREMIERE!
by Lionheart Puppet Company
September 8 & 9 | 1pm & 3pm 
Hand and Rod Puppets. Recommended for ages 4 & up.

Jack and the Beanstalk by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre 
September 15 & 16 | 1pm & 3pm
September 17 | 10:30am & 1pm
Mixed styles. Recommended for ages 4 & up.

The Three Little Pigs by WonderSpark Puppets
Sept 22 & 23 | 1pm & 3pm
Three Little Pigs by Wonderspark Puppets
Mixed styles. Recommended for ages 3 & up. 

The Frog Prince by Pumpernickel Puppets 
September 29 & 30 | 1pm & 3pm
Hand puppets. Recommended for ages 3 & up.

The Magic of Hans Christian Andersen
by Applause Unlimited
October 5 | 10:30am & 3pm October 6 & 7 | 1pm & 3pm
October 8 | 10:30am & 1pm
Mixed styles. Recommended for ages 4 & up. 

A Woodland Cinderella by Deborah Costine, Puppeteer! 
October 12 | 10:30am October 13 & 14 | 1pm & 3pm
Hand Puppets. Recommended for ages 3 & up.