Here’s Gourdon! Our new puppet star!

Our newest puppet star has arrived!  Gourdon has joined the cast of “The Kooky Spooky Halloween Show” that we perform throughout October.  Here’s a look back on how this puppet went from a lump of clay, to a paper maché head, and almost making his public debut on live TV, yet to being interviewed for a weekly radio program.

The idea to create a pumpkin headed puppet popped into my head earlier this year when my daughter Eleanor asked me to watch the cartoon “Over The Garden Wall”. In one of the episodes, the two boys visit a village of pumpkin people. They reminded me of the character Jack Pumpkinhead from the Oz series of books written by L. Frank Baum.

So I began sculpting a new puppet…

The new puppet had to wait to be worked on as I toured our “Bee Happy” summer puppet show around Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and even a trip to Massachusetts in August.

Gradually the clay began to “magically” work it’s self into a friendly face that children would enjoy.  I love Halloween, and find the vintage greeting cards that feature pumpkins, witches, and ghosts most visually appealing.  I started looking at lots of great pictures, and added them to a Halloween themed Pinterest page.

Gourdon’s head is made of paper maché, and took me about a two days to build.  I lost count of how many tiny bits of paper it took.  I enjoy this part of the puppet building process, since I can listen to music while working.  I remember listening to Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, They Might Be Giants, Gary Numan and Led Zeppelin while building this puppet.  There is a reason why I always say, “Puppets ROCK!”.

The build was moving along at a good pace.  Things were looking great as I finished the head, and Gourdon started really looking like Gourdon.  I was very happy with our new puppet star, and prepared to sew his body and costume together.  I was booked to make a live TV guest appearance and wanted this to be  his public debut.

Then a bit of a “hick-up” happened after I had finished sewing his inner sleeve and body.  While quickly trying to get the puppet completed for the TV segment, I goofed up and used the wrong pattern on his costume.  It was too small.  I was rather upset, since this puppet has been my project.  In the past, my wife Lara has been the principle puppet builder.  She took a step back to allow me to be more comfortable with sewing, and give me room to learn.  Ugh.  Gordon would not be going on TV.

Fortunately we have a great cast of puppets to “step up” and take Gourdon’s place for the TV interview.  Witch Willie was the best puppet to replace Gourdon.  I have been performing her for over a year, and through the summer, so off to FOX19 she went to make her third live TV appearance:

With this scheduling problem solved, Lara whipped together a fantastic costume for Gourdon to wear for his puppet stage debut at the Behringer-Crawford Museum.  I could hear the children in our audience react to Gourdon as he welcomed them to our show, they love him.  After the show they were thrilled to meet him, with several of the kids requesting to have their photo taken with our new puppet star.

The day’s adventure in puppetry was not over.   After I finished loading-out of the museum, I had to drive back to Wump Mucket Puppets headquarters to unload our  gear, only to head back out to have Witch Willie, Gourdon, and myself record a radio interview on WVXU, Cincinnati’s NPR radio affiliate.

Tune in to Around Cincinnati next week to listen.  WVXU’s John Kieswetter had many great questions for the puppets and myself, making what I am sure will be the fun radio debut of a pumpkin head puppet named Gourdon.

Welcome Autumn

The calendar says that today is the first day of Autumn, although in Cincinnati it feels like mid-August.  Yuck.  I am not a fan of hot and sticky weather.

Today will also be the final performance of my “Bee Happy” show for 2017.  That is unless I receive a request to perform it again.  Don’t worry if you missed it, we’ll be bringing it back next Spring.  It has been a great show to perform, and marks the first show that I have sang along to music that I have created, through the puppets of course.  I really enjoy singing, although sometimes it’s been a challenge to sing in the puppet’s voice.

Tonight’s performance will be at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati.  I have been donating puppet shows there since the summer of 2012, and enjoy working with their staff.  While my audience is often small, the children and families who I perform for are appreciative.  I love providing them with a half hour of silliness, and help them with the healing process through laughter.

With October around the corner, our newest puppet “Gourdon” is nearing completion.  I began sculpting his head out of clay in June.  My daughter asked me to watch the TV show “Over The Garden Wall” with her.  In one of the episodes there is a village of pumpkin people who I found most interesting.  They reminded me of “Jack Pumpkinhead” from L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. I also enjoy vintage Halloween greeting cards and decorations featuring jack-o-lanterns.   When I returned from our East Coast tour in mid-August I began working on “Gourdon”, using paper mache.  I really enjoyed building our latest cast member.  Please come see him at our October shows.

When “Gourdon” is finished, it’s time to build another traditional hand puppet for our “Frozen Follies” holiday show.  This puppet will be included in our new skit “The Many Names of Santa Claus”.  I will be posting photos to the Wump Mucket Puppets official Facebook page as the building progresses to give our friends and fans a chance to view the puppet building progress.  Please give our page a “like”.  Thanks for reading this. Puppets ROCK!

Bee Happy is almost here!

 photo WMP Bee Happy rainbow_zpsox0lmr9z.jpeg

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, watching Woodsy Owl in TV 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/illustrator Mark Neeley has 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!

So come see the Wump Mucket Puppets this summer, I bet you’ll be happy that you did.  Click here for our performance calendar

 

Thank you 2013! You ROCKED!

I had planned to create an entertaining end of year review of Wump Mucket Puppets adventures in puppetry over 2013, then I caught the flu.  Ugh.  I am happy to share that I am on the mend, and will do my best to keep you interested in a look back at what was a FANTASTIC year for me performing my puppets.  Let’s get rolling…

Happy New Year 2013 photo collage from Wump Mucket Puppets

Looking back at my goals for 2013 I see that some were met, some were lost, and a few popped up while the year was in full swing.  Wump Mucket Puppets had the pleasure of performing all over Greater Cincinnati to thousands (yup –THOUSANDS!) of children and their families.  Not too shabby for a little puppet troupe fueled by a dream.

Terrence Burke of Wump Mucket Puppets displays tools while building new space cat puppet.

Terrence Burke displays his measuring and cutting skills while helping build the Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua puppet.

January was cold in Cincinnati.  It’s a very good time to stay inside and build a puppet.  You should try it!  The design team (Terrence, Lara, and Eleanor) put on their thinking caps to create a pet for our space traveling puppet pal G’Wazzl G’Wook.  What did we come up with?  Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua!  Learn more about Kitty here. 

Cyril and Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua rehearsing.  Wump Mucket Puppets

Cyril and Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua rehearsing.   Performed by Terrence and Eleanor Burke.

February started with a meeting with the producers of the local variety/talk show Cincinnality for Wump Mucket Puppets to make a possible television appearance.  A few good ideas were bounced around, yet sadly the program was canceled before anything was recorded.  We didn’t make it onto television this year, which is something that Coleman plans to change in 2014.

Cyril and Terrence Burke on the set of Cincinnality television show, February 5 2013.  Wump Mucket Puppets

Cyril and Terrence Burke on the set of Cincinnality television show, February 5 2013.

With the hope of the television appearance on the back burner, the puppet troupe kicked into gear for the public debut of our new puppet character Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua at Happen in Northside on February 16th.  What a night!  What a crowd!

Here’s a video clip from the show:

Keeping things rocking and rolling, the puppets (and their puppeteer) where interviewed on the Ted Clark After Dark show at the rock club MOTR.  The audience were a bit older than our usual crowd, and may have been drinking something other than chocolate milk. Perhaps that explains their choice of words?  Still it was fun to bring our brand of silliness into a rock club, and Ted was a cool host.  Big thanks to fellow puppeteer Ryan Moore that night.

Enjoy Cyril singing “A Song About Cryptozoology”:

Valentine’s Day was a little over a week late at Wump Mucket Puppets H.Q.  It’s not that we forgot the date, it’s the news that was received on Tuesday February 26th…

Yes fans and friends, we had been awarded our first scholarship!  We were really going to the 2013 Puppeteers of America National Puppetry Festival!  Yipee!!!

Marching along into the end of Winter, the troupe performed at St. Boniface School in Northside.  We were part of the school’s Right to Read Week, and from what we’ve been told were  a big hit!  Here’s part of the kind thank you note we received from the children’s teacher:

Dear Mr. Burke, 

Thank you so much for bringing your Wump Mucket Puppets to St. Boniface.  We loved them!  We were even inspired by your program to make our own hand puppets.

It was around this time that I gave a bit of thought to my philosophy of puppetry, it’s very simple:  “Share the knowledge.  Spread the joy.”

We dodged a few rain showers in April to begin a very busy Spring.  The puppets entertained guests at the Voice For the Innocent/Connections: A Safe Place event at Sharon Woods.  And while the television cameras were looking elsewhere, the microphones at Cincinnati’s NPR affiliate, WVXU were on -inviting us into their studio three times over the year!  Here’s our April interview with host Jim Stump, as we talk about Cincinnati’s National Day of Puppetry:

Terrence Burke and Wump Mucket Puppets on WVXU-FM

Bob Abdou, Linda Mason, Terrence Burke at Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild's National Day of Puppetry celebration

Bob Abdou, Linda Mason, Terrence Burke at Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild’s National Day of Puppetry celebration, April 20 2013 at Happen, Inc.

The members of the Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild presented a fantastic National Day of Puppetry with help from our host Happen, Inc.  It was marvelous to see so many happy people interested in puppetry!  I was a very proud father that day. My daughter performed with me, and even up-staged me to get BIG laughs!  Way to go Eleanor!

Eleanor and Terrence Burke give a pre-show warm up.  Wump Mucket Puppets

Eleanor and Terrence Burke give a preshow warm up at Cincinnati’s National Day of Puppetry celebration 2013.

If you have never attended a National Day of Puppetry, here’s a short video made by puppeteer Bill Yost:

At the beginning of May, we pointed the Wump Mucket mobile towards Columbus Ohio.  I was invited to speak about puppetry at Entertainer’s Camp, organized by our pal Bob Abdou.  What is Entertainer’s Camp?  It’s a day long, low-key, networking event for members of the variety arts (clowns, magicians, jugglers, balloon artists, and even puppeteers).

Terrence performs

Terrence performs “Dancing Queen” with Frank Cesario Entertainer’s Camp 2013

It was great to hang out with puppeteer pals and talk about…puppets!

Frank Cesario, Nate Brown, Terrence Burke at Entertainer's Camp 2013

Frank Cesario, Nate Brown, Terrence Burke at Entertainer’s Camp 2013

Best of all,  the end of day pie fight was a SMASHING success!

Terrence getting a pie in the face!  Entertainer's Camp 2013

Terrence getting a pie in the face! Entertainer’s Camp 2013.

Terrence Burke at Entertainer's Camp 2013

Who wants pie?!?

Then our Summer schedule blasted off like a rocket on it’s way to Mars!  It seemed like we were everywhere, well we were!  Libraries, schools, festivals,  there was no stopping our mighty little puppet troupe.  Somewhere we even found the time to give another chat, this time for the Cincinnati Women’s Connection.  It was during this speaking engagement that a member of the audience told me that my puppetry and love of using one’s imagination reminded her of one of my heroes, Fred Rogers.  I was flattered.

Terrence performs Cyril at the Cincinnati Women's Connection luncheon, July 18 2013.

Terrence performs Cyril at the Cincinnati Women’s Connection luncheon, July 18 2013.

August popped up quicker than you can say Puppetry Festival five times fast!  The car was loaded, the puppets safe in their cases, off to Swarthmore College we went.  We did make a stop along the way, Coleman gets hungry when traveling:


Now I won’t review an entire week, that’s been covered HERE.  However, I will repeat that attending the 2013 National Puppetry Festival was one of the happiest weeks in my life.  I was free to be my five year old self (more or less) for an entire week of nothing but puppets and puppeteers!  Will i be attending the 2015 festival?  You bet your Bert bedsheets I will!

Terrence Burke at 2013 National Puppetry Festival

Keep this puppeteer AWAY from sugary cereal!

Of course Cyril got into the spirit of the festival to perform during Potpourri:

We were even “heckled” by several Sesame Street puppeteers!

The Potpourri

The Potpourri “judges”:  Telly Monster, Grundgetta Grouch, and W. Performed by Martin Robinson, Pam Arciero, and Tyler Bunch. What’s in those cans?

As Autumn made it’s way to Cincinnati, the puppets and I kicked into festival season which brought us to the Edgewood Kentucky Fall Festival, CliftonFest, and a very special performance for our new pals at Saint Joseph Orphanage.  The big news for us was our new stage!

Wump Mucket Puppets perform in their new stage at Smale Riverfront Park

Wump Mucket Puppets perform in their new stage at Smale Riverfront Park, Cincinnati September 15 2013.

The stage was a planned project over 2013, and started late 2012 with the guidance and knowledge of California puppeteer Charles Taylor.  The construction of the stage was a team effort that included my neighbor, and fellow puppeteer, Jesse Mooney-Bullock.
Jesse opened his workshop to me and shared his woodcrafting skills as we constructed the stage together over a few Saturday mornings.

Wump Mucket Puppets stage being built at Bullooney PuppetWorks

Wump Mucket Puppets stage being built at Bullooney PuppetWorks, August 2013.

After I painted the frame, my wife Lara, and mother sewed the curtains for the new stage.

Sewing the curtains for the new Wump Mucket Puppets stage.

Sewing the curtains for the new Wump Mucket Puppets stage.

We had our share of troubles, yet in the end things were worked out and the new puppet stage made it’s debut performance at Smale Riverfront Park on Sunday September 15, 2013.  This was a very special show for me.  I was performing on the same stage as my friend Jesse, who had helped me so much with the stage over the summer.  I was also performing my show for my mother, who lives in New England and has never seen my puppetry -as an adult that is.

Backstage at Smale Riverfront Park

Backstage at Smale Riverfront Park. Looks like the puppeteer wants you to like his Facebook page.

Terrence Burke with the new Wump Mucket Puppets stage.

Terrence Burke with the new Wump Mucket Puppets stage.

Puppeteer with his Mum

Puppeteer with his Mum at Smale Riverfront Park.

As we rolled out the new puppet stage, we also stopped by WVXU again to chat about our trip to the Puppetry Festival and upcoming performances. Cyril considers this the best interview he has given, enjoy:

WVXU has been a fantastic friend to Wump Mucket Puppets.

WVXU has been a fantastic friend to Wump Mucket Puppets.

Here we are with WVXU’s Around Cincinnati host Robyn Carey-Allgeyer.

In puppetry you must be ready to improvise in a split second.  Sometimes this means changing the show a little to engage the audience, sometimes it means packing all your staging and sound equipment away when the weather suddenly changes!  Our second performance at CliftonFest 2013 was in danger of being canceled due to the rain.  What could we do?  There were children waiting for a silly puppet show, I had puppets…  it’s showtime!

Wump Mucket Puppets perform a very odd version of Cinderella (in the rain) at CliftonFest 2013.

Eleanor warms up the audience with Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua at Northside Farmers Market.

At our final outdoor show of 2013. Eleanor warms up the audience with Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua at Northside Farmers Market.

With our outdoor shows finished for the year, we began to wind down and  prepare songs and skits for our silly holiday shows.  I have always loved watching the television Christmas specials such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Year Without a Santa Claus, and love to perform my puppetry at Christmas time.  This year I donated a performance to another of our non-profit friends, United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Cincinnati.  The clients are a lovely audience, and always have kind words about my puppet show.

Terrence and Coleman the Sasquatch are in a mood for Christmas shows.

Terrence and Coleman the Sasquatch are in a mood for Christmas shows.

But wait, there is something very special that arrived in today’s mail -speedy delivery:

And there is is, more or less,  Wump Mucket Puppets had their busiest year ever!  We thank all our clients, audience members, fellow puppeteers, friends in the media, neighbors, friends, and family.  YOU are the reason I do my very best to create a family friendly puppet show that I would want to see with my children.  Thank you for your interest and allowing me to share my puppetry with you.  Puppets ROCK!

 

 

Thanksgiving Special

I hope that all my puppetry fans and friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  My family and I watched the Macy’s parade on television (where was  the Underdog balloon?), shared a delicious meal together, took a walk around our neighborhood to the playground, and enjoyed each others company.

Cyril and his puppeteer, Terrence Burke

Cyril and his puppeteer, Terrence Burke

Later in the evening I performed my puppet show at the Ronald McDonald House near Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati.  I have been donating shows for the guests for two years now.  Every show I perform there is special. Why?  Because for thirty minutes or so I let the children and families forget about the reason they are staying at the Ronald McDonald House and share my imagination with them.  Nothing more.  Sharing my love of puppetry, singing a silly song, telling a goofy joke, having a bit of fun.

As I prepared to pack up the puppets and the stage, a noticed a young boy who was about four years old standing in the theatre with his parents.  I offered him one of our coloring pages to color.  He seemed rather shy, so I was sure to give him space.  Suddenly he perked up and asked to see “the blue puppet” (which is our “Monster of Ceremonies” Cyril).  The boy began to open up to Cyril, ignoring that I was operating and voicing the puppet.  He asked Cyril many questions about his purple beard, where does his voice come from, and how does he pop up from the puppet stage.  All along his father was snapping photos of his son interacting with the puppet.  It was a wonderful moment for me.  This is why I am a puppeteer.  I brought magic to this young boy’s life for half an hour.

When the gear was all packed up and ready to be loaded, I passed the reception desk to have one of the volunteers tell me she overheard many of the children exit the theatre saying, “That was an awesome puppet show!”.  She thanked me for spending my Thanksgiving evening entertaining the children and guests and asked if I would come back again.  You bet I will!

This made my Thanksgiving special.

Thoughts of Boston

Boston skyline

It is never easy to deal with headlines these days.  It is even harder when it’s about someone you may know, or a place you are familiar with.  Especially when it’s your hometown.  I was born in Boston, grew up in the suburbs, then moved back to the city as a young man.

The tragic events at the Boston Marathon this week, the people who have lost their lives, or have been seriously injured, have all been in my thoughts.  I have difficulty understanding the reasoning for inflicting such pain, especially during a sporting event that brings pride to the city of Boston.  Why did this happen?

How does this tie in with my puppetry?  Boston is a part of me, I am a part of that city.  My childhood memories of attending a puppetry festival in Boston with my father, or watching classic Boston kid’s TV shows “Boomtown” and “Major Mudd” are certainly a part of my inspiration to create fun puppet shows for families today.

Tomorrow the Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild will present our National Day of Puppetry celebration.  While puppeteers can not solve this horrible act of violence, we can offer something that our world could certainly use more of these days, and that is joy.

I hope that you will join us.

Flexitube ROCKS!

Wump Mucket Puppets loves the new Flexitube TV puppet show!

It’s been a very long time since I have been excited about watching something on television.  Nothing offered by the networks and cable channels seems worth my time.  However, through the magic of the internet we can watch television shows that are broadcast in other parts of the country!

When I learned that New York puppeteers Craig Marin and Olga Felgemacher of Flexitoon Puppet Theatre were creating a new television show “for children and other people” I was very excited.  The show is called Flexitube and it is FANTASTIC!  I felt like I was an eight year old boy again while I was watching the show on our computer with my daughter Eleanor and son Tiernan.  The jokes are funny, the music is catchy, and the puppetry is simply brilliant.  I loved all of the different styles of puppetry used in the show, and the “winks” to famous TV puppet shows from yesteryear.  Bravo Craig & Olga and company!  Here’s a a Vlog that I made this morning with Eleanor and my puppet character Cyril:

You too can watch Flexitube when ever you wish, I think I’ll watch every Saturday morning, by clicking this link: Flexitube On Demand

Sharing Joy

On Tuesday evening I had the pleasure of performing for the guests at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati.  I am honored that the staff invited me to entertain the children and their families and share my love of puppetry with them for an hour of their day.

Wump Mucket Puppets stage at Ronald McDonald House Cincinnati

When I was a young boy I made a few trips to the hospital.  I remember that they can be very scary place for children.   As an toddler I found the open cellar door and rode my walker straight down the cellar stairs.  Luckily I can’t remember this.  My parents told me that I was cut up pretty bad.  As I grew up I had my share of stitches and other common childhood bangs & scrapes, nothing serious enough to stay in the hospital.  Our community is very fortunate to have the Ronald McDonald House available to families who’s children need special care.

Bulletin Board at Ronald McDonald House Cincinnati

The Bulletin Board at Ronald McDonald House with Wump Mucket Puppets photo.

Meeting with the children in the audience after the show was a very heart warming experience.  One little girl told me that she was going to make a sister for Cyril when she went home.  Several of the children let their imaginations wander and pretended to swim around the theatre with Cyril and his tail.  It was a magical moment that I will never forget.

Wump Mucket Puppets at Ronald McDonald House Cincinnati

After the puppets were packed into the Wump Mucket mobile, I took a tour of the Ronald McDonald House with volunteers Rhiannon Jones and her grandmother (who’s been a RMHC volunteer for over 10 years!).  What an amazing place it is!  Not only do they have a children’s theatre that is perfect for a puppet show (and swimming with sea serpents), but there is a library, large lounges to relax or read in, a game room, and guest rooms for the families staying there.  Everyone who volunteers, donates, and helps in what ever way that they can are “fab-tastic” people!  Thanks again to the guests and staff for allowing me the opportunity to share my talents with you.

June is going to be H-O-T!

At last, a bit of time to update our friends and fans before we start our BUSIEST month yet!  Wump Mucket Puppets will be performing 6 shows during the month of June 2012, and we couldn’t be happier.  Well Coleman is a little cranky, and has asked for a second air conditioner for his trailer,  maybe next year “furry guy”.

First a little recap of our May shows!  Free Comic Book Day at Maverick’s Comics in Finneytown was a BLAST!  Thanks to all our super-fans who came to the show to hear Coleman “sing” the Batman theme song.  WHAT!  You missed this historic performance?  Fear not good citizens, we have been asked to return for Free Comic Book Day 2013!  So mark your calendar right now for Saturday May 4th 2013!  Ka-Pow!

Coleman in a pile of Wump Mucket Puppets mini-comics issue 1

Speaking of comics, we are nearly out of the first printing of issue number 1 of our very own mini-comic.  If you would like a copy for your comic collection, send us a message from our contact page.  We’ll let you know how to get a FREE copy.  The comic has been so well received by our fans, issue 2 is in the works.  It tells the soon to be legendary tale of how a certain Sea Serpent and a Sasquatch first met!

While we are on the subject of art,  Wump Mucket Puppets very first fan (really gang she’s been here since the start!) Eleanor Burke (age 7 1/2) has created the concept for our special Summerfair Cincinnati coloring page.  She has been watching her daddy draw his puppets and came up with this very cool (and colored!) piece of artwork!

Art is Fun! by Eleanor Burke

Come see our show at Summerfair Cincinnati  on Sunday June 3rd at 12 noon for a coloring page version of this original piece that is now part of the Wump Mucket Puppets art archives.

Our May performance at Julian’s Deli in Loveland was lots of fun and we had a ball meeting new friends and fans.  We hope that you’ll come see us there on July 15th at 2 PM.  Performing in the city of the legendary Loveland Frog has inspired the “puppet construction department” to begin sketching ideas for a new puppet character to join our little troupe.  What would YOU name a strange frog-like creature?  Ribit!

Finally, work on the video starring G’Wazzl for our artist pal Andy Finkle is making progress!  We think that you will really get a chuckle out of this one and we’ll upload it as soon as it’s finished.

Cyril says PUPPETS ROCK!  We hope to see you in June!

Bringing a Burke Family Christmas story back to life

This year’s Holiday Sing-A-Long puppet show will be very special.  I will be including a story that I am re-writing from a childhood memory.  The story that the Wump Mucket Puppets will be telling is titled “Billy the Christmas Moose”.  It was originally told by my late father Denis Burke to my brothers and sisters in the early 1970’s.  I think that my dad made up the story as he went along, he was a great improvisor.  He illustrated the tale on our kitchen blackboard to help us visualize the characters in his story.

Burke Children Christmas in the early 70's

(L-R) Terrence, Susan, Chris, Andy and Santa

The trouble is, all I can remember is the title and a picture of a young moose looking up into the winter sky.  When I first thought about sharing this part of my childhood with my audience, I asked my siblings if they could remember anything about the story.  Sadly, no one could.  So I found myself creating a family Christmas story that already had a title, but no story for my puppets to tell.  After reading  a bit of the tale to my children and wife, I’d say that I am on the right track.  I hope that you will join us to hear my version of “Billy the Christmas Moose” on Thursday, December 22nd at Sidewinder Coffee & Tea at 2 PM.