Well, we have outdone ourselves this year! Four different companies. Six days. Fourteen performance times.
This year we have focused on being inclusive and accessible. We serve the Richmond region, and we want to make sure we are doing our best to be accessible and welcoming to all families. We know you don't like ticket fees, so we have worked hard to make sure you don't have to pay them this year. (Be sure to thank our donors!) Keeping our costs down has been a top priority.
We also know that you like variety. And choices. This year, we have morning, afternoon, and evening shows so that all families have options to fit their busy schedules. There are classic tales, original works, a ventriloquist, nonverbal performances, rod puppets, hand puppets, and so much more!
We are so proud of our line-up this year! We've put a lot of work into growing our series so we can grow the puppetry scene in Richmond. We hope YOU can be part of the adventure!
For our full schedule, please visit http://www.puppetsoffbroadstreet.org/rva-winter-puppetfest.html.
by Heidi Rugg
We are so excited to have Crabgrass Puppet Theatre from Vermont joining us for Winter Puppetfest on December 27th and 28th. I will confess that I have seen this show four times; it is truly delightful! Fun, great puppetry, gorgeous set with vibrant colors -- everything I have come to expect from their work! We hope you will join us! (If the video below doesn't load, check it out on Vimeo.)
by Heidi Rugg
Part of our TOP TEN series:
Yes, that's a cute little turn on a phrase, but it's true. Puppetry has the ability to use space, scale, time, characters, and storylines differently from other forms of theater. Puppets do not interact with reality like humans do. They can interact with gravity in a way that humans cannot, be fantastical, make the unreal real, take the audience out of their human mindset, truncate time with ease, and so much more. Objects can become characters. Characters can become anything. The most difficult topics can be made to evoke laughter without taking away the seriousness of the subject. Death can be a character that is equally believable as all the other characters.
I've been fortunate enough to see some truly unique performances over the years and look forward to bringing these shows to share with audiences in RVA!
1. We think outside the socks.
2. Affordable tickets. (And they fit well in stockings!)
3. Theatre and puppetry build community.
4. We add diversity to the theatre offerings in Richmond.
5. Puppets are cool.
6. Move children full STEAM ahead with puppetry.
7. Versatile and unique programming for special populations.
8. Puppetry is a 4-dimensional, synergistic theatrical form.
9. We navigate the tricky waters beyond the mainstream.
10. Puppetry can change lives. Really! We've seen it.
Puppets Off Broad Street has much to be thankful for this year. We've reached major milestones, taken care of all kinds of legal hoops, and are finally ready to celebrate with some puppet shows!
I'm so excited about RVA Winter Puppetfest. It's our second year doing this, and there is already to much excitement. Ticket sales are about to go live, and we've already received a number of phone calls, emails, and general inquiries.
Our special guest puppet company this year is Crabgrass Puppets from Halifax, Vermont. They are the masterminds behind "The Pirate, the Princess, and the Pea."
The duo of Jamie Keithline and Bonny Hall have been creating shows since 1982 when they formed their company in San Francisco. to tour throughout the U.S., performing in schools, museums and theaters. Their performing venues have included the Detroit Institute of Art, the Smithsonian, Paper Mill Playhouse, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and dozens of regional and national puppetry festivals. Their work has garnered numerous awards including two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest honor in American puppetry.
OK. That's impressive. But what's really impressive is the SHOW, which I have seen four times now. It is hilarious, full of surprises and story twists that you will NOT expect, has sea monsters, lots of pirate swag, and it is beautiful to boot. Bonny Hall works with fabrics, dyes, and colors in a truly masterful way, and Jamie Keithline makes an awesome pirate. Their years of experience bring excellent timing, manipulation, and top-notch artistry to this fun performance.
Oh, and if that didn't convince you, then you should also know that this show won "Best Performance" at the National Puppetry Festival in Storrs, Connecticut this summer.
We truly hope you can make it out for a show to celebrate 2015 with us! "The Pirate, the Princess, and the Pea" shows Sunday, December 27th at 1pm and 3pm and on Monday, December 28th at 10:30am and 1pm. Tickets make great stocking stuffers.
Heidi Rugg is a puppet artist, mom, maker of stuff, and the founder of Puppets Off-Broad Street. Her company, Barefoot Puppet Theatre, has toured all over the country. She lives in Richmond's Northside with her husband, Sam, two daughters as different as rain and ribbons, a cat named Moxie, a lizard named Pepper, and a legion of nameless dust-bunnies.
Christopher Hudert is a is a versatile artist whose skills include script writing, sculpting, set and puppet construction, puppetry, clowning, stilt walking, juggling and much more. His company, Applause Unlimited, has toured extensively. He lives in Lakeside with his family.