Sunday, March 31, 2013

Become a Member this Spring at PST!


April 1 - April 21, 2013

Playing with puppets in the lobby

When you become a member of Puppet Showplace Theatre, not only will you be supporting a local non-profit arts organization, but you save on tickets, store purchases, birthday parties, and more!

Starting at just $50, there are membership packages designed for families of all sizes, and individuals as well! 


April Membership Drive: Anyone who becomes a member or renews their membership between April 1-21 is entered to win a family pack of 4 tickets to the Wheelock Family Theatre 2013-2014 season! (find more info below!)

Members make an impact!
Your support allows us to continue presenting quality performances and workshops all year long in our historic, intimate theatre. As a non-profit organization, only 60% of our operating costs are covered by ticket sales, so the rest comes from generous members and donors like you.

Benefits of PST membership
We thank our members for their generosity by providing special savings and benefits, Including:
  • Discounts on tickets, up to 33% off!
  • Discounts on purchases in our store!
  • Discounts on birthday party rentals!
  • Discounts on workshops & classes!
  • Invitation to members only events!
  • Priority seating, and more!

See the full list of membership benefits:
  click here


This April, we invite our members to GO BANANAS with fan favorite,
Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers!

To show our appreciation for PST members, we are hosting a special members-only post-show reception after the 3:00pm performance of Legend of the Banana Kid on Sunday, April 21st.  The reception will begin at 4:00pm.

  • Banana Snacks!
  • Behind the Scenes!
  • Meet the Performers!
The post-show event is FREE for members! To purchase tickets to the 3pm performance of Legend of the Banana Kid, click here.

Not a member? Now is the perfect time to join!


Discounted tickets to see puppet shows at PST, AND the chance to win 4 FREE TICKETS to the Wheelock Family Theatre, 2013-2014 season? It has never been so sweet to become a member at PST!  Anyone who becomes a member or renews their membership between April 1-21 is entered to win.

Wheelock Family Theatre: is a professional, non-profit theatre associated with Actor’s Equity, the union of professional actors and stage managers. Located on the campus of Wheelock College in Boston's Fenway District, Wheelock Family Theatre seeks to improve the lives of children and families through the shared experience of live theatre.

Shows in 2013-2014 season:

The Hobbit (Oct/Nov)
Hairspray (Jan/Feb), 
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (April/May).


Thursday, March 28, 2013


Wellness in the Village Fair
Saturday, April 6 at 1:30-4pm

Puppet Showplace Theatre will be participating in Brookline Village's First Annual Health and Wellness Fair! Stop by the theatre for a performance of "The Carrot Salesman", or join us for a Giant Puppet workshop at the Brookline Town Hall!

Wellness in the village is a local collaborative with the goal of connecting the wealth of health and wellness practitioners in Brookline Village to our community!  During the Wellness Fair at the Brookline Town Hall, meet teachers and practitioners, along with a program of short talks and classes to introduce you to the diversity of styles and modalities available in Brookline Village!


The Carrot Salesman by Brad Shur
Location: Puppet Showplace Theatre
Time: 1pm & 3pm

About the show: The Carrot Salesman is the original story of a door-to-door carrot sales rabbit who is not very good at his job. But through his unsuccessful efforts to sell carrots to elephants, jellyfish, moles, and robots, he discovers a way to help all of the animals. Performed with colorful two-dimensional table-top puppets and fun audience interaction.  Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Tickets: $12/General Admission, $8/PST Members.

Giant Puppet Workshop
Location: Brookline Town Hall
Time: 1:30-4pm

Join us after the 1pm performance of "The Carrot Salesman" for a hands-on interactive Giant Puppets workshop!  Following the performance, PST staff will lead a group from the theatre to the Wellness Fair at the Brookline Town Hall, OR you can meet us there!  You can drop-in anytime during the fair and try out giant puppets on loan from the Puppeteer's Cooperative Giant Puppet Lending Library, and get a giant puppet workout with members of PST's giant puppet class.  This workshop is sponsored in part by the Brookline Commission for the Arts.

Giant Puppet, Goldie made by "Think Big" Giant Puppet class at PST, 2011

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bunnies-a-Bound at PST!

Brer Rabbit & Brer Bear
"Brer Rabbit Tales" by Magical Moonshine Theatre
Thurs | March 28 | 10:30 AM
Fri | March 29 | 10:30 AM & 1 PM
Sat | March 30 | 1 PM & 3PM 
Kick off Easter weekend with the most infamous trickster rabbit of them all- Brer Rabbit!  Not enough bunny for you? Not to worry! We have more bunnies through next week in "The Carrot Salesman" performed by Brad Shur, PST Artist-In-Residence!

About the show: Brer Rabbit is more "April Fool's" than the Easter Bunny, but his antics are hopping great fun! In this hilarious show by Magical Moonshine Theatre (on tour from California!), our famous floppy-eared trickster continually tries to outwit the likes of Brer Fox and Brer Bear. Magical Moonshiner Michael grew up in Alabama, listening to the tales of Brer Rabbit, filled with lore, wisdom and shenanigans. In Tales of Brer Rabbit he and wife, Valerie, blend together some of their favorite folktales, adding a little banjo music and singing to create a show that is clever fun for children and adults alike.

The Carrot Salesman by Brad Shur, PST Artist-In-Residence

Thurs | April 4 | 10:30am
Friday | April 5 | 10:30am & 1pm
Sat & Sun | April 6 & 7 | 10:30am & 1pm


"The Carrot Salesman" is the original story of a door-to-door carrot salesrabbit who is not very good at his job. But through his unsuccessful efforts to sell carrots to elephants, jellyfish, moles, and robots, he discovers a way to help all of the animals. Performed with colorful two-dimensional table-top puppets and fun audience interaction. This show is recommended for ages 3 and up.


Magical Moonshine Theatre has been recognized for fine quality programming, with emphasis on puppetry, mask and music since 1979. MMTheatre performances have been seen coast to coast in the U.S., as well as internationally with performances in 15 countries in 8 different languages. The group has received numerous awards and honors on the national and international level. MMTheatre director and founder Michael Nelson studied puppetry at the International Puppetry Institute with the late Jim Henson of the Muppets.

Michael & Valerie Nelson
The tale of the trickster Brer Rabbit originated in African Folklore and then carried on by African slaves in the New World. Once there it acquired attributes of similar Native American tricksters. The legend was popularized in the United Sates in the stories of Joel Chandler in the late 1800’s. The overall theme is a small, weak, but clever ingenious force can overcome a larger, stronger, but dull-witted power. Brer Rabbit continually outsmarts his bigger animal associates, Brer Fox, Brer Wolf, and Brer Bear.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Go on an Arabian Adventure!

An Arabian Adventure
By Tanglewood Marionettes
Thurs | March 21 | 10:30 AM
Fri | March 22 | 10:30 AM & 3:30 PM
Sat & Sun | March 23 & 24 | 1 & 3 PM

Recommended for ages 4 and up.

About the show: The adventure features 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 program is presented with the marionettists in full view, so that the audience can witness firsthand the mechanics of puppet manipulation.

About the performer: Tanglewood Marionettes was founded in 1993 by Anne Ware and Peter Schaefer, Tanglewood Marionettes is a nationally touring marionette theater based in New England. There repertoire consists primarily of classic tales performed by skilled puppeteers who have spent many years perfecting their art.

Perhaps you have seen them perform locally at places such as The Children’s Museum in Boston, The Yale Art Gallery or First Night, just to name a few.

Tanglewood Marionettes

What is a Marionette?
Marionettes are puppets that are manipulated by strings or rods. They are one of the oldest forms of puppets with their roots going back to ancient Egypt were they were created out of ivory, wire and wood or clay. In Rome ivory dolls that could be articulated through the use of rods from above have been found in tombs. Puppeteers in Sicily continue to use similar puppets to this day! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Join us for a Japanese folktale at PST!

"The Singing Turtle" 
by Paul Vincent Davis, performed by Brad Shur
Thurs & Fri | March 14 & 15 | 10:30 AMSat & Sun | March 16 &17 | 1 PM & 3 PM

Recommended for ages 4 and up. 

A young, hard working farm boy, Taro, is desperate to earn money to buy medicine for his mother. He is helped by an amazing singing turtle in this heart-warming Japanese folk tale. Dancing dragons, beautiful costumes, and traditional music make this a memorable show for audiences of all ages.

Paul Vincent Davis 

Paul Vincent Davis joined the Puppet Showplace Theatre in 1977, as its first Artist in Residence. Today Paul serves on our Board of Trustees and is widely recognized as one of the foremost hand puppeteers in the country. He has received numerous awards, including four "Citations of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry" from UNIMA-USA (the highest award given in puppetry) and the distinguished President's Award from Puppeteers of America. 

Brad with The Singing Turtle

Brad Shur has been PST's Artist in Residence since 2009. Brad has been professionally involved in puppetry for almost 15 years. He began as a performer with the Providence puppet and mask company Big Nazo while studying film and animation at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has worked in various capacities with Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee), and Vermont PuppetTree, and as a builder has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, and other theaters and performers from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts.


A folktale is a type of traditional story that tries to explain or understand the world. Japanese folktales reveal information about the history, life and customs of Japan. These stories were often orally passed down from one generation to another and teach the importance of patience, honesty and hard work. The elements of Japanese folktales are similar to those of traditional American folktales. The characters are often animals and royalty and the plots are magical worlds of transformation. Kindness is rewarded and evil is punished. In Japan, folktales are often told through a series of large pictures depicting the important scenes of the story. This is called a Kamishibai or paper play.


Let's take a look at more stories from the rich tradition of Japanese folktales:

In “Tongue Cut Sparrow” an old wood cutter rescued a little sparrow he found crying for help in the woods. His wife however disliked animals and one day cut the sparrows tongue out, after realizing it ate all of their starch. The bird flew away prompting the man to search for it once he returned home and noticed it was gone.

The man found the sparrow in “the sparrow’s inn.” The sparrows offered the man a gift and he had to choose between a small and large basket. Being a selfless person the man choose the smaller basket and upon returning home discovered in was filled with treasure. This prompted his greedy wife to search for the sparrow and get a gift of her own. She choose the large basket and the sparrow warned her not to open it until she got back home, but she did not heed the advice. The basket was filled with snakes and poisonous bugs which chased her over cliffs.

A long time ago in the story of Kachi-Kachi Yama, an old man and his wife lived at the foot of a mountain. They lived in perfect harmony with their vegetable garden. One morning the old man caught a raccoon dog (Tanuki) eating his vegetables and yelled at him until he ran away. However he came back and ate all the man’s vegetables. This made the man so mad, one day he caught the raccoon dog and tied him up. When the man was not around the raccoon dog cried and apologized to the man’s wife so she would let him go, but he bit her leg before he escaped.
Even madder the man set off into the mountain to get some medicine for his wife’s leg. On the way he meet a rabbit and explained what happened. The rabbit said, “I’ll get revenge on him for you.”

The rabbit went to the mountain with a rice ball and gathered some hay. When the raccoon dog passed the rabbit offered him the rice ball if he would carry the hay. He agreed but when he put the hay on his back the rabbit set the hay on fire. Once he was burned he regretted his previous actions.

That night he went to the old man’s house and apologized to him and his wife and they all shared a delicious meal together. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Travel the World with Shadow Puppets!

Behind the Shadow Screen with
Jim Napolitano of Nappy's Puppets!
Shadows Around the World
by Nappy's Puppets
Thurs & Fr | March 7 & 8 | 10:30am
Fri & Sat | March 9 & 10 | 1pm & 3pm


Travel the world with Nappy's Puppets! For thousands of years, man has manipulated puppets, and one of the oldest and most wonderful forms is shadow puppetry. Don't miss this chance to explore the history of shadow puppetry through classic and original stories with the hilarious Jim Napolitano as your guide!

Humans have manipulated puppets for a variety of reasons: ceremony, religion, education, therapy and entertainment. Of the many forms of puppetry, the most magical and cinematic is shadow puppetry.  Shadows Around The World explores the history of shadow puppetry and its development throughout the world. The program focuses on world cultures and history and the development of Shadow Theater as an art form.

We promise this will be the funniest history lesson you have ever had! Don't believe us? Take a look for your self in this sneak-peek video:


Have we tickled your interest yet? Let's learn some more about shadow puppets from around the world!  Shadow puppets from Indonesia are one of the most famous of all.

Shadow puppet theater is called Wayang Kulit in Indonesia and it is particularly popular in Java and Bali.  The term derived from the word wayang literally means shadow or imagination in Javanese, also connotes "spirit". The word kulit means skin, as the material from which the puppet is made is thin perforated leather sheets made from buffalo skin.

The performances of shadow puppet theater are accompanied by gamelan music in Java. In Bali it is known as wayang kulit, and originally lasted as long as six hours or until dawn. The complete wayang kulit troupes include dalang (puppet master), nayaga (gamelan players), and sinden (female choral singer). Some of the nayaga also performed as male choral singer. The dalang (puppet master) played the wayang behind the cotton screen illuminated by oil lamp or modern halogen lamp, creating visual effects similar to animation. The flat puppet has moveable joints that are animated by hand, using rods connected to the puppet. The handle of the rod is made of carved buffalo horn.

Indonesian Shadow puppets with the gunungan, or "Tree of Life" which signifies the start of the play.
The plays are invariably based on romantic tales, especially adaptations of the classic Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Some of the plays are also based on local happening or other local secular stories. It is up to the dalang (master puppeteer) to decide his direction. At the beginning of each play, a gunungan appears: the tree of life or the holy mountain to signify the start of the story!