Puppet Homecoming Performances at the 2014 festival:
These were selected by a few members of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry
- The Dragon King – Tanglewood Marionettes
- What The Moon Saw – Puppetkabob
- Monkey Makes Mischief in Heaven – Margaret Moody
- The Emperor’s New Clothes – Maggie Whalen
- Swimmy by Leo Lionni & the Swimmer – Ann Legunn
- Squirrel Stole My Underpants – Bonnie Duncan
- Emma’s Parlor – Martina Plag
- The Pirate, the Princess and the Pea – Crabgrass
- The Three Little Pigs – Chad Williams
- Trickster Tales – Heidi Rugg
- Turtle’s New Home – Deborah Costine
A lonely, awkward girl is sent out to the backyard to hang up the laundry and keep herself busy. The moment Sylvie’s back is turned, a mischievous squirrel appears, steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off. When the girl gives chase, she finds herself lost in strange lands. As the story unfolds, an entire world emerges from her laundry basket and Sylvie learns that she is a strong girl with magic within herself.
For the last 13 years, Bonnie Duncan has blended puppetry, dance, and physical theatre in surprising and delightful ways. Her work has been described as “an artful world of silent dreams, mime, and dance” (Austin Live Theatre). Prior to working solo, Bonnie was a company member of Snappy Dance Theater for 8 years (1999-2007), performing sculptural, acrobatic dances nationally and internationally.
Video clips of this artist and/or show: http://vimeo.com/bonnieduncan/underpants
“Monkey Makes Mischief in Heaven” Margaret Moody of Galapagos Puppets
The Monkey King is thrilled to have a job in the Heavenly Peach Garden, where he plans to get tips on living forever from the gods and goddesses. However, when Monkey is left out of a banquet, he feels snubbed and sets out to explore the Heavens by himself. Monkey gobbles magical peaches, guzzles elixirs and enrages the philosopher Lao-tse by making mischief in his studio. Can Monkey learn the ways of goodness?
Margaret Moody studied traditional hand puppetry in Taiwan and uses its lively choreography and intricate puppets in this show. She lives near Boston and performs folk and fantasy stories through Galapagos Puppets.
Video clip of this artist and/or show: http://galapagospuppets.com/monkeyking.html
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” Maggie Whalen of Magpie Puppets This updated version of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale of peer pressure and cowardice features two courageous women determined to save their country from ruin. Greta and Rebecca sew an outfit for the conceited Emperor that will be invisible to fools. Of course, there is no such outfit, and the Emperor loses his throne after parading through town in his underwear. The audience participates as reporters at a royal press conference and as helpers to the brave tailors.
Maggie Whalen, Director of Magpie Puppets, a one-woman hand puppet theater, has been performing puppet shows for children and adults since 1969. In 1971, she founded and directed Poor People’s Puppets in NYC, which performed in its own storefront theater from 1971-1974. She has worked with the Bread & Puppet Theatre in Vermont and Luna Theater, formerly of Somerville, MA.
Video clip of this show: http://magpiepuppets.com/current-shows.htm
“Swimmy by Leo Lionni and The Swimmer” Vermont’s PuppeTree Inc. Vermont’s PuppeTree brings to the stage a stunning new production of Leo Lionni’s classic children’s book Swimmy, blending shadow puppets, animation and projections performed by the PuppeTree’s founder Ann Legunn. Swimmy features a classical music score that draws us into the undersea world and introduces children to the lyrical work of Debussy.
The companion piece, Swimmer, is an original work inspired by Lionni’s wonderful story, set on a picturesque New England river. A young girl recognizes the threats to her beloved river and learns to organize the people that live along its banks to change their behavior and preserve the magic of the river. Swimmer boasts an original music score by Patrick Ross, a fifth generation fiddler and composer.
The PuppeTree, Inc. has grown out of Ann Legunn’s diverse background in professional theater. Her over 40 years of experience performing and teaching puppetry and children’s theater workshops at community theaters, senior centers, parks departments, and public schools, gave her the impetus to form a hands-on theater workshop and puppetry company when she relocated to Vermont in 1999. The PuppeTree is dedicated to enriching the cultural environment of Vermont communities, and making the performing arts accessible to all—especially in culturally underserved areas—by presenting them with unique and exciting live puppet performances.
“The Dragon King” – Tanglewood Marionettes
A terrible drought has overtaken the land, and all the world has turned brown and lifeless. The Dragon King is ruler over all things water, and the people are beginning to wonder why he has not brought the life-giving rains in such a very long time.
An underwater fantasy based on Chinese folklore, The Dragon King tells the tale of an intrepid Grandmother who journeys to the bottom of the sea in search of the elusive Dragon King, and the answers to why he has forsaken the land above.
“What The Moon Saw” – Puppetkabob
Travel deep beyond the forest, to a land never seen before, where life is guided by the mystical Moon. A land inspired by the many tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Follow a Duckling through a world where nature is unpredictable and not every creature is good. Watch as a foolish Frog, a sly clever Mouse and a pompous Mole sidetrack Duckling in his search for a true friend. Come see what the Moon saw when the petals of a flower opened to reveal an incredible journey.
“The Pirate the Princess and the Pea” – Crabgrass
A pirate and a princess are on a treasure hunt, searching for the same clues. The princess stays one step ahead of the pirate. But how can she get him out of the way long enough to dive for the treasure? “You’re not a real pirate!” she claims. “Am so.” “Okay, prove it!” “How?” “I had to prove I was a real princess once,” she says. “I bet we can use the same method,” and she leaves him snoring on a tall pile of mattresses. But when the princess is in danger from a giant octopus, they quickly forget their differences and discover the benefits of cooperation. Inspired by their success, the pirate and his new princess friend sail off together in search of further adventure.
“Emma’s Parlor” – Martina Plag
Our Toy Theater and puppets employ illustrations from the late 19th and early 20th century and everyday objects one might find in a parlor, of that same period, as playing spaces. Like Goldman herself, we use wit and humor to illuminate history from below. Toy-theatre allows us to quickly focus at miniature scale to address grand issues. Its inherent dichotomy of scales excites us very much and gives us much to push against as performers, and allows us to weave in and out of the piece as flesh acting characters, narrators and puppeteers all the while exploring the life of a woman ahead of her times: a factory worker, anarchist, and lecturer.
“The Three Little Pigs” – Chad Williams
Three Little Pigs build their houses of hay, sticks and bricks – but will they withstand the Big Bad Wolf? The classic tale retold with hilarious puppet pigs and a silly wolf – with an emphasis on ‘being prepared’.
Can a spider defeat an elephant at tug-of-war? Overpower a python? Capture a cloud of hornets? With Anansi the Spider, world famous trickster, all things are possible…if you only have a plan! This show brings traditional stories from West Africa to live with expressive rod puppets, original music, and tons of atrociously wonderful puns. Performed on a large, twelve-foot stage with colorful scenery and amazing scene changes, it’s a high-energy show!
Blanding the turtle is in search of a new, safe wetland habitat. The little pond where she has lived for many years is no longer safe because a road has been built between her pond and the place where she goes every spring to lay her eggs. Blanding knows what happens when a turtle tries to cross a road! When she meets young Castor the Beaver, who is eager to build a dam and create a new pond, she sees that her problems might be solved! We also meet her friend the Blue Spotted Salamander as well as a little boy named Edward and his nature-loving babysitter Rachel, who teaches him how to look closely at nature for signs of animals and their activities. Deborah Costine Nature Puppets