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Brand New Puppet Show: Taking Turns

Quiz question:

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:

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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.

Puppets in Their Lairs

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. IMG_2584IMG_2585

I visited the puppets in their lairs. Unicorns live in the clouds, but near their pizza.IMG_2706

Penguins are happy in icy waters.IMG_2702

And pigs love snacks.IMG_2705

“Monkey Makes Mischief in Heaven” — and at the Puppet Showplace

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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

 

Meet the Fairies at Fairyland Pond!

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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.

Join ACA supporters at Arlington’s Patriots Day parade on 4/15

Patriots’ Day Parade, Sunday, April 15, 2 p.m. — 4 p.m.
Put on a hard hat and join other ACAACAparade artists, students and supporters marching in the 2018 Arlington Patriots Day Parade! We’ll carry giant cardboard tools and wear elegant/whimsical/brilliant hard hats to let everyone know we’re building a new ACA. All ages are welcome! Feel free to bring a stroller or wagon.
Marchers will meet near Brattle Street and Massachusetts Avenue at 1:00 and start marching at 2 p.m. By 4 p.m. the parade ends up at Adams St. and Massachusetts Avenue, near the East Arlington Walgreen’s.
Shuttle buses are available to the parade start from the Walgreen’s parking lot at 324 Massachusetts Avenue between 12:15 and 1:30. After the parade, buses run from Walgreen’s back to near Brattle Street between 4 and 4:30. BUT don’t park in the Walgreen’s lot — find an on-street spot.
Please join us! Email Judi Berman ([email protected])or Margaret Moody ([email protected]) to let us know you’re coming. And with questions.
Would you like to help make signs and giant tools? Great! We’ll meet Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. at Margaret Moody’s house, 78 Varnum. All welcome. Please email Margaret or Judi to let us know you’re coming.

 

Magical Neighborhood

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“Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor? ”

(lyrics from the Mr. Rogers Neighborhood theme song)

What kind of neighborhood would make magical creatures know they’re welcome?  We’ve been talking about that in the Youth Arts Arise teen program at Arts at the Armory.  My sample storefront of the #1 Troll Florist got students started. Now they’re creating a spa for dragons, a snack store for pixies and more. Next week we’ll put the neighborhood together.

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Coming this winter: Create “Your Stylish Puppet”

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I’m trying out some ideas for a Youth Arts Arise class at Arts in the Armory in Somerville. We’ll make heads with small styrofoam balls, then style hair, clothes and jewelry for the outfit that makes the puppet. The schedule will be posted soon at artsatthearmory.org/

Summer fun, Arts at the Armory

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Creating our own “Jack and the Beanstalk” at Arts at the Armory in August

We created characters, tied green fabric into a beanstalk, and got the story going at Arts Discovery Week in August. At some point the beanstalk became horizontal — oops!

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“Badger Meets the Fairies” at ACA, March 4

Saturday, March 4 at 2 pm
Arlington Center for the Arts, 41 Foster Street

Mr. Badger flies off to help the fairies build a playground. Then  it gets complicated: the fairies won’t use cement, and Mr. Badger wants to learn to fly. Best for ages 3 to 10.

I perform this fairy story with multicultural fairy puppets because I’ve found fairy stories from every continent. Arlington artist Sandra Pastrana helped make the fairies and sets; Alison Plante of Berklee School of Music created lilting music based on Celtic melodies.

Come for the show; stay for puppet-play and coffee!

Tickets $7; 3 for $20 at the door.

Jack and the Beanstalk coming to ACA

February 4, 2017 at 2pm, Arlington Center for the Arts, 41 Foster Street

Join Dream Tale Puppets for a joyous romp through the classic tale of poor Jack, the cow and the magic beans. Dream Tale Puppets director Jacek Zuzanski creates the story with physical comedy, hand puppets, masks and a marionette. Margaret Moody provides narration and voices for the production.

Stay after the show to create your own hat or mask with paper strips. (This mini-workshop is included with admission.) Tickets are $7, available at jack-and-the-beanstalk-tickets.eventbrite.com

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Dream Tale Puppets was founded in 2003 at the Cape Cod Children’s Museum and now includes actors, puppeteers and visual artists who enjoy working with both traditional and innovative styles of puppetry. Troupe director Jacek Zuzanski is a theatre artist and acting teacher with over 30 years experience in Poland and the US. He earned his MFA from the Ludwik Solski State Theatre School.

Puppeteer and voice actress Margaret Moody loves old stories and the characters that inhabit them. She studied traditional Taiwanese puppetry with the I Wan Jan Puppet Troupe in Taiwan, and often uses its choreography and small puppets in her work with Galapagos Puppets and as a solo artist.