Saturday, August 27, 2011

2011-2012 Season Kick Off at Puppet Showplace!

September * October * November

Puppet Showplace Theatre is proud to announce our first annual Fall Fairytale Festival! It's our celebration of the "once upon a time" tales and the "long ago and far away" places that people have cherished for generations. Each week from September to November features a different fairytale (or two) ranging from the beloved classics to modern adaptations. View the full schedule online.

Fall Fairytale Kick Off Event, Labor Day Weekend!
September 3rd & 4th, 1pm & 3pm

Featuring: Pinocchio by National Marionette Theatre


Join us on Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day Weekend for a special season kickoff event! We will feature a return performance of the spectacular Pinocchio by National Marionette Theatre--completely sold out in July!--and we'll have activities, refreshments, and a new puppet exhibit on display.

Thank you for an amazing summer season! It was a memorable one with with exciting premieres by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre and National Marionette Theatre, as well as returning favorites including Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers and Pumpernickel Puppets.

Special Note: Puppet Showplace Theatre will be CLOSED Sunday, August 29th through Friday, September 2nd to prepare for the upcoming 2011-2012 Season. Order your tickets for Pinocchio online!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sir George and the Dragon by Pumpernickel Puppets

"Sir George and the Dragon" by Pumpernickel Puppets

Wed, Thurs & Sat | August 24, 25 & 27 | 1pm & 3pm

The last week of summer programming at Puppet Showplace Theatre!

About this show: Join an adventurous princess as she journeys to Mystery Mountain to visit the Great Green Dragon. Along the way you’ll meet Zelda the babysitter, a silly bat, Sir George and his clumsy dog, and of course the lovable dragon. Will Sir George slay the dragon? Not to worry, everything ends happily in this fun show. Hand puppets. Recommended for ages 3 & up.

About the performer: For over thirty five years the Pumpernickel Puppets have captivated audiences of all ages. John McDonough and his puppets present over two hundred fifty shows a year at schools, libraries and private parties throughout the New England area. The Pumpernickel Puppets have had the honor of appearing at The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, The Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta, GA and the prestigious International Festival of Puppetry sponsored by the Jim Henson Foundation in New York.

See you at the theatre!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PST World Report: Roxie at the International Puppet Festival, Jerusalem!

Dear PST Fans,

Greetings from Jerusalem! I am writing from the Train Theatre’s International Puppet Festival in the heart of Jerusalem. For 6 days straight I have been watching 7 or more puppet shows a day made by artists from all over the world. Many of the shows are without words which helps us international guests understand. Even when the shows are entirely in Hebrew, the puppeteers are such strong performers that the meaning of the stories still comes through. (Still, little by little, I am picking up words in Hebrew as I listen...)

The festival is located in both indoor and outdoor theatre venues across the Mishkenot neighborhood, just a short walk from the Old City where many holy sites (Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher) are located. I am here as a guest of the Culture department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Along with other directors of International Puppet Festivals, we are here to see some of the most exciting puppet theatre that Israel has to offer.

According to the festival's Artistic Director, the "hero" of this year's festival is paper, so many of the shows use this as their primary design element. Several shows, including "Rain Bird" (depicted below) use origami or other paper folding traditions to tell their stories. Shadow and object theatre are also prominent.

I took one morning off from the festival to visit the Holon Puppet Center, located in the city of Holon near Tel Aviv. Here, I saw an amazing museum display of Israeli puppets and others from collections gathered from all over the world. Students at this school can specialize in different areas of puppetry, including building and performance, community art, education, and therapy. The theatre and classroom facilities were impressive, and I saw a group of campers thoroughly enjoying themselves in workshops, performances, and museum tours. I hope more American puppeteers have the chance to study abroad here!

Last night I left the Mishkenot neighborhood and traveled to the Mehane Yehuda market area. There, we went on a walking tour to see different performance installations, including one that took place in a synagogue. It was a wonderful way to see the city, and to appreciate the artistic and storytelling traditions that many of these puppeteers draw on for inspiration for their show.

Please stop by PST for more stories about the trip. Until then, Shalom!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dr. Doohickey's Monster Machine by Brad Shur

"Dr. Doohickey's Monster Machine" by Brad Shur

Wed & Thurs | Aug 17 & 18 | 10:30am & 1pm

About this show: In this original story, Dr. Doohickey thinks that the world would be much more exciting if people were a little more like monsters, don’t you? Join the doctor and his assistant Reginald the Rabbit as they use music, machines and a little magic to bring funny monsters to life. Hand, rod and shadow puppets.

Recommended for ages 4 & up.

About the performer: Brad Shur, artist in residence at PST, has been professionally involved in puppetry for nearly 10 years. As a fan of all types of puppetry, Brad has built and performed with rod puppets, hand puppets, shadow puppets, larger-than-life costume puppets, Japanese bunraku puppets and marionettes. His shows are high energy blends where at least a few of these styles come together with storytelling, original scripts, and lots of audience participation.

Brad is also an experienced teacher and offers workshops and classes for all ages on site at PST or private bookings in addition to extended residencies. This programming includes shadow, hand, and rod puppets, or custom workshops. Click
here for more info!

Brad Shur with workshop participant Tim Sullivan on August 6th, 2011 at the Summer Saturday Family Workshop: Junk Puppets! Participants learned how to turn recycled materials into puppets. Thank you to the Brookline Tab for hanging out with us for the day! Check out the photo gallery!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


PST's guerilla marketing team, PUPPET INVASION is now recruiting new members!

Help us spread the word about all of the awesomeness that happens at the Puppet Showplace Theatre! Volunteer to hand out marketing materials, drop off calendars and fliers at your local schools or libraries, or help us carry around a giant puppet at an our door event!

Through out the summer, libraries, toy stores and school fairs have been invaded by silly creatures and storybook characters brought to life by Puppet Showplace Theatre staff and summer interns. In July, customers at Henry Bear's Park in Brookline, Cambridge and Arlington learned about different kinds of puppetry. Just this week, the Brookline Public Library was invaded by two PST interns with a giant humming bird!

Want to be part of the Puppet Invasion Team? Contact Brenda Huggins, Community Engagement Coordinator at, or 617-731-6400 x 201 to find out how!

Upcoming Puppet Invasion Events:

Boston GreenFest, 2011
Friday, August 19th at Noon to 5pm
Boston City Plaza
Junk Puppets Exhibit!
As part of our Summer Saturday Family Workshop Series at PST, youth, families and adults created puppets from recycled materials on August 6th. Examples of completed masterpieces will be on display at the Boston GreenFest with photos documenting their creative process! More info.

West End Children's Festival
Saturday, August 20th at 12:00pm to 4pm
Boston's Thoreau Path in Charles River Park
Since 2006, the West End Community Center has presented the West End Children's Festival as a way for families in the neighborhood to experience all of the cultural and educational opportunities Boston has to offer. Stop by the Puppet Showplace Theatre's table to learn about all of the exciting programming that PST has for youth, families and adults! And the best part? Make your very own mouth puppet to take home! More info!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Woodland Cinderella, by Deborah Costine, Puppeteer!

"A Woodland Cinderella" by Deborah Costine, Puppeteer!

Sat. | Aug 13 | 10:30 am & 1 pm
$8/Members, $10/General Admission


About the Show: In this original 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?

Recommended for Ages 3 & up

About the Performer: In 2009 Debbie won the prestigious U.N.I.M.A. USA Citation for Excellence in Puppetry for this show, A Woodland Cinderella. In 2008 she was a recipient for the Northeast Region of Puppeteers of America's Artistic Achievement Award. She grew up in northern New Hampshire, graduated from Plymouth State College, and attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She taught puppetry at Northeastern University, Boston, Mass., Worcester State College and Plymouth State. She has conducted workshops in voice and sculpting at regional and national puppetry festivals. Her character voices are heard on the Verizon website ( Deborah is also the author of The Twig Family in the Oak Tree, a gentle nature story for young children that we also feature at Puppet Showplace.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Last Incubator of the Summer!

TUES | AUG 9th | 7pm to 9pm

About Incubator: Every other Tuesday from 7pm - 9pm, PST hosts a "drop-in" session where emerging artists, veteran pupp
eteers, teachers, and puppet enthusiasts gather to discuss and develop creative ideas in a casual, informal environment.

Our last summer Incubator meeting, featuring...YOU!
Our last few Incubator sessions have featured the work of master puppeteers. Now, we're excited to hear from you! Come by Puppet Showplace Theatre on Tuesday August 9th with your materials, your puppets, and your imaginations. As a special treat, we'll introduce you to our brand new giant goldfish, Goldie!

Fall adult classes @ PST!
Oh man, we are so excited about our upcoming puppetry classes for adults! Furry Monsters 101, taught by Jon Little, begins in September, followed by Puppet Building 101 in October, taught by Artist in Residence Brad Shur. Our g
oal is to have classes offered continually throughout the year, so keep checking out our current offerings in the Adult Workshops section of our website!


Four Thursday Evenings
September 22 - October 13,
7PM - 9PM
Ages 16 and up-

Taught by Jonathan Little, PST Slam EmceeRegister onlineor call our box office at (617) 731-6400.This class will focus on the proper manipulation of Muppet-style hand and rod puppets regularly featured on Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Avenue Q. Professional puppeteers know how to make these characters appear as living, breathing beings with their own thoughts, desires, and motivations. After learning the basics of proper body position, breathing, lip-synch, and focus, your hand will start to have a mind of its own. The class will also cover the following essentials: characterization, rhythm and timing, storytelling, puppet assisting, working in puppet teams, working with props, creating a film, improv and comedy, television monitor techniques, and puppet/actor interactions. Students will also produce an original sketch of their own from beginning to end which will be showcased on Saturday 10/15 @ 8:00 pm. In-class practice puppets and camera equipment will be provided by the instructor. This is an ideal class for actors, comedians, die-hard Muppet fans, dancers, animators, or anyone interested in learning puppetry. Class size is limited: enroll today!

Sleeping Beauty by Tanglewood Marionettes

"Sleeping Beauty" by Tanglewood Marionettes

Wed & Thurs | August 10th & 11th| 10:30am & 1pm

About the show: A classic tale which appeals to children of all ages, "Sleeping Beauty" begins in King Felix’s great hall for the christening of Princess Aurora. The party goes awry when the wicked witch arrives and curses Princess Aurora. Will the curse come true? Will someone with a “true heart” appear? You will know when you see Tanglewood Marionettes’ presentation of this best-loved tale.

In this retelling, a painted story book opens to reveal each scene. Beautifully hand-crafted marionettes are brought to life by a master puppeteer as the dramatic events unfold.

Recommended for ages 4 & up

About the performer: Founded in 1993 by Anne Ware and Peter Schaefer, Tanglewood Marionettes is a nationally touring marionette theater based in New England. Their repertoire consists primarily of classic tales performed by skilled puppeteers who have spent many years perfecting their art. They specialize in school assembly programs and tour throughout the United States. Check out their website for more info!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ahoy there, Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers!

This week at Puppet Showplace, we have an amazing lineup in store for you! On Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30 and 1:00, family favorite performers Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers are heading down to Boston to perform their hilarious show "Everybody Loves Pirates." The show is almost sold out, so if you want to get a ticket or get added to the waiting list please call the box office at 617-731-6400.

With Frogtown, we celebrate consecutive weeks of hosting puppetry families at our theatre. Last week the Syrotiaks of National Marionette had a father, sons, and daughter-in-law connection; this week, we welcome the Torbeck family: three siblings who banded together to make great art.

If you can't make it in to see Frogtown but still need your weekly puppet fix, never fear! This weekend our brilliant Artist in Residence Brad Shur will lead creative participants in a hands on workshop called "JUNK PUPPETS: A Recycled Materials Building Extravaganza." This is our LAST mixed age family workshop for the summer. Find out more and sign up today!