It was a wonderful summer for the cast of Wump Mucket Puppets, performing “Bee Happy” to thousands of happy kids throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Massachusetts too. Don’t worry if you missed it, the show is booked onSeptember 9th and 16thas well as several dates in 2018.
We are excited that Autumn is not far away, and with that cooler weather and plenty of leaves to rake. Oh, that fun holiday called Halloween is coming too! This means that Witch Willie and Morty the Ghost will be out and about performing The Kooky Spooky Halloween Show. Have you started working on your costume yet?
See you in the audience! The Wump Mucket Puppets love ya!
We’ve been working hard for the past six months to bring our new BEE HAPPY show to the stage and I look forward to performing it for you very soon. Ever wonder how the ideas for this show came about?
The opening act is called Coleman’s Green Team, and touches on a subject that addresses an important ecology topic, littering. In this segment of the show Coleman the Sasquatch gently reminds the audience that we need to get bitter about litter. I live in an urban neighborhood of Cincinnati, and pick up trash daily. I find this most upsetting, and decided to help share a positive message through puppetry, that littering is ugly and we all need to pitch in and help stop it. I remember when I was a boy, watchingWoodsy Owl inTV commercials, encouraging everyone to “Give a hoot, don’t pollute”.
The Bee Happy segment of the show is inspired by my mother, who is an amateur apiarist, or beekeeper. For several years she has kept bees, and as I write this blog is visiting Eastern Europe, learning new methods. I recall being frightened of bees as a boy, and think that this is a good opportunity to help children understand more about bees, and how connected they are to so many of the fruits and vegetables that we enjoy. I hope that my young audience will enjoy G’Wizzl’s visit with QB the Queen Bee, a fantastic new puppet created by my wife Lara Rumizen. The closing song to this skit is rather catchy too!
The show is rounded out by Cyril and Coleman’s silliness, and we’ll have Unka Unka the caveman trying to plant a flower garden, right on the puppet stage!
As an special treat for our fans who enjoy coloring, Cincinnati author/illustratorMark Neeleyhas drawn a BEE-utiful new coloring page that everyone can download to print out on June 1st. I love his comical version of our puppet stars, and thank him for this wonderful contribution. BEE sure to share your finished coloring page on our Facebook page for everyone to see!
Wump Mucket Puppets has been named one of the Top 75 Puppet Blogs on the web byFeedspot.com Here’s a email from Feedspot.com founder Anuj Agarwal
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list ofTop 75 Puppet Blogson the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
I am proud to be included in this list of great blogs and websites, and thank everyone who reads my puppetry blog. Congratulations to all the fantastic puppeteers and puppetry fans who help promote our wonderful art form in the 21st century.
Wump Mucket Puppets are very proud to be a part of the 2017 season premiere of The Art Show on CET Public Television Cincinnati’s PBS TV station. Here is the entire program, we are the first segment. Thanks to producer Don Hancock and his entire production team for producing such a wonderful program that feature artists. Please help support your local PBS station if you are able.
The entire production process was nothing short of fantastic, everyone involved are among the best in their fields. I also wish to thank the staff of The Taft Museum for all of their help while the television crew shot my performance for use in the program.
I am very please to share with my family, friends, and fans the trailer to promote the short film A Show of Hands, directed by Wright State University film student Sean W. Mangan. The portrait documentary looks into a dark time in my life, and how I found happiness through puppetry.
For those pals who do not follow our adventures on Facebook (please LIKE us) I will recap what’s been happening with the documentary film that has been made about me:
In late September of 2015 I was contacted by Wright State University film student Sean W. Mangan. He was interested in making a short film about me, my puppetry, and how it all came to be. We chatted on the phone, exchanged a few emails, and eventually set-up a schedule to shoot the film. Over the course of five days in October, Sean interviewed me at home, shot some footage of my family, and a couple of my puppet shows performed in Kentucky and Indiana.
During the holiday season Sean edited all of his footage into a 10 minute documentary short and gave it the title “A Show of Hands”. Then it was ready to watch! On February 12, 2016 I attended the screening at Wright State University’s 16th Annual Doc Night with students, faculty, alumni, and families of the filmmakers. I am very pleased to say that Sean has captured my story on film in a very honest and heartfelt manner, and believe that others will enjoy it too.
What’s next? We are trying to juggle our busy schedules and present the film to the public with a screening at the Northside library, where my professional puppetry career began, followed by a Q & A session with Sean and myself, perhaps a puppet or two. I thank everyone for their interest and patience as we work towards a Cincinnati premier date. For my out of town family and friends, the film will eventually be available to view online.
Thanks again for all your interest, support, and love over the years. I think you too will enjoy “A Show of Hands”. Puppets ROCK!
We are hitting the Cincinnati airwaves as guests on91.7 WVXU‘s “Around Cincinnati” program on Sunday, November 8, 2015 between 7 – 8 PM. This will be G’Wizzl’s radio debut so be sure to tune in and hear Terrence Burke and G’Wizzl chat about all things Wump Mucket! Listen online at www.WVXU.org
In other Wump Mucket Puppet news…
Film Documentary Update:
The film documentary directed by Sean Mangan is coming along nicely. I have seen a few bits, and it looks fantastic! Sean has been editing the footage that he has been shooting over the last month or so to complete a 15-20 minute film. It’s very exciting to be the subject of a documentary, and I look forward to seeing the finished film. Sean has been fantastic to work with! We are hoping to have a screening for our Cincinnati friends, and will be sure to let you know when and where as soon as we can.
New Puppet Star and skit:
A new puppet star is on the way! My wife (and chief puppet builder) Lara Rumizen has come up with a fantastic design for what we are sure will be a popular new addition to our growing cast of puppets. Can you guess what sort of fantastic new creature it will be? Here’s a few clues… This creature may have been “found” out West or on the prairie. A statue of this legendary creature was built in Wyoming. It has even found it’s way onto very popular postcards. Can you guess what it will be? Be sure to join the Wump Mucket Puppets Facebook page as we begin to post photos of this new character!
Our “Frozen Follies” Holiday/Winter show is preparing to roll out to several schools and libraries this Winter. Be sure to come and see our brand new skit “The Great Marshmallow Harvest” that stars Coleman the Sasquatch and our new puppet star! Dates and times for performances open to the general public can be found on our website’s SHOWS page.
As always, thanks for your interest in my puppetry. I hope that you can come and see our show this Winter. Puppets ROCK!
I know that it’s been MONTHS since I updated this little blog. I shall try harder to keep our friends and fans up to date on the wonderful and wacky world of Wump Mucket Puppets. I bet you are wondering what’s all this documentary talk? Well I hope you are. Let me explain…
A couple of weeks ago I received an email fromWright State Universityfilm student Sean Mangan. He asked if I would be interested in being the subject of a portrait documentary that he was directing for his film making class. His film’s purpose is to explore a human being’s story and find a way to make it relatable to an audience. I called him soon after I read the email and arranged a meeting at Wump Mucket HQ (our living room).
Our first meeting went very well. As it turns out, Sean was referred to me by another puppeteer and friend. We talked about the time commitment and began to work out a shooting schedule. During the following week, I emailed several of my clients to obtain permission to allow a film crew to follow me around at their event. The replies were all very positive, and the clients expressed their support and interest in this film. Yahoo!
Finally it was time for our first day of shooting. On October 9th we shot my interview for the film. Sean and his crew member Eric Dickey arrived with a LOAD of film equipment. It was cool to see our living room gradually turn into a mini film studio, as Sean and Eric set up all the lights required to get the right look for the film.
I made certain that I had a cup of tea, and a bottle of water on hand, for what turned out to be what I feel was a great interview. Sean’s questions were very thoughtful. His film is allowing me to tell my story as a performing puppeteer and explain what life events and challenges I have encountered during this adventure in puppetry.
I invite you to followWump Mucket Puppets on Facebook. I have posted a few photos on that page, and will be adding more as this production continues next week with a camera following me behind the scenes at my puppet show. Puppets ROCK!
What a fantastic, puppet rockin’ week it has been! Wump Mucket Puppets are becoming regular guests in Cincinnati media. We love all the kind attention that we are getting. Thank you to the producers, anchors, and editors that have helped me share this adventure in puppetry with their viewers, listeners, and readers. You ROCK!
We return to WVXU
Our media “blitz” this past week began with an email from WVXU 91.7 FM, Cincinnati’s NPR affiliate, to invite me to come to their Central Parkway studios and be interviewed to promote our May 9, 2015 performance at Northside’s Art in the Park. Producer Lee Hay has been very kind to our little puppet troupe, making this our fifth appearance on Around Cincinnati. Be sure to tune in Sunday April 26, from 7 – 8 pm or listen to their stream. We had a great time chatting with host Anne Arenstein, plus Reg The Loveland Frog makes his radio singing debut! Here are a few of Wump Mucket Puppets previous apperances on WVXU to enjoy.
Promoting Cincinnati puppetry on FOX19
How do you follow up a radio interview? How about a LIVE morning television segment! As the president of the Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild, I am very grateful to the folks atFOX19to invite myself and our vice president Ryan Moore on as guests. Anchor Frank Marzullo is fun to talk to. WXIX has a long history with Cincinnati puppetry, as it was the TV station that our founding guild presidentLarry Smith helped sign on the air in 1968, and remained one of the top rated shows. I look forward to future guests spots with Frank and his co-hosts at FOX19.
Here’s our segment on FOX19 Morning Xtra to enjoy:
Day of Puppetry
As the week drew closer to the Day of Puppetry, my wife Lara and I found the time to get our growing cast of puppets together for a few photos thatCincinnati Magazinehas requested for their June 2015 issue to promote Wump Mucket Puppets performance at theTaft Museum of Arton Sunday June 21, 2015. You must pick up that issue to see our fantastic photo.
The Day of Puppetry at Happen in Northside was a big hit with all the children and their families who attended. Thanks toHappen Incfor being our host for three years in a row! And thank you to puppeteers Ryan Moore and Richard Brown who performed along with me and share the joy of puppetry with our city.
Today we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Wump Mucket Puppets as a performing puppet troupe. Yes, this silliness finally got it’s act together on the cold morning of March 18, 2010 to perform for a classroom full of cheerful preschool children.
I remember that I worried about having at least ten minutes of material to perform in my show. I also recall how much my arms and hands ached after holding up two puppets for ten whole minutes. These days I am changing up six to seven puppets for a 30-40 minute show!
Yet, I will never forget the laughter that came from the youngsters, they were giggling at the silly ideas that began to take shape back in 2001 and slowly grew into a puppet troupe. It was my daughter Eleanor who said to her teacher “My Daddy is a puppeteer”, that gave me the final push needed to get my puppetry out of our house, and in front of an audience once and for all.
And what an audience you are! In the past five years I have had the honor to hear thousands of children laugh, sing, clap, and talk to my puppet characters. A grandmother has told me that she felt like a little girl while watching my puppetry. While performing at the Duke Energy Convention Center this past Thanksgiving, a gentleman in the audience shouted, “Man! You ARE Larry Smith!”. For those of you outside the Cincinnati area, Larry Smith is a legendary Cincinnati puppeteer who still has many fans who remember his puppetry fondly. Being compared to him is quite a compliment.
While I may not have the chance to meet with everyone who comes to see my puppet shows, please know that your applause, laughter, artwork, and messages mean the world to me. Thank you very much for being a part of my life for the last five years. Puppets ROCK!