Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Animals Teach A Lesson In Friendship

Animal April continues with...

“The Carrot Salesman” 
by Brad Shur, Artist in Residence 
with live music performed by Chris Monti

EASTER WEEKEND!
Apr 17 (Thu) | 10:30 am
Apr 18 (Fri) | 10:30 am & 1 pm
Apr 19 ( Sat) | 1 pm & 3 pm


Join Mr. Bunni, star and sympathetic hero of “The Carrot Salesman” as he searches for new customers and new friends. This show features beautifully designed, 2-dimensional puppets created by Artist in Residence, Brad Shur, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Imagine a giant pop-up book that comes to life right in front of your eyes! This gentle and interactive show is perfect for ages 2 & up.



About the Performance:

Join Mr. Bunni, a door-to-door vegetable salesman, as he journeys beneath the earth, into the sea, and even to outer space in search of new customers. Will he ever sell enough carrots to please his boss? Or will his new friends teach him a valuable lesson? This imaginative table-top performance features a live actor, colorful 2D paper puppets, and plenty of audience interaction. 

LIVE MUSIC!

All performances of "The Carrot Salesman" will feature live music performed by local musician, Chris Monti.

Brad Shur and Chris Monti in rehearsal for "The Carrot Salesman"
About the Performer:

Brad Shur is a versatile puppeteer who has created and performed characters made of everything from pixels to papier mache. As the Artist in Residence at Puppet Showplace Theatre he performs 6-7 different shows each year in multiple puppetry styles. He also teaches puppetry classes to students of all ages, Pre-K to adult.

Brad Shur in "The Carrot Salesman"
Prior to becoming the Artist in Residence at Puppet Showplace, Brad toured the country as a performer with Big Nazo (Rhode Island), Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee) and The PuppeTree (Vermont). As a builder, Brad has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, Avenue Q, and the U.S.S. Constitution Museum. Brad is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More Animal Adventures at Puppet Showplace!

"Animal April"
Series of puppet shows featuring animal characters and nature themes continues with...

“Raccoon Tales” 
by Paul Vincent Davis, Artist in Residence Emeritus
performed by Brad Shur, Artist in Residence
Apr 10 & 11 (Thu & Fri) | 10:30am
Apr 12 & 13 (Sat & Sun) | 1 pm & 3pm


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If you look carefully among the trees and bushes of the forest, you might see a creature peeking from behind the leaves! Meet a trickster raccoon, red coat bushy-tail fox, timber wolf, and brown bear in "Raccoon Tales," a collection of Native American tales from the Seneca tribe of New York. Join us for an exciting week of trickster tales staring the cleverest raccoon around!

Red Coat Bushy-Tail Fox
About the Show:

Get transported into the forest with the trickster Ring-Around-His-Tail Raccoon as your guide! The animals in the forest are always getting into trouble playing tricks on each other. Will they ever learn their lessons? "Raccoon Tales" features three humorous vignettes inspired by the Native American just-so-stories of the Seneca tribe: "How the Fox and the Raccoon Trick Each Other," "Why the Blue Jay is Blue and the Gray Wolf Isn’t" and "Why the Bear has a Stumpy Tail." The show is performed with hand-crafted glove puppets made by Paul Vincent Davis.

About the Seneca tribe:

Seneca is pronounced "SEH-neh-kah." It comes from the name of one of their villages, Osininka. In their own language, the Senecas call themselves Onandowaga, which means "people of the mountain." The Senecas originally lived in New York state.  Many Seneca people still live in New York today, but others were forced to migrate to Oklahoma or Canada.

There are lots of traditional Seneca legends and fairy tales. Storytelling is very important to the Seneca Indian culture.


About the performer:

Brad Shur is a versatile puppeteer who has created and performed characters made of everything from pixels to papier mache. As the Artist in Residence at Puppet Showplace Theatre he performs different shows each year in multiple puppetry styles. He also teaches puppetry classes to students of all ages, Pre-K to adult. As protégé of master puppeteer Paul Vincent Davis, Shur trained extensively in the art of glove puppetry and currently performs two of Davis’ classic shows, "Raccoon Tales" and "Clown Circus," at venues across New England.

Prior to becoming the Artist in Residence at Puppet Showplace, Brad toured the country as a performer with Big Nazo (Rhode Island), Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee) and The PuppeTree (Vermont). As a builder, Brad has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, Avenue Q, and the U.S.S. Constitution Museum. Brad is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Paul Vincent Davis with Brad Shur, and Robin character from Brad's new glove puppet show, "Robin Hood"

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Circus Artist Defies Multiple Sclerosis in NEW Puppetry Performance

PUPPETS AT NIGHT PRESENTS...
"Reverse Cascade"
by Anna Fitzgerald, UCONN Puppet Arts Program
Apr 10-12 (Thur-Sat) at 8pm


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Join us this April for another exciting "Puppets At Night" performance for adult and teen audiences. The Boston premiere of “Reverse Cascade” is a powerful theatrical tribute to circus artist Judy Finelli, who fights to remake her performance career after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Created by Finelli’s student Anna Fitzgerald (UCONN Puppet Arts Program), “Reverse Cascade” features virtuosic manipulation, found-object puppetry, and original music. Recommended for ages 13+.

What happens when the skills you have spent your life acquiring are stripped away from you by a debilitating disease? Do you give in, or find a well of deeper inner strength? Can we truly ever abandon what we love? Find out in this inspirational true story.

Found object puppetry brings to life the inspiring story of circus performer Judy Finelli.
About the Performance:

After building a career as a circus performer and juggler with remarkable physical control, Judy's body began to fail her. For years, she searched for an answer and was eventually given a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Slowly, Judy lost control of her body, her spirit, and the juggler that was inside of her. But the circus called her back, and Judy found new ways to challenge herself, pushing her body to the limits once again.

"Reverse Cascade" by Anna Fitzgerald
Through the simple magic of found object puppetry and live music, this production will lead you through a story inspired by Judy Finelli's amazing journey from legs, to wheels, to new heights. Students from University of Connecticut's famed Puppet Arts Program are proud to bring the Boston premiere of one of its newest works to Puppet Showplace Theatre.

VIEW PREVIEW VIDEO

About the Performer: 

Anna Fitzgerald is a puppeteer from Baltimore, MD and an MFA candidate in Puppet Arts at the University of Connecticut. She has performed at The Green Mountain Puppet Festival, Baltimore’s Artscape and Whartscape, EnvisionFEST Hartford, and in theaters around the country. Anna began working in puppetry as a company member in Liebe Wetzel’s Lunatique Fantastique in San Francisco. 

She co-founded UnSaddestFactory Theater Company in Baltimore producing, directing and performing in several original plays and organizing and producing three sold out Ten Minute Play Festivals.
Before moving to Connecticut, she studied Theater at The Baltimore School for the Arts, Mime and Social Theater with The San Francisco Mime Troupe, Justice at American University, Clown at lthe Clown Conservatory of San Francisco. She continues to write and perform her own puppet work on stage while dabbling in short stop motion films and exploring the new possibilities of visual arts. www.annafitz.com

Post Show Discussion: 

Following the Thursday April 10th performance, Boston opera star Barbara Quintiliani, also diagnosed with MS, will lead a post-show discussion on “Opportunities and Obstacles for Artists with Disabilities.”

Throughout the run, paintings from “Snow on the Brain,” Marguerite McDonald’s visual exploration of her own experience living with MS, will also be on display. This discussion and exhibit are co-presented with VSA Massachusetts, the state organization on arts and disability.

About MS:

Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is an unpredictable disease that damages the central nervous system.
Find out more: Life in Spite of MS.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Nature and Animal Stories at Puppet Showplace!

Animal April
Series of puppet shows featuring your favorite creatures!

UP NEXT: "Turtle's New Home"
by Deborah Costine, Puppeteer!
Thurs & Fri, April 3 & 4 at 10:30am
Sat & Sun, April 5 & 6 at 1 & 3pm


Join us this Spring at Puppet Showplace for a series of puppet shows featuring your favorite animal characters. Adventure with animals from Galapagos Island, journey into the forest with a trickster raccoon from Native American stories, or travel to the jungles of africa to meet your favorite Spider Anansi and his friends.  First in the series is an original story by local puppeteer Deborah Costine about animals native to New England. VIEW FULL CALENDAR

"Turtle's New Home" by Deborah Costine, Puppeteer!
About the show:

New England animals are the stars of this charming story about friends in a wetland habitat. The little pond where Blanding the turtle has lived for many years is no longer safe because a road has been built between there and the place she goes to lay her eggs. When she meets young Castor the Beaver, who is eager to build a dam, she sees that her problems might be solved! Along the way, we also meet a young boy and his nature-loving babysitter who learn together how to look closely at nature.

"Turtle's New Home" by Deborah Costine, Puppeteer!
About the performer:
Debbie is an artist, naturalist and National award-winning puppeteer whose mission is to inspire the love of nature in children. She co-founded The Gerwick Puppets in 1974 and, with Len Gerwick, designed, and built 14 productions during which time she created over 200 puppet characters and presented over 5,000 performances throughout New England.

Deborah Costine, Puppeteer and the cast of
her UNIMA award-winning show, "A Woodland Cinderella"
Eventually Debbie formed her own solo company -and produced shows appropriate for ages 3 and up, Including “The Three Pigs and Other Tales, “The Twig Family in the Oak Tree” and “A Woodland Cinderella.” “Turtle’s New Home” is the newest production and received funding from the Jim Henson Foundation. It is an endearing story about friendship, habitat needs and “puppet” children learning how to look closely at nature. www.deborahcostinenaturepuppets.com

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Yiddish Folktales at Puppet Showplace!

"Puppets Around the World"

Series of puppetry styles and folktales from across the globe continues with...

"The Magic Soup and Other Stories"
by Artist in Residence, Brad Shur
Mar 27 & 28 (Thu & Fri) | 10:30 am
Mar 29 & 30 (Sat & Sun) | 1 pm & 3 pm

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When the things are looking down, how do you find the strength to persevere? Join Brad Shur as he shares one young adult’s story of challenge and triumph, through family history and family dinner.

This collection of yiddish folktales features your favorite stories from the Jewish tradition of Eastern Europe: “The Naked Truth and Resplendent Parable,” “The Egg Seller,” “The Very Small House,” “A Coat for Poverty,” “Pleasing All the World,” and “The Magic Soup." All of the puppetry elements and set pieces are designed and crafted by Brad Shur, Puppet Showplace in Residence.

Resplendent Parable character from "The Magic Soup and Other Stories"
About the Performance

What do you do when your relatives are 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.

Trickster character, Hershel of Ostropol.
About the Performer

Brad Shur is a versatile puppeteer who has created and performed characters made of everything from pixels to papier mache. As the Artist in Residence 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. In January, he completed production for "Robin Hood," Shur's first original glove puppet show. Shur’s other 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," featured at the Puppeteers of America National Festival 2013.

Brad Shur with puppet character, the “Naked Ugly Truth”
in “The Magic Soup and Other Stories”.
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. He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Don’t miss the “Naked Ugly Truth” in “The Magic Soup and Other Stories”.