Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My New Favorite Thing: Middle Eastern Music

Welcome Puppet Fans!                                                                
I am here to give you your weekly addition of me, Bella Monster with my new favorite thing. An Arabian Adventure is playing this week at PST! This is a tale of a Persian Prince imprisoned for his love of a beautiful princess who must stop at nothing to save her from a terrible fate. The soundtrack for the show is traditional Middle Eastern music that transports you to another time and place entirely new. Join me on this adventure!

An Arabian Adventure 

Aug 1, 2012 - Aug 4, 2012 

The music is hypnotizing and exotic. I wondered what made it so different from the music I am familiar with? My curiosity led me to my new favorite thing, Middle Eastern music! Here's what I learned. Traditional Eastern music uses what is called, Maquams, melodic modes which are said to evoke a different emotion in each listener. Each time we hear these maquams we all feel a different feeling, unique to who we are! Isn't that amazing that we can all hear the same sound but have a different feeling?

Our music or Western music uses chords but traditional Eastern music will have one instrument carry the melody while the others layer melody scraps or rhythm segments over it. When we listen to this we are absorbing new musical rhythms, musical notes and melodies. Listen to the arabic instruments in this video below. How do these new sounds make you feel?

Here are some of the most popular instruments in traditional Middle Eastern music seen in the video. 

Oud - A string instrument with 11 strings and no frets.

Riq- The Arabic tambourine.

Darbuka- A popular percussion instrument.

Ney - Resembles the flute in instrument and sound but is very difficult to play.
I can't wait to experience the exciting arabian tale this week at PST with the beautiful instruments I just learned about. Hope to see you there! 

Bella Monster

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Magic, Adventure and Marionettes at PST!

An Arabian Adventure by Tanglewood Marionettes
Wed- Sat | Aug 1st - 4th | 10:30am &1pm

Hop onto your magic carpet, and take an adventure to the magical land of the Middle East this week at Puppet Showplace Theatre.

About the show: Featuring over a dozen beautifully hand-crafted marionettes and exquisite "story-book" style scenery, "An Arabian Adventure" tells the tale of a Persian prince who must battle his way out of a dungeon to save his beloved princess from a tragic fate. Long: Featuring 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 soundtrack features professional acting set to the background of classical music from favorite composers, as well as traditional Middle Eastern music.  The program is presented with the marionettists in full view, so that the audience can witness firsthand the mechanics of puppet manipulation.  Replete with clever stage illusions and lighting effects, “An Arabian Adventure” is an action-packed drama that is sure to delight audiences of all ages while introducing them to the magical world of puppet theater.

About the performer: Peter Schaefer was born into a family of puppeteers and has been performing with hand puppets, rod puppets and marionettes since he was a child. After refining his skills with a local puppet company for several years, Peter purchased a marionette show from a retiring Boston puppeteer and launched his own company: Mountain Marionettes. After touring nationally for two years, in 1993 Peter decided to join with a fellow puppeteer and form a new company: Tanglewood Marionettes.Over his career, Peter has brought his unique marionette artistry to hundreds of thousands of children and families across the country! More Info.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My New Favorite Thing: Glove Puppetry!

Hello Puppet fans,
It's your favorite time of the week, "My New Favorite Thing" from me, your favorite puppet, Bella Monster! This week I want to tell to you about glove puppetry. Glove puppetry is totally awesome! It's one of the most recognizable and common forms of puppetry. Being one of the oldest forms of theatre, you might recognize it as one of the most famous puppetry acts, Punch and Judy.

Brad Shur, my friend and artist in residence here at PST, is teaching a class for adults this Summer on glove puppetry. (photo right)  I wanted to know what glove puppets are all about, and boy did I find out!

Glove Puppetry Boot Camp
Instructor: Brad Shur, Artist in Residence

I took the class and can now unleash the expressive power of my hands in glove puppetry, like a pro. I also got to interview my pal, Brad for all of you to become experts on glove puppetry too. 

Here is what the glove puppet master had to say:

Me: Hi Brad!
Brad: Hey Bella

Me: When did you know you wanted to be a puppeteer?
Brad: I grew up watching the Muppets and the Fraggles and Dark Crystal, and I always loved to act and write and make things. By the time I got to high school, I realized that I could do all those things in one job as a puppeteer and be a part of the art form that I'd loved so much.

Me: What is a glove puppet?
Brad: A glove puppet is a very old style of puppet that fits over the puppeteers hand. The fingers are used to move the head and hands of the puppet. It's called a glove puppet because it fits over your hand like a glove.

Me: I'm a mouth and rod puppet, what's the difference between a glove puppet and the kind of puppet that I am?
Brad: Glove puppets mostly don't move their mouths like you do. They use body language like clowns or mimes do. That's how they communicate. A mouth and rod puppet like you takes two hands to manipulate, but I only need one hand for a glove puppet, so I can perform two puppets at a time, and that's a show!

Me: What was the first glove puppet show you saw?
Brad: The first one I remember was Liz Joyce's Punch and Judy show. Punch and Judy is a show that began in England hundreds of years ago. People perform it all over the world today. I'm not quite that old. I saw the show about twelve years ago and loved it.

Me: What was the name and personality of your first glove puppet?
Brad: I made a puppet in college named Oatmeal because he was made from brown paper the color of oatmeal. He didn't really have his own personality, I used him in different stories and he would become the character the story needed.

Me: How do you prepare before a show?
Brad: I'll go through the show in my head to make sure I remember everything and all the puppets and props are set up where they need to be.

Me: How do you start creating your awesome characters for your puppet acts?
Brad: The idea comes first. I think of the story that I want to tell, and then I figure out what characters I need to make to tell it.

Me: Thanks for letting me interview you!
Brad: Thank you! I've never been interviewed by a monster before.

Now that you love glove puppets as much as I do, check out Clown Circus performed by Brad Shur this week: Wed, July 25th through Sat, 28th, performances as 10:30am and 1pm!  The show and all of the glove puppets are hand made by Paul Vincent Davis, and Brad brings the characters to life with silly voices and lots of laughs! See you at the theatre!


Bella Monster
Clown Circus by Paul Vincent Davis
Performed by Brad Shur, PST Artist in Residence
July 25th-28th | 10:30am & 1pm

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Clown Circus - only at PST!

WedJuly 2510:30am & 1pm
ThuJuly 2610:30am & 1pm
FriJuly 2710:30am & 1pm
SatJuly 2810:30am & 1pm

Step right up, and join us for a Circus this summer at PST! This isn't just an ordinary circus - it's a clown circus with beautiful and colorful hand crafted glove puppets made by PST's Artist in Residence Emeritus, Paul Vincent Davis.

About the show: Clowns come in all shapes and sizes, but everything about them is larger-than-life. Join Dusty and his friends Pierrot, Zany and Guffaw for this fun, interactive variety show that features circus-inspired singing, dancing, storytelling and more!

Recommended for ages 3 & up.

About the performer: Brad has been professionally involved in puppetry for nearly 10 years. He first began as a performer with the Providence puppet and mask company Big Nazo while a student at the Rhode Island School of Design and has toured nationally with Wood & Strings Theatre, a marionette company out of Tennessee. Brad recently finished working with the Vermont PuppetTree as a freelance puppet designer and performer.

He has experience in teaching workshops and classes for students of all ages and hopes to be known in the future as an Arts Educator. Brad has a passion for performance and describes his style as “carnival barker” driven by interactive audience dialogue.
He is thrilled to join the Puppet Showplace Theatre as its Artist in Residence!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kids Ages 7-12 Learn from Master Puppeteer!


August 20th-24th
Ages 7-12
For more information about the camp, See Our Website!

PST is so excited about our upcoming camp in August!  So excited in fact, that we want to introduce you to the wonderful master puppeteer who will be teaching for the week:

Who is the puppet master?
Jacek Zuzanski will be the man behind the puppets leading this one-week camp for kids ages 7-12.

Where is Jacek from?
Jacek is from Poland, where there is a strong tradition of puppetry! In Poland, there are many professional theaters that produce shows for children. He has studied several types of theatre, including, you guessed it, puppetry. His diverse education and experience makes him a captivating educator. 

What makes Jacek a master puppeteer?
Jacek earned his MFA from The Ludwik Solski’s State Theatre School in Krakow, Poland, and obtained The Ministry for Art and Culture’s Stage Directing Certificate. He is a theatre artist and certified acting teacher with over 30 years experience! Since coming to the US in 2001 he has cooperated with numerous schools, art organizations, and libraries. He is now the founder, designer, leading performer, and director of Dream Tale Puppets.

Why is Jacek so excited to lead this camp?
Jacek is an enthusiastic teacher who believes in the importance of strengthening imagination. Concerning his work with Dream Tale Puppets, Jacek has said, "We believe in the value of asking questions, as children do, and in the inquisitive creativity found in children’s play. By emulating the creative improvisations of children’s play, we learn traditional theatrical languages and we create new languages."

How will young minds benefit from this camp?
In this camp, Jacek will focus on fostering children's creativity while teaching them tools that they can use to express themselves. From voice acting and storytelling to hand puppet techniques and team puppetry, the skills taught in this class are centered on learning to communicate--all through the fun of puppets!  

Register today to learn from the master! Call the Brookline Rec Department today at 617-730-2069. Only 15 spots available. Sign up early to guarantee your spot!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My New Favorite Thing: Object Theatre!

Hi my beautiful friends!
Bella Monster here. Today I would like to tell you about my new favorite thing, OBJECT THEATRE! At first I didn't quite understand what it was. But after some research I fell in love with it. I know you will too. Take a look at my research. These videos are performances of object theatre. Lets watch them together! The first two are from Europe and the third is from the U.S. Dont worry, you dont have to cross an ocean to see object theatre you can see many shows like these at PST in Brookline, MA with me!

Wow! Object theatre involves every kind of puppetry and is where anything can come to life to tell a story. I'm a puppet and I thought I could only interact with other puppets like me. But an ordinary object could suddenly be my best friend. I can be friends with everything!? 

This amazes my furry little mind. What kinds of objects would you want to come to life? I will start by creating my own object theatre and making friends with everything I see. See you next Tuesday puppet fans to find out my next new favorite thing!

If you're interested in seeing a live object theatre show check out Snow White and Other Tales starting tomorrow at PST by Perry Alley Theatre!

Bella Monster

Snow White and Other Tales 
July 18, 2012 - July 21, 2012 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Snow White - with a twist!

WedJuly 1810:30am & 1pm
ThuJuly 1910:30am & 1pm
FriJuly 2010:30am & 1pm
SatJuly 2110:30am & 1pm

It's three classic fairytales as you've never seen them before!

About the show: This puppet show features lots of puppets, music, and storytelling at its best, all tied together with the theme of fun! In this imaginative production, Dad gets his daughter Trinket to eat her dinner by performing Snow White in a most unusual way. Also featuring "The Princess and the Pea" performed as an interactive hand puppet show, and "Little Red Ridinghood" as it might have been performed in Ancient Rome.

Recommended for ages 4 & up.

About the performer: Perry Alley Theatre, a touring company headed by Andrew + Bonnie Periale, has performed at schools and theatres, the Smithsonian, and Puppetry Festivals here and abroad. They are Emmy Award nominees. Their very original productions, using puppets, masks, music, and sometimes kitchen utensils, have made them favorites with audiences of all ages.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why Should Kids Have All The Fun?

Saturday, July 21

8:00 pm
Rated PG-13

Come to the final Puppet Slam of the Season! For one night only, PST presents an evening of laughs, leisure, and lots of puppets!

With a wide range of themes and styles from the satiric and side-splittingly funny to the passionate and poignant, PST's Puppet Slam is puppetry entertainment created for teens and adults. The evening will include a variety of theatrical and musical performers with mini-plays and acts, all featuring puppets.

You may be asking 'but aren't puppets just for little children?.'  We certainly believe puppets are for everyone!  Puppetry has increasingly been gaining a hold on older audiences from local events like our very own Puppet Slams to musicals and movies like Avenue Q and Being John Malkovich.  

For this show, we're excited to welcome back one of PST's favorite slam performers, Bonnie Duncan, presenting work from her show-in-development, "Squirrel Stole My Underpants!" She'll be joined by veterans of the national slam circuit Melissa Creighton and Matt Martin (New York City, NY) along with Leila Ghaznavi (Philadelphia, PA). Don't miss the Boston-area debuts of their fantastic work! We're also excited to welcome local performers Allie Herryman and Brenda Huggins back to the stage, as well as some fantastic emerging artists...including several of PST's own summer interns! The multi-talented Phil Berman ("puppets? yeah, I do that...") hosts, featuring appearances from other musical guests.

Ever wanted to perform in a puppet slam? Stay tuned for announcements about how you can get involved!

Whether you plan on bringing a date, your best buds, or meeting some new people, this event is the perfect summer reprieve from the regular night at the movies. We've got air conditioning and a full lineup of puppets for your enjoyment! Our Puppet Slams always sell out, so if you'd like to join in on the fun, reserve your tickets online or call the Box Office today at (617) 731-6400.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My New Favorite Thing: Puppets At Night

Hi Everyone!
It's me again your favorite, furry, fabulous, friend, Bella Monster! It's Tuesday and it's time for My New Favorite Thing. This week my new favorite thing is Puppets at Night at PST! What is Puppets at Night? Well I'll tell you! Its programming for adults in the evening for ages 16 and up at PST. After dusk the puppets come out to play in performances and classes, including me!

Adult Classes
In our adult classes, teachers, artists, puppeteers and puppet enthusiasts come to strengthen their puppet skills. This summer we are offering a brand new class which starts on Sun, July 22nd.  Can puppets make puppets? I want to! More info.

Puppets and Play-Making In the Classroom
July 22nd-Aug 12th, Sun afternoons, 

Puppet Slam
Our upcoming performance for Puppets at Night is the Puppet Showplace Slam; a collection of mini plays using puppets with content ranging from elegant to satiric. All kinds of artists show up from all over to put on an amazing show and have lots of fun!

Last slam this season! 
Saturday, July 21, 2012, 8:00 pm 

Now that Puppets At Night is my new favorite thing, I better learn how to become an adult so I can go! Check out this video of my friend Phil teaching me about what it means to be an adult.

Bella Monster

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Not Goldilocks, but Puppylocks!

WedJuly 1110:30am & 1pm
ThuJuly 1210:30am & 1pm
FriJuly 1310:30am & 1pm
SatJuly 1410:30am & 1pm

This isn't Goldilocks - it's Puppylocks!

About the show: What if Goldilocks was not a little girl at all, but a golden, mischievous little dog? That is exactly the case is this very funny retelling of the traditional fairytale. Watch this impish little dog not only do everything wrong in the Bear's house (she even refuses to obey the puppeteers as they try to get her to act her part in the story!) Can anyone bring this cute and crazy canine under control? Puppylocks is presented with traditional Bohemian style marionettes on a tabletop stage.

Recommended for ages 3 & up.

About the performer: Founded in 1979 by Michael and Valerie Nelson, Magical Moonshine Theatre (MMT) performances have been seen coast to coast in the US, as well as internationally with performances in 15 countries in 8 different languages. Michael studied at the International Puppetry Institute with the Muppets' Jim Henson and has served as a President for UNIMA-USA. Valerie is trained in the Montessori method, majored in vocal music, and is a past director of the National Puppetry Festival. Valerie and Michael are currently California Arts Council Arts in the Schools.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The weather may be HOT, but our theatre is COOL!


New Schedule!
We are so excited about our summer programming, we've decided to have performances on Fridays!  With our new schedule for the summer, starting July 5th, we will have shows every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday both at 10:30am and 1:00pm!  Be sure to check out our Show Calendar for more details about the shows.

Air Conditioning!
As the weather gets hotter, PST is keeping cool with our newly installed Air Conditioners!  Just in time for the summer heat, we've made sure both of the air conditioners, one in our lobby and one in our theatre, are up and running smoothly.  All are welcome to see a puppet show, check out our store, take a break from the heat, and enjoy the cool air!

Marionette Stage! 
We love to play with puppets, and think it's really fun to share.  Now, not only can you play with hand puppets on a hand puppet stage in our lobby, but we've also got a new marionette stage so you can try out some of our marionettes!  Whether you can make a duckling puppet waddle or a ballerina puppet plié, visit our lobby to make your own puppet play!

Our Store!
Do you ever wish you could have your very own puppets to play with at home?  Well you can!  PST's store is all stocked up for summer with a great new selection of marionettes.  Also, our new Folkmanis hand puppets are great for big hands and little hands!  We have finger puppets, books, vintage puppet posters, and more, so feel free to stop in Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm to check out our store!

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!

                                                                    Bella Monster