Dancers & Puppets Bring Picture Books to Life in Amherst

Picture Book Theatre Performs at The Carle in November

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presents Picture Book Theatre featuring Eric Carle’s “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth and Rooster’s Off To See The World, Saturdays, November 5, 12, 19, 26 and Friday, November 25 with 45-minutes performances at 2pm & 3pm.

Eric Carle’s classic children’s books are coming to life this month!

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is hosting a series of puppet shows based on various Eric Carle stories throughout November.  The first of the shows, “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Said the Sloth,” is set to music created by a local composer and includes many local puppeteers!  Families will receive a copy of the book to read and follow along with while they watch.

The second show performed is “Rooster’s Off to See the World,” which features local dancers from the Amherst Ballet.

There will be multiple performances of each throughout the month.  More information is available at

Discover South American Folklore in the Hilltowns

Mettawee River Theater Company to Perform New Outdoor Production in Western Massachusetts
Beyond the High Valley: A Quechua Story

Beyond the High Valley: A Quechua Story is a Peruvian folk tale where Imposing Condor and Resourceful Hummingbird do battle, to be performed by the Mettawee River Theater Company in both Shelburne Falls and Cummington, MA. This free outdoor theater production will incorporate masks, giant figures, puppets and other visual elements with live music, movement and text, drawing on myths, legends and folklore of the world’s many cultures for its material.

Beyond the High Valley: A Quechua Story is based on a beguiling folk story of the Quechua people, descendants of the Incas who inhabit the Andean highlands and tropical regions of Peru, Beyond the High Valley will be offered to the public at two free outdoor venues in Western Massachusetts:

  • Friday, 07/31/09 at 8pm in Shelburne Falls, MA on the Buckland-Shelburne School lawn
  • Sunday, 08/02/09 at 8pm in Cummington, MA at Pettingill Field (off of Main Street)

In Beyond the High Valley, the unlikely opposing forces are a willful giant condor and an intrepid little hummingbird. At the onset, the condor spies a young woman tending her family’s llamas in a meadow. He sweeps down from the sky, transforms into a dashing lover and carries her off to a rocky crag. Her rescuer is a creature of dazzling ingenuity, a plucky hummingbird. The production will incorporate a range of puppets and other visual elements realized on many different scales, expressing the vast distances, radiant sky and rugged, vertical thrust of the fierce and beautiful highland terrain.

About the Mettawee Theatre Company

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Dr. Marmalade Puppet Shows: Educational and Entertaining

Puppets Teach Compassion at The Children’s Art Museum (CAM)

Dr. Marmalade at CAM (c) Hilltown Families

Photo credit (all photos): Sienna Wildfield

Last month I took my daughter to see Constant Wonder sing about life cycles and animals at the Eric Carle Museum. She loved it. This past weekend I took her to see Dr. Marmalade perform with her animal puppets at the Children’s Art Museum. She loved that too!

Whether their shows are educating the children in the audience or introducing social skills, there are a few elements that both shows shared that made the kids respond very enthusiastically: animals, audience interaction, and surprises.

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RiverFest 2007

RiverFest 2007
Celebrating Energy That’s Clean & Green

(c) Hilltown Families - RiverFest 2006 in Shelburne Falls, MA.As spring turns to summer, the village of Shelburne Falls is once again preparing for its annual educational celebration of the Deerfield River and the surrounding countryside … RiverFest 2007!

RiverFest 2007 will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday, June 9. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Energy That’s Clean & Green,” and event organizers are making sure that visitors will have plenty of opportunities to go with the flow. Read the rest of this entry »

Medieval Faire at the Springfield Museum

(c) Hiilltown Families

The Springfield Museum is hosting a Medieval Faire during the winter school break. On Tuesday, Rosalita’s Puppets performed a marionette puppet show. Keeping in theme with the Medieval Faire, the performance was Goldilocks and the Three Dragons and was performed to an interactive crowd in the Davis Auditorium. With an endearing improvisational method, puppeteer Charlotte Anne Dore invoked the crowd of families to participate on cue, while incorporating into the performance suggestions and comments children would shout out from the audience.

All week long families can participate in a variety of craft activities, including medieval mosaics in the G.W.V.S. Art Museum. Mosaic art was very popular during the Renaissance era. Children were given the opportunity to create their own mosaic art while visiting the museum during the Medieval Faire. Read the rest of this entry »

Midwinter Magic Puppet Show

Puppet Show

The Springfield Museums’ Holiday Happenings this past Saturday was a great adventure. They had a list of activities to do with the kids in addition to visiting all four of their museums. They had several craft activities, including coloring a nut cracker crown, making a magnet mitten, paper holiday wreaths, and snowflakes.

The Midwinter Magic puppet show, put on by the Gerwick Puppets, was well attended. The story was about the Winter Solstice and magic that two children encounter during a dream on that special night.Puppet Show

Following the puppet show, puppeteer Deborah Costine sat down with children in the audience and shared the nuts and bolts behind the show, from how they made their puppets to the mechanisims of their performance.

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