Puppeteers Dan Baginski and Barbara Paulson's traveling stage transforms any space into an intimate theater, where the seamless blend of movement, music and masterful manipulation captivates young and old alike. With puppeteers in full view, the audience sees how the puppets are brought to life. These Vermont artisans lovingly hand craft the marionettes, props and scenery, whether for an original tale or an adaptation of a classic. Titles currently available are Bully For The Three Big Pigs, Wasabi A Dragon's Tale, Treasure Hunt, Handsome and Gretel, The Snowmaiden, Jack and the Beanstalk, Nick of Time, The Adventures of Sharp Ears, The Hobbit, and Scrooge, A Christmas Carol.
Shows begin with an interactive song featuring audience members, and finish with demonstrations sparked by the audiences' curious questions. Once the mind believes there are no strings...this realm becomes real...and the Adventure begins!
Residencies and workshops range from a puppet-making session to multi-day events where students stage their own shows. We accompany students on a journey to connect with their own creative self while considering how their creation will engage with the wider world. A process of discovery that strengthens each artists’ skills at becoming intrinsically motivated, self-activated, self-assessing thinkers and creators.
At the onset of a project the seed for our long-term goal is planted: you are going to design and create a puppet that you will bring to life for an audience.
Always considering the audience fosters a connection to this being that will embody consciousness. How it looks and moves is a reflection of the puppeteer, and that notion seeps to raise each puppeteer’s personal standard of excellence.
Form versus function in puppet making is a way to explore and control creative decision making. The maker’s creativity can be unleashed, but the puppet needs to be able to function, to move like the creature of your intent. There is a chance to try out new ideas, and reject them if they don’t suit the overall goal. Students gain the valuable experience of trying out ideas until they work, engendering a habit of persistence. Be brave, problem solve, put yourself out there. Get over the notion of perfection.
Puppetry residencies takes a lot of grit to navigate, and there is nothing more rewarding than sensing the pride new puppeteers feel when their audience responds to them, whether in surprise, suspense, laughter or applause.
I’ve been told that my enthusiasm for puppetry and joy of sharing my art form engages and excites the student puppeteers. Their post residency reflective notes show they learn to to trust in their own creative instincts, have the persistence to see their vision through, and most of all, have fun during the process.