Mar 16

Another Day, Another Destiny: “Winter Panto 2021: The Panto Games”

Tributes in the Arena. Photo credit imaginary beasts.

Presented by imaginary beasts 
Directed by Matthew Woods 
Written by Matthew Woods & Noah Simes 
Costumes: Cotton Talbot-Minkin 
Visual Design & Illustration: Lillian P.H. Kology 
Production Stage Management: Sophia Nora Giordano 
Video Editing & Design: Sophia Nora Giordano 
Technical Direction: Bob Mussett 
Puppet Design & Construction: Sophia Nora Giordano & Jamie Semel 
Cast: Michael Chodos, Laura Detweiler, Molly Kimmerling, Catherine Luciani, Tara Harbert,  Colin McIntire, Amy Meyer, Bob Mussett, Elizabeth Owens, Jill Rogati, Kiki Samko, Jamie  Semel, Noah Simes, Derek Smith, Jennifer Taschereau, and Matthew Woods with Sara Kenney  and Hannah Uher 

March 13, 14, 20 at 4:00 pm ET and March 19 at 7:30 pm ET on Zoom 
New show added! March 21 at 4 pm!
Tickets: imaginarybeasts.eventbrite.com 
All tickets are Pay What You Wish with a $0 minimum
imaginary beasts on Facebook 

Review by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM — The imaginary beasts yearly panto is a Massachusetts theatre institution. It doesn’t feel like wintertime without it! So thank goodness the beasties rallied and produced their February family-show in March.  Continue reading

Jan 28

Lying, Believing, and Hoping “Beyond A Winter’s Day”

Presented by Liars & Believers and Moonbox Productions
Written by Rachel Wiese (To Bed To Bed & Vasalisa the Blessed) and Jesse Garlick (Malka and the Behema)
Directed by Jason Slavick
Costume Design by Kendra Bell
Featuring Music by Veronica Barron, Singer Mali, and Carols Odria
Video Editing by Sam Powell
Zoom Mastery by Cynthia Hu

January 15 – March 27, 2021
Facebook
Website

Review by Gillian Daniels

ZOOM – In winter, spring is a fairy tale. That sounds pretty ridiculous, what with empirical data suggesting, yes, the northern hemisphere will tilt once again toward the sun. If you, like me, are on the East Coast in January, though, it’s going to be a while, and what with the current horror of a plague ravaging the country, this winter is particularly bleak. The usual comforts of gathering indoors with friends and family are not as available to us as they have been in the past. So, why not unite with one another through the power of sharing stories? Continue reading

Dec 27

An Interview with Liars & Believers About Their Upcoming Project, “Beyond A Winter’s Day”


“To Bed To Bed” & Vasalisa The Blessed” written by Rachel Wiese
“Malka and the Behema” written by Jesse Garlick
Directed by Jason Slavick
Costume design by Kendra Bell
Puppet design by Faye Dupras
Shadow puppet design by Rebecca Lehrhoff
Mask design by Becca Jewett
Video editing by Sam Powell
Original music by Carlos Odria
Featuring: Rachel Wiese, Rebecca Lehrhoff, Glen Moore, Jesse Garlick, Cynthia Hu, Carlos Odria, Singer Mali

More information about their upcoming performances in January will be available via the LAB website: https://www.liarsandbelievers.com/show/beyondawintersday/

Interview by Kitty Drexel

EMAIL — The good, creative folks at Liars & Believers held two preview workshops of their upcoming production Beyond a Winter’s Day on December 17 and 20. They generously answered some questions over email about their work, the pandemic, and their hopes for the New Year. Please keep reading for responses. 

Thank you Jason, Jesse, Glen, Cynthia, Rebecca, and Rachel! We look forward to Beyond A Winter’s Day in January. We hope all of your New Year wishes are liberated into being with bright joy, cheer and grace.

———————-

Queen Geek: Please talk about your role in the show.  

Jason – I’m Jason Slavick, the Artistic Director of Liars & Believers, and the director of the show. I provide the guiding vision for the whole project and I shape each individual element. I’m much like a conductor in an orchestra. The individual artists play their parts, but I shape the tempo, the tone, and the overall feel. I try to create opportunities for the other artists to express themselves. And I try to help them do their best work. My biggest job is to make sure you in the audience feel engaged and understand what’s going on.

Jesse- I’m Jesse Garlick, an artistic associate with Liars & Believers as well as being the company’s director of education. I wrote Malka and the Behema as well as performing with the puppets in the piece. I also perform in the final piece, To Bed To Bed, as Rabbit. And lastly I play Stanislov in the interstitial pieces.   

Glen- I’m Glen Moore an artistic associate with Liars & Believers. I helped to devise and build content for the original production of “A Story Beyond” which was the inspiration for this online version. In this zoom production I play the storyteller Fargus, perform puppetry in the story Malka and the Beheyma, and lastly I don the mask of Bear in the story To Bed To Bed. 

Cynthia – I’m Cynthia I am the zoom master of the show. I control all the tech behind what you see and make sure “the magic” happens on time. Outside of the show I’m an actor and I’m pursuing my MFA in acting at The Actors Studio Drama School.

Rebecca- I’m Rebecca Lehrhoff, an Artistic Associate with Liars & Believers. I’ve worked with the company since 2014. I helped devise the content for both “Beyond A Winter’s Day” as well as the original 2018 production the show is inspired by, “A Story beyond.” In addition to playing Mishka and the mole, I designed, created and performed (along with Rachel Wiese) the shadow puppetry for Vassilisa the Blessed.

Rachel- And I’m Rachel Wiese, an Artistic Associate with LAB. I worked on writing and devising the original “A Story Beyond” and performed as Isabel in that production. For Beyond a Winter’s Day, I again portrayed Isabel as well as Condor and puppeteered (along with Becca) Vasalisa the Blessed. I wrote Vasalisa the Blessed and To Bed, To Bed. I had lots of fun scouting the location for To Bed, To Bed which we shot on Worcester Trust Land near my home in Worcester, MA.  Continue reading

Oct 02

“Meet Fred,” No Strings Attached!


Presented by Puppet Showplace Theater
By Hijinx Theatre in association with Blind SumMiT
Directed by Ben Pettitt-Wade
Fred theme music by Jonathan Dunn
Puppetry dramaturgy by Tom Espina & Giulia Innocenti

Sept. 28-30, 2018
Plaza Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Puppet Showplace on Facebook
Hijinx on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu

(Boston, MA) In Meet Fred, three-man puppetry meets meta-theater meets sociopolitical satire meets disabilities awareness. All this was beautifully woven together with tight storytelling, sharp humor, and arresting visuals. The result is one of the most engaging, funny, and touching theater experiences you will ever have. Continue reading

Dec 11

A More Accurate Dickensian Christmas: “A Christmas Carol”

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company
By Charles Dickens
Adapted and directed by Debra Wise
Choreography by Susan Dribble
Dramaturgy by Siobahn Caroll & Iris Smith-d’Agincourt

Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, 2017
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Modern-day London is as much of a melting pot of cultures as New York City. In Dickens’s Victorian London, immigrants from all over Europe flocked to England. Right now, London is a thickly settled, racially diverse city with citizens representing nearly every country and continent in the world. Then just as now, immigrants from non-European countries did travel about the globe. If Shakespeare can devise a play about an Black officer in the Venetian army, then it’s conceivable that Indians dwelt among the working class 250 years later. That the Nora Theater’s A Christmas Carol incorporates music and dance from outside the England’s stereotypical whiteness is less surprising than it is a refreshing example of reclaiming history. Continue reading

Nov 27

Utterly Enchanting: “The Perils of Mr. Punch”

Presented by Modern Time Theater
Puppeteers Rose Friedman & Justin Lander
Modern Times Theater Website

November 24th thru 26th, 2017
Puppet Showplace Theater, 32 Station St.
Brookline, Massachusetts 02445
Puppet Showplace on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Brookline Village, Massachusetts) The puppeteer spouses Rose Friedman and Justin Lander are as lovely as their puppets and, in particular, Justin Lander’s sense of humor was utterly enchanting.  At one point during their opening act, Lander intimated to a kiddo at the front of the audience, “You owe me an ice cream sundae.”  A few minutes later during this musical skit, Lander told kids and presumably their parents that he was holding “one of the many instruments you can make out of old washing equipment.”  For cornballs like myself who thoroughly enjoy observational comedy,  statements like that are a hoot! Continue reading

Jan 05

Color and Joy for the End of the Year: “Squirrel Stole My Underpants”

Bonnie Duncan and The Gottabees are on a mission!

Presented by Puppet Showplace Theater
Created by The Gottabees
Created and performed by Bonnie Duncan
Live Musicians Brendan Burns and Tony Leva

December 30, 2016-January 1, 2017
Puppet Showplace Theater
Brookline, MA
Puppet Showplace on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Brookline, MA) Puppet Showplace Theatre produced the show Squirrel Stole My Underpants to ring out the old and terrible year of 2016.  Originally created with the support of PST’s Incubator program as well as a grant from the Jim Henson Foundation in 2013, the Gottabees presented a rare puppet show that managed to capture the attention of kids and kids at heart without spoken words.   Continue reading

Oct 26

“White Like Me”: Privilege and Politics (or Lack Thereof)

Puppet Showplace Theater

Photo credit: Puppet Showplace Theater; childhood relics.

Presented by Puppet Showplace Theater
Written, Directed & Performed by Paul Zaloom

October 21 & 22, 2016
32 Station Street
Brookline, MA
Puppet Showplace Theater on Facebook
Puppets at Night

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) As a young, gay, white male, I try to be aware of my privileges. I experience them a great deal on a daily basis, and what I wanted White Like Me to do was remind me of this in a way that was both poignant and humorous. And while I did have a good time at this show, I was surprised that only the latter turned out to be true. Continue reading

Oct 03

Fantastical Beasts (and where to find them): THE MIDNIGHT ZOO

midnightzoo_headerProduced by Puppet Showplace Theatre
And Franklin Park Zoo
Creative Direction and Lead Design by Brad Shur
Produced and Stage Directed by Roxanna Myhrum
Costume Design by Kristen Connolly
Sound Design by Andrew Duncan Will
Lighting Design by Chris Bocchario

Thursday – Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 30, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
1 Franklin Park Road, Dorchester MA
Puppet Showplace Theatre on Facebook
Franklin Park Zoo on Facebook
The Midnight Zoo on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Dorchester, MA) Halloween is (seriously) my most favorite time of the year and I am always looking for new ways to celebrate it.  In addition to gorging on pumpkin spice everything, this year I was so excited to have the opportunity to take a jaunt in the jungle at Franklin Park Zoo’s inaugural Midnight Zoo.  This collaboration with the Puppet Showplace Theatre brings visitors on a journey into a realm of mythical beasts and wonderful creatures. Continue reading

Jan 19

Out of the Mouths of Babes: CARDBOARD EXPLOSION

Presented by Puppet Showplace Theater through their Incubator program
Sponsored by the Jim Henson Foundation and the Bob Jolly Charitable Trust
Created and performed by Brad Shur
Music and sound consultants: Matt McLaren, Brendan Burns

Jan. 9 – 24, 2016
Puppet Showplace Theater
Brookline Village, MA
PST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Brookline Village, MA) The pre-show of Cardboard Explosion consists of resident-artist, Brad Shur, encouraging his child audience to use their imaginations constructively. He asked them if they knew what shapes would be made if he cut a cardboard square in a diagonal line. They responded enthusiastically: triangles. He then asked them what these triangles could be used for, halving them again and again, on the body of a puppet. Via the use of raised hands and waiting to be called upon, various answers from the mundane to the abnormal were called out. Using his wits, kindness, and gentle sincerity, Shur convinced his child and adult audience alike that he was safe, despite the scissors, and trustworthy with burgeoning young minds. Continue reading