Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More About... Sparky Davis and Sparky's Puppets

We're excited to welcome back Sparky Davis and Sparky's Puppets to the Puppet Showplace Theatre stage, tomorrow and Thursday, with their show Tricksters and Noodleheads.

Sparky Davis first performed here at the Puppet Showplace Theatre in the early 1980s and has been an audience favorite ever since! We think it's her gentle approach, her lively sense of humor, her unique interpretations of familiar tales, and her imaginative original characters that engage children and delight audiences of all ages.

Sparky began dramatizing children's literature while working as a school librarian, and now performs these tales all around New England in schools, libraries, and festivals.

A limited supply of tickets are still available for this week's performances. Call our friendly Box Office at 617-731-6400 or click here for more information!

Next Puppet Incubator: Tuesday March 30th

Next Puppet Incubator: Tuesday March 30th

Part jam session, part master class, part puppeteer clubhouse, the next incubator session is this coming Tuesday from 7-9pm!

If you're interested in building, performing with or just talking about puppets, you are invited to join us. The incubator is a great place to share puppet projects in progress, or to learn from others with a range of experience from fans to professionals.

In addition, we're working on an Incubator group project, a short puppet performance to debut at the next puppet slam on May 22. It's not too late to join in! The group project is a wonderful way to get your feet wet. We'll be covering all aspects of putting a short puppet show together, from writing through design, building and rehearsal.

The Incubator is free to the public, but donations are always appreciated.

-Brad Shur
Artist in Residence
Puppet Showplace Theatre

Monday, March 29, 2010

Starring...the AUDIENCE!

As the new Artistic Director at Puppet Showplace Theatre lot of my job has been to get to know our performers and their work. Equally as important, I have been watching and getting to know our audiences.

Unlike in movies or television, the audience plays a huge role in live performance. A puppeteer can instantly tell whether his or her work is making an impact: are people laughing in the right places? Are they engaging with the puppet when it asks questions? Do they “ooo” and “aaah” when something cool and unexpected appears?

Before coming to PST it had been a while since I worked with audiences primarily composed of children, and I had forgotten how amazing it is to perform for them. Children are incredibly honest audience members. If they are bored, they will tell you. If they are having a great time, they will laugh and cheer. If they think a puppet character has done something wrong, they will cry out for justice. It’s incredible to watch how our puppeteers harness children’s attention and engage their emotions in such a pure and unfettered way. If only all theater could be like this!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Help Us Make PST One of the 1,000 Greatest Places in Massachusetts

YOUR VOTE COUNTS! The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism wants your input in assembling a list of the 1,000 Greatest Places in Massachusetts!

With 35 years as New England's Puppet Theatre, we think the Puppet Showplace Theatre should be on the list.

But we're not content to simply make the list. Our goal is to make the top 100! If you agree, and would like to see the Puppet Showplace Theatre included among the top 100 greatest historic sites, cultural venues, and natural landscapes that the state has to offer, nominate us for inclusion by submitting this free online form (It's really simple and quick). Voting concludes in early May.

Thank you for supporting New England's puppet theatre!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bunnies for Sale at the PST Puppet Store!

The Store at the Puppet Showplace Theatre is overflowing with our floppy-eared friends — of the puppet variety.

Folkmanis Puppets produces a great line of rabbits including: White Rabbits, Dutch Rabbits, Jack Rabbits, a Rabbit in a Hat and more! They range from small finger puppets to large hand and stage puppets.

And they can all be found here at the Puppet Showplace Theatre. Store hours are Tuesday — Sunday from 10AM to 4PM.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More About...
Matthew Leonard & Lionheart Puppet Company

Here's something you may not know about the Puppet Showplace Theatre: We're a presenting venue, which means we contract with outside performers to bring their shows to our stage. Yes, Brad Shur is our Artist in Residence, but he doesn't put on all the shows here at the theatre. That would be a lot of shows for one person to do — over 350 a year, to be somewhat exact.

We bring performers in from around Massachusetts, New England, the rest of the United States, and occasionally from international points, as well.

This week's performer is Matthew Leonard, who joins us with his troupe Lionheart Puppet Company. Based in Connecticut, Matthew has been performing since 2001, and is a graduate of the dramatic arts program at the University of Connecticut.

He has performed with The Great Arizona Puppet Theatre, Purple Rock Productions, and the Paper Moon Marionettes, has served as an officer for the Garden State Puppet Guild in New Jersey, and is active with the Connecticut Guild of Puppetry and the Puppeteers of America.

The Reluctant Dragon is the second PST Premiere show from Lionheart Puppet Company. Last summer, they brought a PST Premiere of their show The Little Red Hen.

Leonard also performs as part of Saltamontes Puppet Arts, which will visit the Puppet Showplace Theatre stage on May 1 and 2 with their show Babui.

We hope you're able to join us for the show!

Tickets are available by calling our Box Office at (617) 731-6400 or by clicking on the link below.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Muppet Madness Tournament

Do you like Muppets? Do you watch college basketball? If you answered Yes to either of these questions (okay, it would be helpful if you at least answered Yes to the first question) then you are guaranteed to love the all-new, never-before-attempted Muppet Madness Tournament!

Designed after the NCAA basketball tourney, the brave and daring proprietors of MuppetCast.com and ToughPigs.com have joined forces to present what will surely be a spectacular Muppet online fan event! Your favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and Jim Henson’s other productions will face off each week as YOU vote the winners!

Follow the tournament here and on ToughPigs.com, and listen to The MuppetCast each week as Steve, Ryan, and Joe run down the winners and losers, and review the matchups in the week ahead. Let the games begin!

Friday, March 19, 2010

3/20 PuppetSLAM & Three Billy Goats Gruff

It's a busy weekend at the Puppet Showplace Theatre.

Pumpernickel Puppets performs the classic folk tale, "Three Billy Goats Gruff." This is the type of silly that everyone can enjoy. Shows are at 1pm and 3pm, Saturday and Sunday. I personally guarantee that you will love it.

And if you're planning on attending the PuppetSLAM Saturday evening, make your reservations now! The SLAM will sell out, so buy your tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased here, or by calling our Box Office between 10am and 4pm at 617-731-6400. The SLAM begins at 8:00pm (so find a sitter for the kids).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Puppet Showplace Theatre on "The Sunny Side of the Street"

Artistic Director Roxanna Myhrum and Executive Director Kris Higgins join host Tod Gross on "The Sunny Side of the Street," which can be seen on NewTV, Newton Cable Access at the following times: Mondays at 2:30PM; Tuesdays at 9AM & 6:30PM; Wednesdays at 12:30AM & 9:30AM; Fridays at 5AM; and Saturdays at 9:30AM & 2:30PM.

Monday, March 15, 2010

PuppetSLAM is March 20th!

Hi all. We're getting excited for our next PuppetSLAM, coming this Saturday at 8pm. If you've never been or are unsure just what we're talking about when we say "PuppetSLAM", check out this article from this week's Brookline Tab.

We've got a great lineup of performers scheduled, including Brad Shur, Mike Cohen, Bonnie Duncan, Little's Creatures, Lorraine Gilman, Kyle Mackesey, Diane Kordas, and Dagen Julty. And Jon Little is revving up to host once again!

Tickets are $15 general admission and $13 for members and students. Call 617-731-6400 or click here to get yours today. PuppetSLAMs tend to sell out days in advance, so make sure you get yours soon.

We can't wait to see you at the show!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

PST awarded $10k NEA Grant

The Puppet Showplace Theatre’s Mary Churchill Memorial Fund for Underserved Children has been awarded a $10,000 Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast-Track Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Puppet Showplace Theatre (PST) will match the NEA’s grant to fund this vital program for the children of Boston’s low-income families.

Since the Mary Churchill Memorial Fund began in 2007, thousands of young children of Boston’s low-income families have enjoyed live puppetry performances at the Puppet Showplace Theatre. Though PST has received NEA funds in the past, the awarding of this grant marks the first year the National Endowment of the Arts will help fund this program. The grant will help in providing free performances for 1,000 kids spread throughout the 2010 calendar year.

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

The Challenge America: Reaching Every Community Fast-Track Review Grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations – those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

Named to commemorate the passing of the theatre’s founder, the Mary Churchill Memorial Fund for Underserved Children is a subsidy program providing Boston’s low-income children with puppetry performances at little or no cost. At least 1,000 young children will be introduced to live performance by guest artists at New England’s first and only year-round non-profit theatre dedicated to the art of puppetry.

To contribute to the match for this grant please make a contribution here, or contact our Executive Director for more information at executive@puppetshowplace.org.