"mixed theatre styles"

World Premiere by Local Artist!

NEW YEAR, NEW SHOWS SERIES CONTINUES!

Puppet Showplace Theatre is proud to present ANOTHER brand new puppetry production in 2014 for family audiences by local artist, Faye Dupras of Somerville, MA. VIEW CALENDAR

"The Great Red Ball Rescue"
by Faye Dupras, 
Foreign Landscapes Productions
Feb 1-17, Sat & Sun at 1 & 3pm
Feb 7, Fri at 7pm: Reception to Follow


One breezey summer afternoon, puppeteer and mom, Faye Dupras took her son to the beach...

The events of the day inspired "The Great Red Ball Rescue", an exciting story about a boy who's red ball is lost in the waves of the ocean. The real-life adventure of Faye's son on the Massachusetts coastline is just the beginning of this magical adventure told with mixed-puppetry styles and a new original musical score by Dana Colley (think indie rock band "Morphine", awesome right?)

What would it be like to dive into the ocean and discover the mysteries of the sea?  Told through the imagination of a 5 year old boy, "The Great Red Ball Rescue" explores the limitless adventures within the beautiful world of the deep blue sea.


About the show: Red alert! A family trip to the beach goes awry when a young boy's favorite red ball gets whisked away by the tides. Can he summon the courage to get it back? Join Jasper, a timid kid with a big imagination, as he sets out on an adventure across the ocean, under the waves, and up into the clouds. Along the way, he meets fantastical fortunetellers, thieving fishermen, and many mysterious creatures of the deep. Will he ever reclaim his favorite Red Ball from the clutches of the sea? Find out in this visually stunning production featuring multiple styles of puppetry, an original score, and lots of sea-faring fun!


About the Artist: Faye Dupras grew up doing art and theater but it wasn’t until she accidentally stumbled upon a puppet exhibition in rural Ontario in the mid 90’s that she decided to become a puppeteer. Luck was on her side, and within the month she was apprenticing under the exhibit’s curator, Canada’s acclaimed puppeteer Noreen Young.


To broaden her training Faye continued to work as a puppeteer while completing a BFA in “Theater and Development” from Concordia University in Montreal Canada followed by an MFA in “Puppetry Arts” from the University of Connecticut. This allowed for many diverse experiences: performing around the world (France, Costa Rica, Spain, Brazil) and designing, directing, and building for numerous puppet and theater companies. Since 2004 Faye has been the artistic director of Foreign Landscapes Productions under which she has created several award-winning performances, including "By The Willow," which received an UNIMA-USA citation of excellence, the highest recognition in American puppetry.


Recent professional highlights include working for the Canadian Opera Company as a shadow puppeteer on Atom Egoyan’s production of "Salome" (Toronto ’13); puppet design and direction for Liars and Believer’s critically acclaimed production of "Icarus" (Boston/NY ‘13); and co-developing and implementing Humber College’s inaugural Puppet Intensive that drew participants from across Canada (Toronto ’13). Faye is pleased to have an ongoing relationship with Underground Railway Theater's as one of their "go to" puppet artists. Critics have described Faye’s work as “spellbinding,” “imaginative,” and “powerful.” This is her first full-length production for young children. www.fayedupras.com

About the composer: Dana Colley is a musician and producer who first appeared on the Boston, Massachusetts indie Rock scene playing saxophone with the group Three Colors. In 1989, Colley co-founded "Morphine" which signed with major label DreamWorks Records in 1996. After the sudden end of Morphine he joined forces with Billy Conway and Laurie Sargent to form the trio Twinemen. Colley has made guest appearances with Primus and Lilium. 

He’s played saxophone and bass clarinet on Dan Brenner's 2011 CD Little Dark Angel, produced by Jay Newland. In 2012 he played in Italy with the Italian band Rudy and the M.O.B. He was a featured performer on ”Wild Things,” and “Just Your Luck.” He composed for documentaries “Radical Jesters,” “System Is Broken” and “Condo Painting.”

New Year, New Shows: A Note From the Artist


PST Presents the WORLD PREMIERE performance of...

"Squirrel Stole My Underpants" by Bonnie Duncan

Sat & Sun: Jan 26 & 27 at 1pm & 3pm
Thurs & Fri: Jan 31 & Feb 1 at 10:30am
Sat & Sun: Feb 2 & 3 at 1pm & 3pm

BUY TICKETS

About the Show: Sylvie is sent to the backyard to hang up the laundry. The moment her back is turned, a mischievous squirrel steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off. When Sylvie gives chase, an entire world emerges from her laundry basket, and curious characters show her the way through mysterious lands. Will our lonely heroine rescue her underpants and discover the magic within herself? Join us on this adventure to find out!


Bonnie and Tim:
 "They Gotta Be Secret Agents"
About the Performer: Bonnie Duncan had already travelled the world as an acrobatic dancer and award-winning fringe theatre artist when she took a break from touring to raise her three young children. Bonnie found herself wanting to tour the world again, but this time with a show for kids. In addition to trying out ideas for the piece in her living room (her husband, Dan Milstein, directed the show), the growing community of local puppeteers nurtured by the Puppet Showplace Theatre gave Bonnie the resources to complete the work.

Bonnie Duncan has been creating and performing work as a dancer, puppeteer, and actor for the past 13 years. She danced for 8 years with Snappy Dance Theater and in 2007, formed “They Gotta Be Secret Agents” with Tim Gallagher, to create work mixing dance, theater, puppetry and circus arts. Her work has been shown in theaters in Boston, Providence, New York City, San Francisco, Austin, TX, Germany, and Czech Republic. The Secret Agents were awarded Austin Critics Table Award for “Best Touring Show of 2011,” Best of the Fringe, San Francisco, and were nominated for Most Innovative Show at Prague Fringe Festival.

The Making of Squirrel Stole My Underpants
BY GUEST BLOGGER: BONNIE DUNCAN

Bonnie Duncan and her three Children.

Squirrel Stole My Underpants came at a time in my life when I was looking for a change.  I have three small children—a four year old and two 19 month old twins. Before I’d started a family, I’d worked part time as a drama teacher, and, in every free minute, thrown myself into a blizzard of art and performance making—dance, puppetry, costume design, circus arts.  But with my oh-so-wonderful and yet oh-so-demanding family, that just wasn’t proving to be possible anymore.

Creating a show I could tour for family audiences felt like it brought a lot together: I could draw on all the (weird, wonderful, and totally unmarketable) skills I had developed; I could build a schedule around my family life (and maybe even have an excuse to take them all on the road with me); and I could get back to what I love—making art.

Squirrel 4.0
I was lucky enough to obtain early support from Puppet Showplace Theatre and the Jim Henson Foundation.  With the time that gave me, I was able to really delve into what can make a family show feel wonderful. Many ideas came and went but a few themes stuck with me:  how hard it is to grow up, those magic items that make you feel secure as a kid, and the injustice of something being taken.  And, thus, Squirrel Stole My Underpants began to take shape. 

Fast-forward ten months and here we are:  premiere week at Puppet Showplace. 

Top Ten Things I learned from this process:

1. Kids will always get sick the week of a deadline.  Sleep goes by the wayside and some things just don’t get done---whether it is laundry or fixing the broken rod on a puppet.

2. Once I surrounded myself with amazing collaborators, my work got better.  The musicians, costume designer, director, and set designer are all super talented and I feel so lucky that they are on my team.
Bonnie on the set of "Squirrel Stole My Underpants"
3. If you need to know if something works on stage, show your kid.  Then, show his friends.  If they don’t like it, scrap it. 

4. Having the support of the Puppet Showplace & Henson Foundation gave me structure, a place to rehearse, business advice, connections for assistance--you name it.

5. Some things work on paper.  A lot of those things don’t work on stage.  Make a mock-up first, put it on its feet, build it out if there is promise.  Then throw it out if it still doesn’t work.

6. I built four versions of the main character before I found the perfect design.  Sometimes you just have to make things over and over before it is right. 




7. At some point during a rehearsal, I looked up and laughed hysterically.  I realized that I am in my 30s and making a show about hot pink polka dot underpants and squirrels.

8. Procrastination is part of the process.  The internet, baking an elaborate cake, and just staring out the window are part of it all.  It may feel like the show will never get made but it does especially when there is a deadline involving the possibility of embarrassing yourself in front of strangers.

9. Having a studio space in my apartment was key.  When the kids napped, I worked with no commute time.  My husband (who directed this show) and I also worked in our dining room in the evenings after everyone was asleep.  Working from home made everything possible.

10. This may be a solo show but it is far from a solo process.  Family, friends, and colleagues made this possible.  Without them, I would still be staring at a blank stage.

I feel very thankful that Squirrel Stole My Underpants.

--Bonnie Duncan