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. Best for ages 3 to 6

Mathilda’s Bath

Only Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s magic can convince the grimy Mathilda to take a bath. This story is a light-hearted adaptation of a Betty Macdonald story told with needle-felted pig puppets. Best for ages three to seven, 25 minutes

Playing in the mud.

Cow and Mouse’s Picnic

Cow and Mouse, who are good friends, go on a picnic together. Cow can’t stand to share his cookies. The Thank-You fairy transforms him into a fish so that he can try being an animal that doesn’t have to share. This show is performed with original hand puppets, and is best for ages three to six. 25 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.

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.

On very special occasions, musicians Peter Lehman and Ann Wynne have accompanied “Badger Meets the Fairies” on mandolin and percussion. Contact me to learn more! Here we are at the 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 (掌中戲)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:

The Trolls and the Tree

NOT AVAILABLE NOW. “The Trolls and the Tree” will reopen at Old Schwamb Mill in June 2022 with some wonderful changes.

The trolls want to take good care of the fairies’ garden, but they also want to make space for their toaster, television and chairs. Can the trolls learn to go green? This story features hand-painted sets by Sandra Pastrana and original music by Alison Plante.

The Trolls and the Tree is about taking care of our environment and how people (and trolls!) can learn to care about trees. After the show I frequently offer a simple puppet-making activity. Children make paper puppets of creatures and things that would benefit or interfere with the harmony of a fairy garden.