Monday, September 12, 2016

Puppets in Paradise

Saturday and Sunday we had Tamar with us for an overnight. A primary reason for having her come up was so that we could take her to Puppets in Paradise: a unique event involving the collaboration of our local puppet theater, the amazing Sandglass Theater (brainstorm of Eric and Inez Bass), with Gordon and Mary Hayward and their equally amazing gardens, located in Westminster, Vt. For two days, hundreds of people came to see 9 different puppet shows, all outdoors, each about 15 minutes in length, and spread among the gardens. The shows were offered multiple times on each day, with three going on simultaneously at three separate locations, and if you worked the schedule right, you could see all nine shows in about 2 1/2 hours. There was also food, ice cream, music and kites being flown. The puppeteering was truly magical. In fact, the whole event was magical - I doubt that anything quite like it exists anywhere else in the world. An added feature for me was that my son, John, and his partner, Cynthia (who together form the harp-whistle duo called Coracle), provided music on Sunday. They played in between the shows while people were moving from one show to another. Ellen, Tamar and I got to see eight of the shows. The ninth we missed because before we got to see it, the puppeteer fell out of a tree and injured herself, and it was cancelled. We hope she is not hurt badly. You can get a sense of the event from these photos, but of course you had to be there to get the full magic.

Faye Dupras in I Spy a Butterfly
Crabgrass Puppet Theater and Funky Snowman who was quite a dancer!

One of the pathways in the gardens.....

...and Gordon Hayward, the creator of the gardens

I Don't Care, the story of Pierre by Maurice Sendak, in which Pierre is eaten by a lion and learns to care!
Eric and Inez Bass in MUD - a frustrated guy's truck is stuck in the mud and a billy goat is making off with his steering wheel and is about to take his six-pack of beer to boot!
Spinach: This girl is being attacked by the spinach she has been ordered to eat by her parents!

In Trunk, music magically produces beautiful origami cranes.
Cynthia and John provide a musical interlude
Along the way, I led the choir in Dummerston on Sunday morning. Tamar came with us and went to Sunday School - a first for her, I think. It helped that the teacher was someone she knew - Billie Slade had been her camp director a couple of years ago when Tamar attended the Green Mountain Camp in Dummerston. Also, last Friday (or was it Thursday?), Ellen and I went over to Hallelujah Farm Retreat and met with Sandy Daly to go over arrangements for the memorial luncheon gathering we will be holding there for Betsey on Monday, October 10th.

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