Thursday, April 29, 2010

More About... Saltamontes Puppet Arts and "Babui"

Have you heard? Babui is coming. Join us this weekend for the sole North American presentation of "Babui" for 2010.

The puppeteers arrive with only a box. But it is empty - almost empty. There are no puppets in that box, only a book, an egg and an old newspaper. What could be in that egg? And how to hatch it? Three very different animals, an ostrich, a tiger, and an elephant, all give their best but to no avail. After much time it finally hatches on its own, and a delightful new creature, Babui, is born.

Saltamontes Puppet Arts was founded in 1994 in Bogota, Columbia and moved to Bavaria, Germany in 2004. "Babui" premiered in 2006 and received a prize as one of the best shows at the International Puck Festival in Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Performance will be at 1pm and 3pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available online or by calling 617-731-6400.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Massachusetts Day of Puppetry Celebration!

Have you ever wondered how a professional puppeteer works? Here's your chance to find out! Michael Graham, the very talented performer behind Spring Valley Puppet Theater, will be performing his show "The Three Wishes" without curtains or walls – just puppets, props, and scenery!

It's all part of our special
Day of Puppetry celebration!

Saturday, April 24 from 5:00 - 5:45 PM at the Puppet Showplace Theatre. Tickets are $6 general admission; $4 Puppet Showplace Theatre and Boston Area Guild of Puppetry members.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More about...
Jim Napolitano and Nappy's Puppets

Jim Napolitano, or "Uncle Nappy" to his fans, is a native of Milford, Connecticut, and a graduate of the University of Connecticut's Puppet Arts Program. After completion of his degree, Jim worked with Bits 'N' Pieces Puppet Theatre of Tampa Bay, Florida. He performed around the country and around the world, including The National Culture Center in Japan and The National Theater in Taiwan.

Jim's work can be seen on the PBS show Between The Lions. Other television credits include The Book Of Pooh, The Weinerville Chanukah Special, A Show of Hands and Stick Stickly. Jim has also worked on programs for Scholastic Home Video and HBO Pictures.

About Father Goose Tales
Mother Goose is away for the day and Father Goose has to take care of all her chores, including the storytelling. But every time one of those all-too-familiar stories gets started, try as he might, he just can’t seem to get it right. Father Goose Tales is an amusing, modern retelling of nursery rhymes, stories and children’s songs designed with shadow puppets to entertain the whole family.

A well-loved song from Father Goose Tales: "Five Little Monkeys"

TICKETS are still available for Thursday and Friday. Call our Box Office at 617-731-6400 or click below for more information.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Patriots Day and Marathon Monday

In observance of these two events, the Puppet Showplace Theatre will be closed on Monday. But don't let that stop you from having some puppet fun this week.

Because this is also vacation week we've got 12 performances of three fantastic shows. Tuesday and Wednesday is Romper Rhythm and Puppets' production of "Hungry Caterpillar and Forest Folktales." Thursday and Friday Nappy's Puppets bring the hilarious shadow puppet show "Father Goose's Tales." And the weekend features the classic "Jack and The Beanstalk" by Spring Valley Puppet Theatre. All shows are at 1:00pm and 3:00pm. Buy Tickets soon, we're likely to sell out.

But that's not all... Saturday, April 24th is the official National Day of Puppetry and Massachusetts Day of Puppetry! In celebration, we will be presenting a special behind-the-scenes performance of Spring Valley Puppet Theatre's "Three Wishes" at 5:00pm. The curtain will be literally pulled away so that you can see the puppeteer at work. Tickets are only $6 ($4 for members).

And watch out for members of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry (BAGOP) on Saturday. They are taking puppets to the streets of Boston, with visits at the Children's Museum and the Frog Pond.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Puppets in Primetime...and on the Silver Screen

We at Puppet Showplace love live puppet theater more than anything, but we also know how important TV and film have been to making puppets famous around the world. Our regular Friday evening series, "Puppets in Primetime," is coming up April 16th at 6:30. Come on by the theater for a double bill of classic Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock episodes.

If you're craving more puppets on the big screen, our friends at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge are doing a weekend muppet marathon, with screenings of the Muppet Movie, Labyrinth, and other great films.

When I watch TV or film puppetry I'm always on the lookout for examples of the subtle manipulation techniques that really make the puppets come to life. It's a lot harder than it looks! Not only do puppeteers need to re-wire their brains while performing on camera so they can watch their puppet in monitors that show everything in left-right reverse, but they need to choreograph their movements so they translate well from 3D to 2D.
For a manipulation skill that's also translatable into live puppet theater, next time you watch the muppets try using your hand as a mouth (for extra fun, add a set of "peepers" eyes from our store) and see if you can talk in time with the puppets. Make sure the movement is mainly coming from your thumb rather than your top fingers--otherwise, your eyes would move every time you opened your mouth! This skill, called "lip synch" is one of the first things puppeteers need to master when working with talking mouth puppets.

Bonus: for an example of (intentionally) not-so-great on-camera puppetry, check out last week's episode of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart where he satirizes RNC chairman Michael Steel with a crazy puppet routine (the puppet appears about 10:30). Funny, or just painful to watch? The character is based on a Sesame Street routine set in a restaurant where Grover waits on a man who keeps sending his soup back. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More About... Sarah Lamstein

This Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30AM, Sarah Lamstein joins us with her show Funny Bone Tales. The show is recommended for children ages 4 and up. The Wednesday show has sold out, but tickets are still available for Thursday's show. Ticket information can be found here: BUY TICKETS

Puppeteer. Past PST Board President. Benefactor. Sarah has been actively involved in the Puppet Showplace Theatre for many years, fighting to keep the doors open during our darkest hours. The Puppet Showplace Theatre owes a great debt of thanks to Sarah for her inexhaustible devotion.

She has been performing as a puppeteer for over 30 years and served as a board member of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry. In addition, she was a secondary school English teacher and school librarian for 17 years and now writes for children, publishing picture books and a young adult novel. Sarah lives with her husband in Newton and has three children and one grandchild.

More About... Funny Bone Tales
With her gentle demeanor and sly wit, Sarah Lamstein tells three charming tales with hand puppets. Silly Sam is about a little boy who’s trying to find a suitable birthday present for his friend. Bendemolena is about a cat that finds everything she hears is all mixed up! Finally, a gentle version of the famous Punch and Judy show has children laughing and calling out directions to the trickster Mr. Punch.

Sarah Lamstein's official website

Friday, April 9, 2010

Only Seven Days Left

Please help make the Puppet Showplace one of Massachusetts' Great Places.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts invites residents from all 351 cities and towns across the state to nominate their favorite places. The nominations will be considered for a final list of 1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts to be announced in May.

The Great Places initiative will celebrate what is unique about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, its communities, and its people. It also aims to stimulate the economy by boosting visitation to the state's wide range of exceptional historic sites, cultural venues, and natural landscapes.

The deadline for nominations is April 15. Tell your members, visitors, and fans to nominate their favorite place here:

Check out Chronicle on WCVB-TV on Monday, April 12 at 7:30 pm for more on 1,000 Great Places.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shadow Puppets at Brookline Music School

Since we're closed on Mondays, we encourage you to visit our friends at Brookline Music School on the 13th for a great shadow puppet performance.

Brookline Music School faculty and friends return as The Elephant Tango Ensemble to bring you more classic and original bedtime stories with live music! Shadow Puppet Storytime & Music will debut a new work by Jill Gibson, featuring puppets by Dylan Gould and Karin Webb, with music by Brendan Burns, Valerie Thompson, Vessela Stoyanova and Nate Greenslit. This show will also present a shadow puppet interpretation of three Aesop's Fables: Mice in Council, Mountain in Labor, and The Lion's Paw, with music selections from The Elephant Tango Ensemble.

The Elephant Tango Ensemble is a collective of musicians, actors, puppeteers, designers and dancers who are committed to the preservation of Storytime through the use of original music, puppets and creative storytelling. For more information on The Elephant Tango Ensemble visit

Monday, April 12, 2010, 7:00pm
Lincoln Sc
hool Auditorium, 19 Kennard Rd., $5

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

More About...
Tucker's Tales Puppet Theatre

Tucker's Tales Puppet Theatre is the performing division of Puppet Perceptions, Inc., a Philadelphia-area-based performing company founded in 1981. Co-directors Marianne and Tom Tucker have performed at puppet, folk, ethnic, and street festivals, and at craft fairs, shopping centers, theatres, and school across the country. They've also performed at the Puppet Showplace Theatre for many years!

In addition to performing, Marianne and Tom are active in the national puppetry community. Marianne currently serves on the board of directors for UNIMA-USA, and they have each served as president of the Greater Philadelphia Area Puppetry Guild (GPAPG).

Their production of Peter Rabbit Tales features three of Beatrix Potter's most beloved stories: The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse, and The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. The show features wonderful hand puppets, clever scenery, and turn-of-the-century costumes, adding up to an unforgettable theatre experience.

Showtimes: Wednesday and Thursday @ 10:30AM; Saturday and Sunday @ 1PM and 3PM.

Puppets Now on Display @ PST: Punch & Judy

This season, the Puppet Showplace Theatre is excited to display posters and puppets depicting and portraying the irascible – and ancient – puppet duo of Punch and Judy. Did you know that Punch and Judy is one of the oldest puppet shows still being performed today? It's true. The show is over 400 years old... and we thought the Puppet Showplace Theatre has been around a long time!

The next time you join us for a show, make sure to look up at the walls all around the theatre. Until then, here's a peek at what you'll find.

Judy & Baby by Paul Vincent Davis

Punch & Dog by Paul Vincent Davis

Punch & Judy by Nancy Laverick

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Muppets Easter Bunny

Warning: video contains images of violence against cute bunny rabbits. And bad singing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Save the Date

The EVENING OF PUPPETRY is May 1st. Please join us for this celebration of puppetry and the Puppet Showplace Theatre.

And if you're in the mood for rabbits this weekend, check out Artist in Residence Brad Shur's "The Carrot Salesman" Saturday at 1pm and 3pm.

(Note: we will be closed on Sunday in observance of Easter.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Webelos Earn Badges at the Puppet Showplace

On March 31st, 2010 a group of 13 Webelos earned their Showman Badge at the Puppet Showplace Theatre.

PST Artist in Residence Brad Shur led a Shadow Puppet Making Workshop for this group of young men from Wayland. The Webelos were able to fulfill all of their Showman Badge requirements, and best of all, have FUN!

Webelos is a 20 month program for 4th and 5th grade boys to prepare to join a Boy Scout troop while learning outdoors skills and participating in 20 different activity badges. A group of Webelos is a gradual change from being an 'adult-run' den to being a 'boy-run' patrol ready to fit right into an adventurous scouting troop. This migration requires the parents and den leaders to give the scouts more and more control, decision-making power, and responsibility as they progress in skills, abilities, and maturity.

If you would like more information about group workshops and other educational opportunities led by our Artist in Residence, call our Box Office at 617-731-6400. We are able to host groups in our lobby and theatre, or come to you!