The ten days before opening a new puppet show feels like:
a) preparing for final exams;
b) getting ready to serve a 6-course dinner;
c) taking care of a very small puppy
If you chose a, b, or c, way to go! Ask the nearest puppet to pat you on the back. Today I opened “Taking Turns,” starring Mathilda and Doggie at Primrose School in Burlington. The show was two years in the making and it was exciting to bring it to an audience of enthusiastic four year-olds. The bouncy house was very popular. And so was the vibrant music composed and played by Paul Watkins. Here’s a prelude:
Truth be told, I have never cooked a 6-course dinner. But I should, as a thank you to all the people who helped me with these puppets and the show. Thanks to Sandra Pastrana (she made the original Mathilda and Doggie!), and Katherine Eberle for help with puppets and sets. I got good advice from folks at the Puppet Showplace Hatchery, and from the friendly, talented staff at Playtime in Arlington. Kak Madden, Maggie Whalen, Afaf, Bashir, Franny and Charles, thanks for watching the show in its painful beginning.
Why is creating a new show like taking care of a puppy? At the end of every day you have a big mess — and sometimes cute things, too.
In workshops with children at the Foxborough Universalist Church, we made puppets that connected to two UU principles: the worth of the individual, and how we accept and learn from each other.
In four Sundays at Foxborough, I met puppets with fierce powers, puppets with fiercer powers, cats, happy and sad puppets.
I visited the puppets in their lairs. Unicorns live in the clouds, but near their pizza.
Penguins are happy in icy waters.
And pigs love snacks.
Should you ask a monkey to take care of your heavenly peach garden? The Monkey King is thrilled to have a job in the heavens, but doesn’t play by the rules. Please join me for a tale of monkey trouble, performed with the Bu Dai Xi puppets and choreography I studied with Taiwan’s wonderful I Wan Traditional Puppet Troupe.
I’ll perform “Monkey Makes Mischief in Heaven” at the Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts from Thursday to Sunday, November 15 to 18. Best for ages four and up.
More information: puppetshowplace.org
I hope you’ll join me and musicians Ann Wynne and Peter Lehman for Badger Meets the Fairies at Fairyland Pond in Concord. We’ll perform at the opening of this year’s Art Ramble, The Umbrella’s art exhibit in the woods. Meet the fairies, sing with them, make a playground structure from twigs and leaves. . . and see a forest full of nature-inspired art. All ages are welcome and admission to the Ramble is free.
Sunday, September 16, 2:30 at the benches near Fairyland Pond, Hapgood-Wright Town Forest, intersection of Walden & Thoreau Streets, Concord. Followed by a reception for the Ramble.
Meet the musicians:
Ann Wynne sings with the Mystic Chorale and with her class of 5- year-olds at Great Expectations in Arlington. She also draws, paints and builds with students in her home studio, A Room for Art.
Peter Lehman plays plucked string instruments, including lute, mandolin and sometimes guitar. He also sings high and lonesome. Peter directs an unusual fusion band — the Foggy Mountain Consort, dedicated to performing musical genres from the Renaissance to blue grass.