Need a puppet fix?

Enjoy Big Bug Circus at Great Arizona Puppet Theater in May

It’s Theater Works meets Puppet Works in Peoria as Pinocchio takes to the stage. The company’s Youth Works presents “Pinocchio” March 9-25 at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, and children can enjoy a Pinocchio-theme puppet show every Saturday this month at either 10:30am or noon.

East Valley Children’s Theatre presents a series of puppet shows in coming months — each held on a Saturday at 11am at the EVCT rehearsal studio in Mesa. They’ll perform “Bird Brains” March 31, “Hoppy Hearts” April 28 and “Summer Smiles” May 26.  Their next theater production — “The Story of Hansel and Gretel” featuring book by Vera Morris, and music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur — runs June 14-24.

Puppetry is always plentiful at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater in Phoenix, which is featured in the “American Puppet Theaters 2012 Calendar” along with 11 other groups including Puppeteers of America, the Owl Glass Puppet Center, Melchior Marionettes, Puppetry Arts Institute and more.

The Three Little Pigs in Party Mode at Great Arizona Puppet Theater

Great Arizona Puppet Theater presents several works during March and April — including “Jack and the Beanstalk” (March 7-18), “Jack Rabbit & The Easter Basket” (March 21-April 8) and “The Metamorphisis of Karaghiozis” (May 2-6). The latter features “hilarious traditional Greek shadow puppets by guest artist Leonidas Kassapides.

The third Saturday in April is the “National Day of Puppetry” so GAPT plans a day full of puppet shows, activities and celebration on April 21. For grown-ups, GAPT offers several adult “puppet slams” each year featuring content too “edgy and quirky” for folks under 18.

Great Arizona Puppet Theater performs “Jack Rabbit and the Desert Tortoise” on April 28 at Higley Center for the Performing Arts. It’s one of more than ten desert theme shows they offer. Others include “Canyon Condor,” “Oh, Coyote!,” “Hotel Saguaro” and “Zoner & The Drip.”

Other GAPT shows suitable for younger audiences include “Big Bug Circus” (May 9-27), “Little Red Riding Hood” (May 30-June 17), “The Three Wishes” (June 20-July 1), “Goldilocks” (June 5-15), ” Old Macdonald” (Jul 18-Aug 5) and “The Princess, the Unicorn, and the Smelly Foot Troll” (Aug 8-26).

Characters from Jack Rabbit and the Desert Tortoise at Great Arizona Puppet Theater

Princess Harriet is having a “Unicorn Party” Aug 26, and young puppet lovers are invited to dress as a princess or troll to enjoy an afternoon of “themed activities, character appearances, and tasty cake.” You can also arrange to use “Peter’s Party Room” at GAPT when your child’s own birthday rolls around.

Upcoming fare at GAPT also includes “Baby Bear Goes to School” (Aug 29-Sept 16), “Hansel and Gretel” (Sept 19-Oct 7) and “Little Bunny’s Halloween” (Oct 10-28). While you’re there, check out their nifty gift shop complete with tabletop puppet theaters, finger puppets, marionettes, hand puppets and my personal favorite — Peepers!

— Lynn

Note: Click here to learn how you can support GAPT by attending “Community Night Out With The Suns” on April 7

Coming up: Transformation tales

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6 responses to “Need a puppet fix?

  1. My family and I will be visiting Phoenix around this time, I’ll be sure to bring the kids to the Great Arizona Puppet Theater. Sounds like great fun!

  2. I absolutely love this post about needing a Puppet fix. The school version of Pinocchio sounds fun. I also love the pink caterpillar puppet you have. I guess Avenue Q wouldn’t be a good fit for this list though.

    • Thanks for the kind words, and reminder about Avenue Q — which Phoenix Theatre performed here a while back. The pink caterpillar lives at GAPT, which has an amazing collection of all sorts of puppets. Now if only we could get the War Horse puppets to Phoenix!

    • Hi Showtunes: The same folks also do monthly adult slams. Cool, huh? — Lynn

  3. Hi!!

    Very much interested in your Rabbit and Tortoise as it is my wedding theme!

    May I ask if it is for sale and how much would it be?

    Thanks! Hope to receive your reply!

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