"theatre"

Hop-on-over to Puppet Showplace this weekend!

UP NEXT: 3rd Annual Fall Fairy Tale Festival Continues...


"The Frog Prince" 
by Pumpernickel Puppets 
Sat & Sun, Sept 14 & 15 at 1pm & 3pm

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About the show: Young Prince Tad has been caught teasing the forest creatures again! A magic tree turns him into a frog to teach him a lesson. Along the way, he meets a princess who could turn him back with a kiss. Will she do it? Yuck! All ends happily as the characters learn about being kind and keeping promises. "The Frog Prince" features a cast of colorful puppet characters, audience participation, live voices and sound effects, and fun behind-the-scenes puppet demonstrations.

Pumpernickel Puppets shows are a great introduction to live puppetry, and they work well for our youngest audiences. The characters are eye-catching, the storytelling is straightforward, and the performance has breaks built in between sections of the show for wiggly audience members. John McDonough has a gentle yet energetic personality that captivates audiences of all ages.


About the performer: The Pumpernickel Puppets are the creation of John McDonough of Worcester, Massachusetts. John was four years old when he saw his first puppet show, and he immediately knew that he wanted to be a puppeteer. By his teens, John was presenting shows all over the New England area. The Pumpernickel Puppets have had the honor of appearing at The Puppet Showplace Theatre, Boston Children’s Museum, The Institute of Professional Puppetry Arts at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., The Cultural Olympiad at The Center For Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, and the prestigious International Festival of Puppet Theatre sponsored by the Jim Henson Foundation at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York. For each production, John creates and performs all of his own puppets, which range from small hand puppets to larger-than-life figures.

Magical May Continues with Cinderella!


"A Woodland Cinderella"
by Deborah Costine, Puppeter!

Mother's Day Weekend at Puppet Showplace Theatre!

Showtimes:
Thurs & Fri, May 9-10 at 10:30am
Sat & Sun, May 11-12 at 1 & 3pm

Buy Tickets!

ABOUT THE SHOW

In this original UNIMA award-winning version of Cinderella, the King of all Woodland Fairies wants his son to marry a fairy princess, but he knows that they are very hard to find. So the King hosts a great ball and commands all the young fairy maidens to attend. He hopes that the missing fern fairy princess will come. Will he find her?

This show is very popular for children aged four and up and their grownups.  It is also enjoyed equally by both boys and girls.



Deborah Costine, Puppeteer in Action!
ABOUT THE PERFORMER

Debbie grew up in Lancaster NH in a region known as “The Great North Woods.”  There were no visiting school assembly programs and the only puppet Debbie had ever seen was “Bunny-Rabbit” on “Captain Kangaroo” (TV reception was very limited there in the 50s!) When she was ten she made a puppet! She had no idea how to go about it but made a papier mache clown that still sits in her studio today.

Since 1974, Debbie 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 partner Lenny Gerwick, and makes all the puppets.  She estimates that over the past thirty years she has made over two hundred puppets! The Gerwick Puppets have presented over 5,000 performances to over a million children! Productions include “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp,” “Pilgrim Adventure to America,” “Inside the Haunted House” "Adventures From Thornton W. Burgess"  and "Midwinter Magic" to name a few. 

Beside her work with “Gerwick,” Debbie designs, constructs and performs her own solo shows called “Small Shows for Small Groups of Small Children.” Titles include “The Three Pigs and Other Tales,” “A Woodland Cinderella” and “The Twig Family in the Oak Tree.”  These are especially popular in pre-schools, libraries and birthday parties.

For lower elementary grades is "Turtle's New Home" that reflects Debbie's growing interest in the environment and the value of being connected to the outdoors.

She has taught puppetry classes at Plymouth State University in NH and Northeastern University in Boston, and Worcester State College.  She created a set of eight puppets for the National Park Service to teach about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railway. She has does professional voice work, such as playing numerous characters on the Verizon web-site: Superthinkers.com. 

Debbie's environmental interests have continued to grow - taking her outside on trails more and more, downstream in her kayak and a growing interest in bird identification.  Her own experience of growing up in a rural setting , playing outdoors, building "forts" in the woods with her brothers, wading in brooks, gave her an ongoing sense of the unlimited joys of the outdoors.  Now, Debbie's mission is to try to do what she can to promote a love of nature in children.  It is something that can give great pleasure to everyone.  Nature is everywhere! (from: http://www.deborahcostinenaturepuppets.com/about.html)

Go on an Arabian Adventure!

An Arabian Adventure
By Tanglewood Marionettes
Thurs | March 21 | 10:30 AM
Fri | March 22 | 10:30 AM & 3:30 PM
Sat & Sun | March 23 & 24 | 1 & 3 PM

Recommended for ages 4 and up.

About the show: The adventure features over a dozen beautifully hand-crafted marionettes and exquisite “story-book” style scenery, “An Arabian Adventure” tells the tale of a Persian prince who is thrown into a dungeon because of his love for a beautiful princess. Facing danger at every turn, the courageous prince must battle his way out of the underground prison to save his princess from a tragic fate.

The program is presented with the marionettists in full view, so that the audience can witness firsthand the mechanics of puppet manipulation.

About the performer: Tanglewood Marionettes was founded in 1993 by Anne Ware and Peter Schaefer, Tanglewood Marionettes is a nationally touring marionette theater based in New England. There repertoire consists primarily of classic tales performed by skilled puppeteers who have spent many years perfecting their art.

Perhaps you have seen them perform locally at places such as The Children’s Museum in Boston, The Yale Art Gallery or First Night, just to name a few.

Tanglewood Marionettes

What is a Marionette?
Marionettes are puppets that are manipulated by strings or rods. They are one of the oldest forms of puppets with their roots going back to ancient Egypt were they were created out of ivory, wire and wood or clay. In Rome ivory dolls that could be articulated through the use of rods from above have been found in tombs. Puppeteers in Sicily continue to use similar puppets to this day! 


Join us for a Japanese folktale at PST!

"The Singing Turtle" 
by Paul Vincent Davis, performed by Brad Shur
Thurs & Fri | March 14 & 15 | 10:30 AMSat & Sun | March 16 &17 | 1 PM & 3 PM

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Recommended for ages 4 and up. 

ABOUT THE SHOW:
A young, hard working farm boy, Taro, is desperate to earn money to buy medicine for his mother. He is helped by an amazing singing turtle in this heart-warming Japanese folk tale. Dancing dragons, beautiful costumes, and traditional music make this a memorable show for audiences of all ages.


Paul Vincent Davis 
CREATED BY:

Paul Vincent Davis joined the Puppet Showplace Theatre in 1977, as its first Artist in Residence. Today Paul serves on our Board of Trustees and is widely recognized as one of the foremost hand puppeteers in the country. He has received numerous awards, including four "Citations of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry" from UNIMA-USA (the highest award given in puppetry) and the distinguished President's Award from Puppeteers of America. 


Brad with The Singing Turtle
PERFORMED BY:

Brad Shur has been PST's Artist in Residence since 2009. 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.

JAPANESE FOLKTALES

A folktale is a type of traditional story that tries to explain or understand the world. Japanese folktales reveal information about the history, life and customs of Japan. These stories were often orally passed down from one generation to another and teach the importance of patience, honesty and hard work. The elements of Japanese folktales are similar to those of traditional American folktales. The characters are often animals and royalty and the plots are magical worlds of transformation. Kindness is rewarded and evil is punished. In Japan, folktales are often told through a series of large pictures depicting the important scenes of the story. This is called a Kamishibai or paper play.

Kamishibai
MORE TALES FROM JAPAN! 

Let's take a look at more stories from the rich tradition of Japanese folktales:

In “Tongue Cut Sparrow” an old wood cutter rescued a little sparrow he found crying for help in the woods. His wife however disliked animals and one day cut the sparrows tongue out, after realizing it ate all of their starch. The bird flew away prompting the man to search for it once he returned home and noticed it was gone.

The man found the sparrow in “the sparrow’s inn.” The sparrows offered the man a gift and he had to choose between a small and large basket. Being a selfless person the man choose the smaller basket and upon returning home discovered in was filled with treasure. This prompted his greedy wife to search for the sparrow and get a gift of her own. She choose the large basket and the sparrow warned her not to open it until she got back home, but she did not heed the advice. The basket was filled with snakes and poisonous bugs which chased her over cliffs.


A long time ago in the story of Kachi-Kachi Yama, an old man and his wife lived at the foot of a mountain. They lived in perfect harmony with their vegetable garden. One morning the old man caught a raccoon dog (Tanuki) eating his vegetables and yelled at him until he ran away. However he came back and ate all the man’s vegetables. This made the man so mad, one day he caught the raccoon dog and tied him up. When the man was not around the raccoon dog cried and apologized to the man’s wife so she would let him go, but he bit her leg before he escaped.
Even madder the man set off into the mountain to get some medicine for his wife’s leg. On the way he meet a rabbit and explained what happened. The rabbit said, “I’ll get revenge on him for you.”

The rabbit went to the mountain with a rice ball and gathered some hay. When the raccoon dog passed the rabbit offered him the rice ball if he would carry the hay. He agreed but when he put the hay on his back the rabbit set the hay on fire. Once he was burned he regretted his previous actions.

That night he went to the old man’s house and apologized to him and his wife and they all shared a delicious meal together. 

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!!

-PB

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


Bella "Lends a Hand!"

HOWDY PUPPET FANS!

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


WAYS FOR YOU TO "LEND A HAND"


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

Puppet Showplace Slam Roster Revealed!


Digital Fairy Godfather by Brad Shur
ADULT EVENING EVENT TO FEATURE NEW PUPPETRY WORKS

The Puppet Showplace Slam: Grown-up Fairytales Edition” presented by Puppet Showplace Theatre will take place on September 15 at 8:00 pm. The slam features  entertaining original works of puppetry, mask, and object theatre created by artists from across the New England Region.


PERFORMER/PLAYWRIGHT ROSTER:

Brad Shur – “A Digital Fairy Godfather Puppet”
Shur has been PST’s Artist-in-Residence since the fall of 2009. He has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, and other theaters and performers from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts
Nicola McEldowney

Jake Schacter aka Puppet Master Jake – “Cinderella (A Retelling)”
Puppet Master Jake’s wild interpretation of the classic fairytale is set in the Jurassic period (dino times) and involves an inter-species foot fetish. When he’s not puppeteering, PMJ works as a professional zookeeper.

Nicola McEldowney – “The Golden Stoat”
“The Golden Stoat” is an original bawdy, comedic fairytale set in the Groin region of France and features a large cast of mouth puppet characters. McEldowney is an actress, writer, and international woman of mystery.

John J. King (local playwright) – “The Fairy Wife”
“The Fairy Wife” is a fantasy about love, magic, and difficult choices. King’s other titles include “From Denmark with Love,” “Martha’s (B)rainstorm,” and “The Adventures of Dingleberry Gin.”

Norah Dooley
SPECIAL GUEST ARTISTS:

Norah Dooley
Dooley is a storyteller and critically acclaimed children’s author and educator. Additionally, she is the co-founder of massmouth, inc., a nonprofit that promotes storytelling through education, digital media, and live performance. Massmouth, inc. will be collaborating with PST in the coming months.

For more information about massmouth, inc./PST events, go here.

Petaluma Vale
Petaluma Vale (harpist) and Valerie Thompson (cellist)  
The duo will be performing original “enchanted folk pop” songs about Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood.  Check out Vale’s tunes here.

Co-Hosts: Brad Shur and Phil Berman (local actor)

The Puppet Showplace Slam: Grown-up Fairytales Edition”
Puppet Showplace Theatre
Saturday, September 15, 2012, 8:00pm
Tickets: $15 general; $13 students and PST members

Puppet Slam Grown-up Fairy tale Edition

Greetings Puppet Enthusiasts,

The time has come for Puppet Showplace Theatre's 2012-2013 Puppets @ Night season kick-off!  The first slam of the season is September 15th: The Fall Fairy Tale Festival Slam for Grown-up Fairy Tales.


What is A Puppet Slam?
It's an evening of short 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 poets, musicians, dancers, mimes, actors, and other sundry affiliated artists.

The Fall Fairy Tale Festival Slam
Puppet Showplace Theatre
Saturday, September 15 2012, 8:00pm
About the slam: Pieces will be 3 to 10 minutes in length and have some connection to the theme of fairy tales. Performers will use diverse and/or experimental theatrical styles which could include: mask, object theatre, storytelling, crankies, burlesque, etc. as well as traditional puppet styles. We can hardly wait! We hope to see you and your work. More info coming soon!

My New Favorite Thing: Dramaturgy

Hello Puppet Fans,

From Left: Phil Berman, the beautiful ME of coarse,
and Brenda Huggins,  my puppeteer!
I have really enjoyed writing to all of you these last few weeks with my research and new things I have learned! I was talking with my friend Phil Berman who is a theatre artist and dramaturg, and I wanted to know what a dramaturg IS. He told me that a Dramaturg is someone who researches the background of a play, and the history of the different elements of the story, including performances of the play through out history.

Wait...I'm a dramaturg! I have been researching our shows at PST with all of you! That means we are all dramaturgs! As Puppet Showplace Theatre's Monster in Residence/Dramaturg, I have begun dramaturging our latest show, Jack and the Beanstalk.


Jack and the Beanstalk
by Crabgrass Theatre
August 15-August 18 | 10:30am & 1pm

This premier performance of Jack and the Beanstalk starts tomorrow at PST by Crabgrass Theatre.

Trading his cow for a bag of magic beans, Jack takes a risk for adventure! On his journey he takes a chance on fame and fortune by battling a hungry giant.  This hungry giant is Jacks obstacle in the story and creates tension. Whether it's a film, book, animation or theatre every performance is unique and portrays the giant differently.

 Here are some of my favorite Giants:


In the first clip,  the giant is extra terrifying because he is after one of our favorite characters of all time (and personal hero) Kermit. We are also led to believe we are watching this live, so we fear for Kermit's life every second as if we are experiencing this with him. When the Giant does appear, his size is unexpected in comparison to Kermit! It is even more surprising that he is human and not a puppet. In the end. the giant says people often come to visit, but they never stay.  Therefore, we are left with the idea that the Giant might not have wanted to eat Kermit and just wanted company.


This next video is a clip from "Mickey and the Beanstalk" by Walt Disney in 1947. In this adaption of Jack and the Beanstalk it is actually Mickey, Donald and Goofy on the adventure instead of Jack. In this version, the Giant has magic powers! These magic powers give him another advantage besides his strength and size over Mickey, Donald and Goofy. However, he isn't smart enough to remember the magic words. Mickey and his friends have intelligence on there side! Brains always wins. 


 This children's musical of "Jack and the Beanstalk" by Celebration Iowa does the opposite of what the first video of Kermit. In this version, all the characters are humans and the Giant is a body puppet. The most villianous part about the character is his voice. This Giant has a deep, dark, booming loud voice to carry across the theatre. Since this is a musical, the use of sound was most important. 



This is an illustration from "Jack and the Beanstalk" from the page of a book. When you read, your imagination creates the scenes in your mind. Nothing is more powerful than the Giant we all dream up in our mind from reading the classic tale ourselves. Here is one representation of the Giant chasing after Jack as he tries to escape down the Beanstalk. To read this version by author Eric Braun and Illustrator Shawna J.C. Tenney go here.

P.S. I cant wait to see how Crabgrass Theatre portrays their giant character. I hope to see you there.

Love,

Bella Monster...PST Monster in Residence/Guest Blogger/Dramaturg! 

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!

Love,
                                                                    Bella Monster