Topic “Puppets”

Orlando Puppet Festival Schedule

This weekend, for the third year in a row now, I will say to my fellow Fringe Fanatics "You MUST check out the Orlando Puppet Festival". This event is not for kids (there are some family-friendly shows), but intends to expose Orlando to high-art, cutting-edge expressive puppetry. I've seen dozens of different types of acts, some including human actors, others with minimalist puppets, and even puppets singing cabaret.

Headlining this year's festival are Pennsylvania's Cashore Marionettes with "Life in Motion” and “Simple Gifts”, and Vermont's Sandglass Theatre with “Autumn Portraits” and “Isidor’s Cheek”. If you didn't know this, New England has a thriving puppetry community, including a school in Connecticut with great puppetry programs. We have some of our own here in the South, most notably Atlanta, which is home to the Center for Puppetry Arts.

Another highlight of the festival is Friday night's "late night" show, "Puppets from the Edge", NOT to be missed. This is a bit of an open-mic night for puppets, with everyone from local artists to far-off visitors showing off shorter and more experimental pieces. I have some great video of last year's event if I can ever get some time to edit it down.

Orlando Puppet FestivalA similar type of show is the screening of "Handmade Puppet Dreams" a shorts program of puppet films collected by Heather Henson, which has toured all over the world, from India to California and everywhere in between. Don't miss the current show at the Gallery of Avalon Island (DMAC), which features puppets from the HMPD films.

Just two more events to plug: check out a live outdoor performance of Heather's original piece, "Panther and Crane", inspired by her life in Florida, 8PM Sunday at Hertiage Park in front of the History Center. This play also features our sweethearts Voci Dance. Finally, there will be an OPF wrap party at the Harp and Celt, the downtown bar and restaurant just two doors down from the Mad Cow.

Props to Jamie Donmoyer and Heather for making this great festival even better this year. Multiple venues, family-friendly events (check out the Cupcake Shows), outdoors, films, parties, and of course, some of the most amazing puppetry you will ever see in this town. Order your tickets in advance and get more information by visiting, and I hope to see you all there!

October 26, 27, 28 @ Mad Cow Theatre and 3 other venues closeby.

Avenue Q’s John Tartaglia October 18th

The week before the Orlando Puppet Festival's third run, veteran Broadway performer and Tony nominee John Tartaglia, AKA Princeton and Rod from Avenue Q.

Press release for you:


Don’t miss this Orlando Puppet Festival exclusive! Spend An Evening With John Tartaglia And Friends as this exuberant performer discusses his career and this "meet the artist" session becomes an evening of performance.

Orlando Puppet Festival event this weekend

I absolutely love Orlando Puppet Festival.

Can’t wait until October 26th?
Quench your puppetry thirst now, with these upcoming events as we Countdown to OPF 2007!



Join everyone’s favorite puppet host, Chupacabra and human host Tony Giordano as they kick off a hilarious evening of puppetry entertainment in a Potpourri of Puppetry Cabaret!

Activism vs. Art

Like everyone else who came to the Fringe Festival this year, I truly wanted to adore Heart of Coal. Anyone who I had met who was involved in the show, even people whose names appeared in the program that I knew – I really like all of them. And of course the fact that Heather Henson had created the show’s puppets was a huge selling point. I got to learn a little bit about the environmental issue at hand in the show and I agreed with it a great deal. I was really excited before sitting down in the Green Venue to see the show on Thursday night.

Video: Orlando Fringe 2007 Day 1

The 16th Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicked off on May 17th with a series of parties, performances and a

Interview with Heather Henson and Jamie Donmoyer

Blogging Fringe Podcast 06
Length: 4:39

The file is just an MP3 - no iPod is required to listen to this show, although that is a popular way to enjoy podcasts.

My Traditional Ethnic Wedding

Show: Songs of Mirth and Mayhem
Company: Paul Mesner Puppets
Venue: Mad Cow Theatre (corner of Pine St. and Magnolia Ave.)
Show times: Thu Nov 2, 10:15 PM;
Tickets: $15
Call: 407-297-8788 - info and tickets

When I spoke with Paul Mesner tonight, he told me that Songs of Mirth and Mayhem is a much younger program than Wiley and the Hairy Man (a few months compared to a few decades). Still, my 24-year-old self found this show to be even better than Hairy Man. In no way is this show intended for young people, covering several adult subjects including drugs, sex, and violence!

The show is primarily a cabaret,

Photos and Video

What do event bloggers do with our phtos and video? Do we make pretty slideshows? Add fancy graphics? Do any editing at all?

Holy Night

Show: The Traveler
Company: Dramaton Theater
Venue: Mad Cow Theatre (corner of Pine St. and Magnolia Ave.)
Show times: Thu Nov 2, 9:15 PM; Fri Nov 3, 7:45 PM;
Tickets: $15
Call: 407-297-8788 - info and tickets

I didn't know what to expect from The Traveler going in to the show. What I found was something very special. New York's Dramaton Theater made themselves famous doing non-verbal theatre, but the Traveler is more straightforward. The play is a collection three short stories about people on literal different walks of life. The first two stories are adapted from previous works, namely Richard Midleton's On the Brighton Road (1911) and William Yeats' Purgatory (1922). The third story was written for Dramaton by Enma Ito of Fantoma Theater Company of Osaka, Japan. The stories really go together to make up a whole in this piece: hats off, kids.

Possibly the most notable part of the show are the puppets.

Wow - Mark’s Weekend

Once again I have no time to post, as Jack and the Beanstalk starts in 15 minutes. I might not make it!! Very quickly I wanted to point to a video by Blogging Fringe's friend Mark Baratelli. He made a video about himself of all subjects, and he mentions that he will be performing in Sunday night's show. Check it out:

YouTube - 11-3-06 Mark's Weekend

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