SATURDAY STOREFRONT PUPPET SERIES
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 children (as well as adults), find his charms irresistible. 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.
THE EARSHOT FESTIVAL
The first ever EARSHOT FESTIVAL was performed on April 18, 2020 and conceived of as a decentralized, non-digital, simultaneous, free performance of ANY and ALL music. Participants played on their porches, front yards, and from inside their homes with the windows open. Venues included Vermont, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Michigan.
PARADE WEEK AT THE GRANGE
In June of 2019, Modern Times Theater hosted “Parade Week” at Caledonia Grange #9, building giant puppets and banners with neighborhood kids, and creating a community band for the East Hardwick Children’s Parade. These free workshops and rehearsals were made possible by a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation.