Saturday Storefront Puppet Shows
Every March we convert an empty storefront in downtown Hardwick into a Pop-up Theater. Over the course of three weekends we present an epic Punch and Judy melodrama in three parts.
Each weekend features a new installment of “The Perils of Mr. Punch”, chronicling the troubles of puppetry’s favorite loud mouth. These shows feature brand new puppets and characters, as well as classic puppetry gags and tricks. The atmosphere is lively and friendly, and a great spot for parents and friends to meet, in the walkable downtown of Hardwick.
Mr. Punch, who has been delighting audiences for over 350 years, is the star of the show, and very few children, and many adults, find his charms irresistable. Puppet shows are a fantastic opportunity for young people to have positive early experiences of live theater.
These shows are set in a carnival-like atmosphere. Audience members can purchase refreshments- cider, coffee, popcorn, and donuts made by Red Sky Trading. Pre-show music features favorites from a collection of vintage 78 rpm records, played on a hand-cranked gramophone (audience participation required). And the programs all feature live music played on a variety of instruments, from the ukulele to the bicycle pump.
FOR OUR 2019 SERIES, we are adding an additional morning show to accommodate the growing audience. We’re also partnering with PinBox 3000, the inventors of the ingenious DIY cardboard pinball machine. On March 23 they’ll be setting up a cardboard pinball arcade in the theater. And another of our sponsors, G.R.A.C.E., Hardwick’s own community art space will be providing art activities before shows, date TBD.