East Coast Super Sonic Puppet Festival

300 Puppeteers to Perform in Super Sonic Puppet Festival July 20-23

The Puppeteers of America and The Asheville Puppetry Alliance will again present an array of exciting puppet performances at the Diana Wortham Theatre from Thursday through Sunday.

The East Coast Super Sonic Puppet Festival returns to Asheville, 300 puppeteers strong, July 20-23. The festival offers a variety of shows at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville. Whether one grew up with Howdy Doody or Sesame Street, there is something for everyone. For more information visit www.EastCoastPuppetFest.com/public_performances.htm

This summer’s East Coast Super Sonic Puppet Festival offers adult, family and children shows. It includes the superb artistry of The Huber Marionettes, the poetic imagery of Heather Henson, and the zaniness of That Puppet Guy, there is something for everyone. These and more puppet productions are sure to awe and thrill audiences.
 Join the 300 puppeteers traveling to the mountains from all over the country and see some of the nation's best puppetry.


THURSDAY, JULY 20, 2006, 7:30 PM
Intended for adults; Limited Seating; Tickets $20
DOUBLE FEATURE: "Rubber Ducky" by Womansong and "Suspended Animation" by The Huber Marionettes

Anyone who has seen Womansong perform "Rubber Ducky" knows that this group is more than just a warm up act for Phillip Huber. Womansong of Asheville is a community chorus with a mission to promote musical expression and creativity among women in Western North Carolina.  The audiences loved them as the opening act for the 2004 Puppetry Festival and promise to open this year’s festival with some new surprises.

Productions of The Huber Marionettes, lead by Phillip Huber, feature exquisite marionettes performing to a variety of music. Several of the numbers are inspired by celebrity performers; others are Phillip's own characters. His puppets are beautifully sculpted and costumed. The lighting is dramatic. Phillip's stage presence is elegant. And what he makes those marionettes do fascinates appreciative audiences. "Suspended Animation" promises to be a great experience. Phillip Huber is most widely known for his film work in the Academy Award nominated film "Being John Malkovish" and the soon-to-be-released "Tillamook Treasure." Phillip’s stage credits feature "Busker Alley" starring Tommy Tune, "It's Magic" starring Harry Anderson, and "That's Christmas" starring Sandy Duncan, just to name a few. He also created a special rock opera performance piece "Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty" in collaboration with concept artists Dan Graham and video artist Tony Ousler for performances in Miami, Berlin, Vienna and Minneapolis.


FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2006, 11 AM
Intended for families; Tickets: Child $5, Adults $8
PINOCCHIO by Lee Bryan, That Puppet Guy

So, you think you know this timeless tale of the loveable Italian woodcarver named Geppetto who wishes for a real boy? Lee Bryan gives it a new life with his wacky found-object puppetry. This original one-man adaptation combines live vocal characterizations with authentic Italian music and Commedia-style mask work. The peddler's cart made of woven neckties carries the entire show into the performance space. It also transforms into a mighty sailing ship, a puppet theatre and even "pesce cane," the great dogfish Shark. Plenty of audience participation abounds in this solo, “tour-de-farce,” which was produced with a grant from the Jim Henson Foundation.


FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2006, 7:30 PM
Intended for adults; Limited seating; Tickets $20
THE TRAVELER by Dramaton Theater - Premiere

"The Traveler" is a trilogy of ghost stories about vagabonds caught between “here” and “there.” They are questioning what moves them forward on their mysterious journey, and what holds them back. The tales include Richard Middleton’s "On the Brighton Road" (1920), William Butler Yeats’ "Purgatory" (1929), and an original commissioned by Dramaton from Enma Ito, artistic director of Fantoma Theater Company from Osaka, Japan. Dramaton Theater uses evocative stage design, eerie soundscape, and an original style of puppetry to create this ghostly world to engage the audience’s imagination. This will be the premiere of "The Traveler."


SATURDAY, JULY 22, 2006, 11 AM
Intended for families; Tickets: Child $5, Adults $8
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by Paul Vincent Davis

Paul Vincent Davis has been described as a consummate artist. He is known as a puppeteer who designs and constructs his own delightful puppet figures, surrounding them with colorful costumes and scenery. Davis performs all the characters and voices live. He performs with equal skill to audiences of adults as well as children. How does he change Beauty's costumes so quickly? It is puppet magic, but he will tell you the secret if you ask him.


SATURDAY, JULY 22, 2006, 7:30 PM
Intended for Adults; Limited Seating; Tickets $20
DOUBLE FEATURE: "Panther & Crane" and "Little Bouche"

PANTHER & CRANE by Heather Henson’s IBEX, Inc.
Panther and Crane is an expressionistic journey though Florida's ecosystem. Heather Henson uses translucent puppets that soar like kites, colored light, projections, and movement to enter a world of mythic imagery and dreamlike metaphor. Her subjects are migrating cranes, alligators in a glade, rolling pink clouds, swift water currents, and wildly fluctuating weather that coincide with Florida's urban sprawl. Heather's visual Haikus are queries into universal rhythm and an individual's place within that realm. Heather is the youngest daughter of the innovative puppet pioneer, Jim Henson. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has also attended the California Institute of the Arts. Her work has  been seen throughout the country in such varied venues as H.E.R.E and PS122 in New York; The O'Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut; The Chapel of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, and the Zeum Museum in San Francisco.

LITTLE BOUCH by Albrecht Roser’s Meisterklasse
Performers include Matthew Brooks, Sarah Frechette, Robin Walsh, and Nate Wilson. Together, they will present Meisterklasse, a showcase of puppet vignettes created and developed by the participants of two master classes given by world renowned marionettist Albrecht Roser at his private studio near Stuttgart, Germany. This show is a potpourri that reflects the talents of  various performers. It runs the gamut: from sultry, to whimsical, to operatic. Meisterklasse has delighted audiences at the Freies Musikzentrum in Stuttgart, the Henson Carriage House, and the ONE Solo Arts Festival in New York City, as well as a few residents of the charming village of Buoch, Germany.


SUNDAY, JULY 23, 2006, 2 PM
Intended for families; Tickets: Child $5, Adults $8
AESOP'S FABLES by Red Herring Puppets

Red Herring Puppets have created an original rhymed version of the classic tales told with music and large table-top puppets. These timeless stories are simple to understand and address topics relevant to school age children, covering such timely issues as bullying, selfishness, competition, ingenuity, and the affirmation that little beings can achieve great things.


All tickets are available online at www.dwtheatre.com or at the Diana Wortham Theatre Box Office.

For more information call 828-257-4530, or visit www.EastCoastPuppetFest.com/public_performances.htm.

The Puppeteers of America and the Asheville Puppetry Alliance are both non-profit arts organization dedicated to bringing the ancient art of puppetry to audiences of all ages.


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