December 9: Monkey Makes Mischief in Heaven, 4pm, Wonder Yoga, 1305 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, as part of Arlington Heights Holiday Stroll.
The Chinese Monkey King soars into the heavens and delights in his new job in the Heavenly Peach Garden. But when he is left out of the Jade Emperor’s Peach Blossom Banquet, Monkey flies off to make mischief in the Heavens. This episode of the epic Journey to the West features traditional Bu Dai Xi puppets and choregraphy, which I studied with Taiwan’s I Wan Jan Troupe. Best for ages 5 and up.
November 12:The Trolls and the Tree (11:15) and Badger Meets theFairies at Arlington Open Studios, 20 Academy Street, Arlington
Join a lively bunch of fairies and trolls for a show at a wonderful Open Studios day! Ann Wynne and I perform puppets; Peter Lehman brings rich accompaniment with lute and mandolin. All shows are free, best for ages 4 and up.
Cow and Mouse were happy to be invited into the lovely barn at Mack’s Apples in Londonderry, NH on September 8th. A fun crowd of people watching, and some sweet sheep in the yard outside.
On October 14, I’ll be in the Greenwoods Puppet Festival in Norfolk, Connecticut, performing Bu Dai Xi in “The Ice River” with Madeleine Beresford of Galapagos Puppets; and appearing in “Alice in Wonderland(s)” by Dream Tale Puppets. The festival goes all day and everything is free, with the support of the Norfolk Library and the Battell Foundation. More here: PuppetFestival 2023 final
May 7, 2pm: “The Trolls & the Tree” at Arlington Eco-Fest: Trolls Skimpa and Blompa want to take good care of the fairies’ lush garden but struggle to decide what’s more important: their deluxe toaster or the fairies’ cherished tree? Join puppeteers Margaret Moody and Ann Wynne and musician Peter Lehman for an interactive environmental fable. Free, outside on back lawn of Robbins Library.More:https://www.arlingtonma.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/31607/6207?curm=5&cury=2023
May 19, 4:30pm: “Badger Meets the Fairies” at Cary Library, 1874 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington MA
Gentle Mr. Badger agrees to help the fairies build a playground, but then it’s complicated: the fairies won’t use cement and Mr. Badger wants to learn to fly. Join Margaret Moody on puppets and musician Peter Lehman on mandolin for this spring story. Free registration:https://www.carylibrary.org/programs
June 3, 10:30am: “Taking Turns” at Old Schwamb Mill, 17 Mill Lane, Arlington, MA. Friends Mathilda and Doggie are thrilled to play on the bouncy house at their friend’s party, but taking turns is really hard. Best for ages 4 to 7, free, outdoors.
The puppet characters I’ve seen created in my “Puppet Pals” ACE class at Arlington’s Brackett School don’t flop on the couch. After acrobatics at the skate park, they go home to their dog and eat everything on the raspberry bushes. And they love to pose!
When we made moth and butterfly puppets last week I wondered what those puppets would do besides fly. It turned out that my kindergarten and first grade students knew the outline of their creatures’ life cycle. Puppets flew, drank nectar, injured a wing – -and healed it –before landing in a tree and laying eggs. Which became caterpillars who gobbled and spun chrysalises before flying away.
On July 13, Peter Lehman’s lute music brought the peaceful sense of a fairy woodland to the Elm Street tent outside Fall River Library. Children gathered on a rug, ready to meet fairies, squirrels . . . and trolls! In this interactive show, Peter, Ann Wynne and I want our audience members to have opinions — but we were surprised at how strongly they spoke to Skimpa the troll. “No, you can’t push down the tree!” “But I need space for my beautiful new chair,” she whined. “NO!” the children said.
When the trolls persisted in knocking over the tree, our faithful audience helped them plant a baby tree for distraught fairies. And, after trolls, fairies, puppeteers and our amazing musician took their bows, the children arrested the trolls! We know they will take good care of trees in the future.
THANK YOU, FALL RIVER CULTURAL COUNCIL!! This show was supported by a grant from the Fall River Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. And thank you to librarian David Mello for his incredible support of children and those who perform for them.
The wheels are still wobbly, but Skimpa wants a test drive.
So happy to have a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council to create “The Trolls and the Tree: An Immersive Theater Piece for Children” with Ann Wynne and Peter Lehman. In the story, two trolls agree to take care of an idyllic fairy garden. But, when there’s not space enough in the garden for their toaster, TV, and lawn chairs next to the tree, guess which item gets moved?
Many friends are designing woodland seat covers for our show! Here are a few.
Happy to have been performing in parks, preschool yards and gardens! My first in-person show of 2021 was for a 90th birthday party on a sparkling summer evening in Gloucester. By August, the days were more sweat than sparkle and what a relief to go inside for a Puppet Day. But all hail to the battery-operated sound system that makes performing outside so easy!
Monkey King opening the season in a Gloucester backyard
Manchester Public Library, with DreamTale Puppets
Fall River library, outside, with “Badger Meets the Fairies”
Runs on a rechargeable battery, fits in a backpack.
At Magnolia Park, busking
Amazing Fall River librarian preparing for Shark Week
Hungry puppet, Puppet Day at Country Cottage Center in Medway
Cow and his good friend Mouse love to play and picnic — until it’s time to share dessert. Join Margaret for this gentle farm fable at 10am on Saturday, July 17. And please stay after to try out some fun puppets!
Best for ages 3 to 7. All welcome. FREE.
AT: Magnolia Park, 111 Magnolia Street, East Arlington, MA