Ticketed Shows at Kenan Auditorium

Special pre-fest performance for youth groups, schools, and camps:
"The Emperor's New Clothes" by Gray Seal Puppets 
Thursday, July 15 at 9:00 am & 11:00 am.

"Pinocchio" by That Puppet Guy
Kenan Auditorium.  Friday, July 16 at  7:00 pm
Lee Bryan That Puppet Guy
This Pinocchio is a fantastic, frenetic retelling based on the Collodi classic text. Found-object puppet characters are constructed from various recycled things like kitchen utensils, baskets and tennis rackets.
In addition to the found-object puppets, this original one-man "tour de farce" combines authentic Italian music, Commedia-style mask work, and plenty of audience participation!
Produced with a grant from the Jim Henson Foundation.
Tickets $12 Adults/$8 Youth (under 18)

Read the interview with Lee Bryan on the Festival Blog!

Double Feature!  "How to Grow a Pickle" & "The Reluctant Dragon"
Kenan Auditorium.  Saturday, July 17 at 3:00 pm
Nana Projects
"How to Grow a Pickle"
How To Grow A Pickle whimsically illustrates the process of creating a pickle from planting the seeds to pickling and jarring the cucumber.  It will both entertain and draw attention to where our food comes from and the benefits of eating and growing food locally. After its premier,  the show will tour to other community gardens and neighborhoods in the Maryland region.

Nana Projects is a non-profit company of visual alchemists creating innovative artwork and pioneering a groundbreaking blend of shadow puppetry and slide performance. Gorgeous hand manipulated cutouts bring to life stories on big screens that mesmerize audiences.  Custom tables hold the overhead projectors and the puppets to allow various animated tricks. This is a unique form of puppetry that in spirit and technique blends the manipulation of objects with the tricks of Victorian Magic Lantern slide shows and brings a modern twist to pre-cinema. 
Stageworks Youth Theatre
"The Reluctant Dragon"
A boy who "reads too much" encounters a dragon who is "most undragony."  The boy overcomes his prejudices about dragons when he discovers that this one would rather write poetry than fight and breathe fire.  Their secret friendship flourishes until St. George, the famous dragonslayer, comes to town. 
Since its first appearance in 1898, Kenneth Grahames "The Reluctant Dragon" has readers and audiences of all ages.   Stageworks performs this story with Bunraku-style puppets.
Tickets (for "Pickle" & "Dragon" Double Feature)
$12/Adult, $8/Youth (Under 18)

"One Frame at a Time..."
Kenan Auditorium.  Saturday, July 17 at 7:00 pm
Michael Granberry-Red Hatchet Films
One Frame at a Time: The Stop Motion Animated Films of Michael Granberry
Stop-motion animation artist Michael Granberry, formerly a celebrated actor/director in Wilmington, presents a selection of the stop-motion puppetry he has created over the past several years.  At turns funny, frightening, and inspiring, audiences are invited to have a peek into the depth of Granberry’s imagination and talent.  A brief Q&A with Granberry follows the screening. 
Recommended for teens and adults; some content not suitable for children.
Read the interview with Michael Granberry on the Festival Blog!
Film Selections:
MYTHIC JOURNEYS: THE BONE ORCHARD Starring the voice talents of Tim Curry, Mark Hamill, and Lance Henriksen and featuring original puppets created by Brian and Wendy Froud. The Bone Orchard is an adaptation of a 1000 year old Indian myth "Vikram & Betal", set in an old burial ground where a King sent on a quest by a mysterious sorcerer meets a not-so-dead corpse. The mischievous spirit challenges the noble King to a series of riddles where his very life depends on the answers. (running time: 27 mins)
THE NAUGHTY LIST Three precocious elves get banished from the North Pole but wind up making some new friends and saving Christmas! (running time: 4 mins)

FROM BEYOND An award-winning adaptation of the spine-tingling short story by H.P. Lovecraft, in which an unsuspecting man finds himself trapped in a room surrounded by strange creatures from another dimension. (running time, 10 mins)

GEORGIE'S WISH A young boy makes a birthday wish that comes true...with unexpected results! (running time: 3 mins)

THE CHRISTMAS FLIP-FLOP Music video for The Dan Band ("The Hangover", "Old School", The Jay Leno Show) from their holiday music album "HO: A Dan Band Christmas" in which one poor slob's Christmas eve is turned around by the appearance of a very special visitor. (running time: 3 mins)

VALLEY OF GWOMBI When their time machine malfunctions, a family of hapless time-travellers find themselves lost in a prehistoric wilderness amongst some very hungry dinosaurs. This twistedly-funny short film would later be transformed into the internet web series, "ADVENTURES WITH THE AMBERSONS" on Turner Broadcasting's comedy website, SuperDeluxe.com. (running time: 5 mins)  
Tickets $12/Adult, $8/Youth (Under 18)

Ticketed Shows at Cameron Art Museum
Schedule & Ticket Information coming soon!

Peter Allen Parasol Puppets
"The Amazing Mysto's Magic Show!"           
This hand-puppet magic extravaganza is performed in a “bag stage,” a puppet stage that the puppeteer actually wears.  The stage itself turns, jumps and moves while the Amazing Mysto- with the help of Jojo the monkey, Rover the dog, and a surprise visit from an alligator-performs feats of magic no one would want to repeat.  Volunteers selected from the audience are asked to assist Mysto, the puppet magician, in this hilarious blend of puppetry and magic.
This popular show is puppeteer Peter Allen’s oldest and favorite show.
Cameron Art Museum
Thursday, July 15

Paul Mesner, Paul Mesner Puppets

Paul Mesner brings his own personal touch to this production of Pulcinella, an Italian puppet tradition over three centuries old.  Pulcinella is part Saturday morning cartoon, Three Stooges, the slapstick and physical comedy of WWF, with a lot of hand puppet ballet.  Pulcinella is the hero of this story; however, he is all but pure innocence.  Pulcinella is the predecessor of "Kasper" (Germany), "Jan Klassen" (Netherlands), "Vasilache" (Romania), and the most famous "Punch" (Great Britain).

Paul Mesner uses hand puppets built in the Neapolitan style, the traditional method taught to him by Bruno Leone, a pulcinella master from Naples, Italy.
Cameron Art Museum
Thursday, July 15

John Bell
Director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, UCONN
John Bell is a puppeteer, theater historian, and Director of theBallard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut.  He is a founding member of Great Small Works theater collective in Brooklyn which produces
puppet-friendly shows of all shapes and sizes, and whose
Terror As Usual toy theater serial is now on display at the Queens Museum of Art in New York.  He is a contributing editor to Puppetry International and the author of numerous books on puppet theater history, including American Puppet Modernism and Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects.  The Ballard  Institute is organizing an  International Puppet Research  Conference at UConn in April  2011.
Cameron Art Museum
Thursday, July 15
Dr. Bell is presenting a brief Gallery Talk focused on the work of Bread & Puppet.
Later in the evening, Dr. Bell will give a special presentation for Festival Registrants only.

Shadow Film Stream

Enjoy short films from the work of Hobey Ford (pictured), Kristen Jarvis, Johannes Nyholm, Molly Allis, and others!  This  film stream runs all evening in the film room at the opening reception.
Cameron Art Museum
Thursday, July 15

Performances for Registrants Only

  Lyon Hill-Mermecolion
"Junk Palace" Film Debut!
Registrants Only
Homer and Langley Collyer were two of the world’s most infamous hoarders.  Packed floor to ceiling, their New York brownstone became a labyrinth of tunnels and traps. They were utter recluses who might have passed away into obscurity were it not for the bizarre circumstances of their deaths.
Using elaborate paper puppets, "Junk Palace" takes you into the Collyer’s strange world and imagines what life was like for these unique individuals.
Lyon Hill lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their son, Oliver in Columbia, SC. He is a puppetmaker and performer for the Columbia Marionette Theatre. His previous videos have been included in Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams film series which is shown around the world. 

Sarah Frechette
"Snowflake Man"  
Registrants Only
Sarah Frechette presents the story of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, the Jericho, Vermont native who attracted world attention with his pioneering work in the area of photographing and studying snow crystals, commonly known as snowflakes. Sarah plays alongside the cast of string puppets in the show.  This production was brought to life through a collaborative effort among several artist friends and family members, as well as, support by a Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.  This show honors two Vermont spirits, that of Snowflake Bentley and Sarah's Grandfather Walter.

Kimi Maeda
"The Crane Wife"     
Registrants Only
Weaving together the stories of the artist and her mother, this traditional Japanese folktale is a shadow-based performance piece which is a tale of sacrifice, love, and secrecy.  Structured as a letter from a mother to her child, the performance provides several re-readings of the tale, tying it to the experiences of the artist's mother-who emigrated from Japan as a grown woman-and the artist-who grew up with a bi-cultural Japanese/American identity.  This piece attempts to bridge the gap between the bi-cultural identity of an immigrant with that of a native born, but ethnically foreign, American.  Where the struggle of the immigrant is often centered upon the effort to integrate old cultures and customs in a new setting, this piece also focuses on the challenges of being born in that very "in-between-ness," and not being fully accepted in either the old or new settings.

"The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik:
Deep Sea Explorer"  
Registrants Only
The seas have risen, billions have died, and those who remain live on farms on top of skyscrapers, on top of mountains. The scientists have tried everything. Floating islands sank, space probes found nothing, and the giant sponges, visible from the moon, are now rotting icons of failure. Now science and humanity are turning to the oceans themselves. It is up to Alvin Sputnik to venture through the mysterious depths to find a place for the human race to live in peace once more.
Winner "Outstanding Solo Show" New York International Fringe Festival 2009


Read the interview with Eric Bass on the Festival Blog!

Eric Bass of Sandglass Theatre
"Autumn Portraits" 
Registrants Only
Since its creation in 1980, this celebrated solo performance has won awards in Australia, Hungary and a Citation of Excellence from the Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA).
"Autumn Portraits" is a compelling evening-long solo puppet-and-mask performance, a series of five interlocking vignettes, each exploring one puppet character and its interplay with its manipulator, who might appear as a masked figure, or simply a voice from the sky. Eric Bass' handcrafted rod puppets are characters in the "autumn" of their existence who act out their stories in precise and evocative gestures as they meet their pasts, their selves, their deaths. In 1999-2000, "Autumn Portraits" celebrated its 20th anniversary season...the festival is honored to offer this performance in its 30th year.
Conceived and Performed by Eric Bass
Directed by Richard Edelman

Special Event Performances
Karen Konnerth, Calliope Puppets
"Cuentos Del Sur De La Frontera"
Stories From South of the Border
After several tours and festivals in Spanish speaking areas of the
Americas, Calliope Puppets were inspired to share stories found in their travels. "The Singing Tree," found in a bilingual (Spanish and Quechua) book in Guatemala City, is a beautiful myth explaining the origin of Guatemala's national instrument, the marimba. Then, learned from Patagonian master puppeteer Rafael Teixido is a well-loved tale from Argentina's famed writer and puppeteer, Javier Villafañe: "Juancito y Maria".  And finally, found in a book of folk tales in Mérida, with inspiration from a wild young puppetry group met in Culiacán who uses this name, comes “Tlacuache,” the Mexican trickster opossum.
Presented with traditional hand puppets, along with a six foot tree, and featuring Guatemalan marimba, Argentine tango, and Mexican La Banda music, this show is offered in love and appreciation of the wealth of puppetry and storytelling traditions south of our border.
To see this performance, follow the Parade down Front Street on Saturday, July 17 at 9:00 am!
This performance plus puppet-making & puppet store at the Thalian Hall/City Hall Ballroom, 9:30 am-Noon.

The Hellblinki Sextet & Puppet Rampage: The Slam

"The world influences on this Asheville, NC sextet are absolutely staggering; everything from Russian folk to Italian concerto to Americana (and most everything in between) all find themselves present and accounted for, albeit all of the above given a more than punk edge aesthetic.  Appropriately enough, the group itself describes its sounds as a Threepenny Opera meets Sesame Street, with punk rock experimentation and a southern drawl...
Think Gogol Bordello, with an emphasis on European cabaret.  The Hellblinki Sextet is without question one of the most unique, gifted, and flat-out fun bands to come out of the region in a long time."   Southeast Performer, Atlanta
The Hellblinki Sextet hosts the 2010 Southeast Puppet Slam! Music + late night puppet shows + costumes. 
This is a BoZo-Arts Ball, Black & White attire expected...
The Soapbox Laundro Lounge
Saturday, July 17 11:00 pm
Doors open @ 9:00 pm
Ticket info coming soon!