Taking Turns

Mathilda and Doggie can’t wait to go to their friend’s party and play in the bouncy house. Then Mathilda can’t wait in line — and cuts in front of Doggie. She is surprised to learn that everyone wants their turn, even grown-ups. Performed with needle-felted puppets, and a gentle pace that suits young children. 30 minutes, best for ages 3 to 6

Cow and Mouse’s Picnic

To share or not to share, that is the question! Cow and Mouse have a terrific picnic, until Cow decides not to share his cookies. A magical twist in the story lets Cow try out different ways of being a friend. This interactive show is performed with original hand puppets and gentle humor. Best for ages three to seven. 25 – 30 minutes

Badger Meets the Fairies

Mr. Badger is thrilled to meet Blossom, a flower fairy, in the garden. He flies away with her 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. This gentle tale is based on European fairy lore.“Badger Meets the Fairies” is best for ages 4 to 10, and lasts 40 minutes.

Puppets, sets and music work together in the show to evoke a woodland garden. Fairy puppets and sets for their garden were built by visual artist Sandra Pastrana and Margaret Moody. Alison Plante of Berklee School of Music composed original music for the piece based on Celtic melodies. If you see Margaret perform as a solo artist, you will hear Alison’s melodies.

Recently, Arlington artists Peter Lehman and Ann Wynne have accompanied “Badger Meets the Fairies” on mandolin and percussion. Peter, founder of the musical groups C#minor7 and Foggy Mountain Consort, plays a lively variety of New England fiddle tunes for the fairies and Mr. Badger. Here’s a clip of “Badger Meets the Fairies” accompanied by Ann and Peter at Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington:

Monkey Makes Mischief in Heaven

The Chinese Monkey King soars into the heavens and delights in his new job in the Heavenly Peach Garden. But when he discovers he has been left out of the Jade Emperor’s Peach Blossom Banquet, Monkey flies off to make mischief in the Heavens. This lively episode of the Chinese epic Journey to the West features traditional hand puppets and choreography which I studied with the I Wan Jan Traditional Hand Puppet Troupe in Taiwan (亦宛然掌中劇團). The show is best for ages five and up.

More about Bu Dai Xi puppetry and Monkey King:

An article I wrote for the Fall 2020 edition of “Puppetry International”:  PI-48-TaiwanPuppets

And a video interview by Mark Dannenhauer:

The Trolls and the Tree

The trolls want to take good care of the fairies’ garden, but they also want a LOT of stuff. When there’s not enough space for their breakfast nook, what should they keep — their deluxe toaster or the fairies’ cherished tree?

Nature-based educator Ann Wynne, stringed instrument virtuoso Peter Lehman and I have enjoyed building this interactive show together, rehearsal by rehearsal. Children are invited to talk to the trolls, fairies and animals that live in the garden, and they’ve given the trolls good advice about what’s most important in a garden.

Because this show is performed by two puppeteers and a musician, our fee is $750 instead of the usual $250 for solo shows. Best for ages 4 through 10.

“The Trolls and the Tree” opened in June 2022 and has been performed in libraries, preschools and outdoor centers in Arlington, Fall River and Lexington.

THANKS TO OUR FUNDERS AND SPONSORS! The Trolls and the Tree has been produced with the generous support of the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Our show in Fall River has been generously supported by a grant from the Fall River Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.