A New York State Start to the 2011 Tour
We’re 10 days and 11 shows into a 107 show tour of North America with The Man Who Planted Trees that takes us through till June.
Our first shows in Albany, NY were our last chance to say “our last gig before this was at the Sydney Opera House”. You might not believe this, having not read anything about it here but look – here’s reliable evidence:
So, Albany also has a distinctive performance space with iconic architectural features – Steamer Number 10 Theatre. Check out the quaint drawbridge … and the weather!
Because of the snow, many people who had booked tickets were unable to come which was a shame. But we were delighted to see folk who braved the knee-deep for a dose of warm French storytelling and evocations of the plains of Provence.
At Flushing Town Hall, as well as several performances, we took part in two workshops. One pre-show workshop for adults and children involved sock puppet making while the other was a masterclass with professional puppeteers from New York City. In a short time we saw some brilliant work and look forward to keeping in touch with people so we can see more from them in the future.
While not far from Manhattan, we only had the briefest chance to get a hit of the big city. However, we made it to the last night of Lily of the Conservative Ladies by Glass Beads Theatre Ensemble starring our actor, writer, puppeteer friend Danna Call.
And as a bonus, in the subway at Times Square, our favourite Beatles tribute band The Meetles were performing to a crowd of smiling, twisting, shouting passengers happy to press pause on their busy journeys.
Occasionally after our shows we meet young folk who are particularly keen on theatre and puppetry and at The Tilles Center at Long Island University we were honoured to meet Madeline. Here she is with a fabulous puppet she made of herself. She and a friend are currently working on their own adaptation of The Man Who Planted Trees and we are hoping later to see a video of their piece.
Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center was a little gem of a venue, and one that attracts big names to perform in its beautiful intimate auditorium. We were sorry to near-miss Robert Cray, Garrison Keillor and Patti LuPone, among others.
We left Long Island by ferry and now we’re in Massachusets where our next shows are at the New Bedford Whaling Museum under the auspicious umbrella of the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center. We delighted to be hosted by Puppet State extended family, Scott and Chrissy, brother and sister-in-law of Ailie Cohen who designed and built most of the puppets and set. Their friend Don wrote this lovely preview for our Sunday show.
Our next stop is Winnipeg at Manitoba Theatre for Young People. You can see a list of all our tour dates here.
Meanwhile, you might like to visit The Man Who Planted Trees group on Facebook or go ahead and click ‘like’ on the Puppet State page.