Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Behind the Scenes at PST: The Frog Prince

Pumpernickel Puppets: No, They're Not Edible

Welcome back, readers.  It's me, Esra Erol - marketing intern at PST - and I'm here to take you on another "behind-the-scenes" adventure.  This time, it's all about The Frog Prince, which is due back at PST this week.  But first!  Allow me to introduce you to the man behind the Pumpernickel Puppets: John McDonough.
John and his MJ Puppet

John, Then...

John's story begins when he was just a wee lad.  That's right.  He was only four-years-old when he saw his first puppet show and thought, "Hmm...I think I want to be a puppeteer."  You know what?  Scratch that.  John didn't think he wanted to be a puppeteer.  John knew - he was absolutely certain - that he wanted to be a puppeteer.  Seriously.  He was on a mission.  By his teens, John was performing a large number of puppet shows throughout the New England area, including here in Brookline, specifically on the stage of our very own PST, which John might as well call "home" since he's been here so many times - much to our delight!

...And Now

Over thirty-seven years later, John is still entertaining audiences with his beautifully crafted puppet pals.  They've appeared here in Boston at The Boston Children's Museum as well many out-of-state institutions, including: The Institute of Professional Puppetry Arts at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, CT, The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., The Cultural Olympiad at The Center For Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA, and the prestigious International Festival of Puppet Theatre sponsored by the Jim Henson Foundation at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York.

The Man Behind the Frog

This week, we're very luck to have John back at PST to perform his rendition of The Frog Prince. Excuse me. I should have said, "His beautiful rendition of The Frog Prince." Why beautiful? Well, John is known for crafting some of the most intricate puppets in the business. They're just breathtaking! Don't believe me? Take a look:
For each production, John designs and creates all of his puppets, which range in size.  Some of 'em are small hand puppets while others are life-size figures - sometimes bigger!  

He also manipulates the entire cast and provides the voices and sound effects as well.  He even has his very own portable stage, which can be set up in any indoor location and comes complete with sound and lighting. All that he needs is a 7x7 ft. square space with a 7'2" floor to ceiling clearance and a regular electrical outlet nearby.

Now, if you haven't seen John and his mechanics at work (and you're dying to know what it's like to see his work come to life), do not fear because we've got a pictorial history of some of the performances he's done over the last few (and most recent) years, including: The Lion and the Mouse and Three Billy Goats Gruff in 2010, and then Peter Rabbit and Sir George and the Dragon the following year - all of were met with great success.
Yes, John's puppet pals are sure to "wow" audiences of all ages, especially this week with The Frog Prince (BUY TICKETS).  We insist you come on down to PST and watch the beautiful Princess kiss the slimy Frog.  We promise, he'll turn into a handsome Prince soon enough!

'Till next time!  Yours truly, Esra Erol - marketing intern.

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