The Washington Montessori School in New Preston is excited to announce its 14th Annual Puppetry Festival presented by Broome Street Hospitality, National Iron Bank, Sawing High Climbers and Stars Hollow Yarns. This year’s festival will feature shows on the first four Saturdays in February at 10:30 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $8 each or at www.washingtonmontessori.org/puppetshows/. (Children under 2 are free.)
“The puppetry festival is a fun tradition here at WMS,” said Jill Skilton, Director of Communications at Washington Montessori School. “The shows are a nice way for parents to spend time with their active children on those cold, winter mornings.” Each show is about an hour long and includes a ‘meet-and-greet’ with the puppets and performers. After each performance, children and their parents are invited to play in the WMS gymnasium.
The season will begin Saturday, February 1 with a 10:30 a.m. performance of “Sleeping Beauty” by Tanglewood Marionettes. The story begins in King Felix’s great hall with the celebration of Princess Aurora’s birth. The party goes awry when the wicked witch arrives and curses Princess Aurora. Will the curse come true? Will someone with a “true heart” appear? In this retelling, a painted story book opens to reveal each scene. Beautifully hand-crafted puppets are brought to life by a master puppeteer as the dramatic events unfold. “We are excited to kick off this year’s Puppetry Festival with Tanglewood Marionettes. They have been fan favorites for years,” said Ms. Skilton.
On Saturday, February 8, master shadow puppeteer Jim Napolitano will perform his original show “Shadows Around the World,” which explores the history of shadow puppetry and its development throughout the world. “Jim’s shows are extraordinary. They are funny and smart, and appeal to both children and adults,” said Ms. Skilton.
The season will continue Saturday, February 15 with a 10:30 a.m. performance of “A Woodland Cinderella” by award-winning puppeteer Deborah Costine. In this new version of the classic story, Cinderella is a fairy who lives with her stepmother and stepsister in an enormous old tree in the forest. The King of all woodland fairies wants his son to marry a fairy princess, but none can be found. So the King hosts a great ball and commands that every single fairy maiden in the land must attend. He knows the secret to identifying a true fairy princess!
The final show of the season will be Saturday, February 22 at 10:30 a.m. Charlotte Dore of Rosalita’s Puppets will perform her original show “Mary Puppets,” a modern take on the adventures of Mary, a British nanny with a carpet bag full of tricks, and her chimney-sweep friend named Burt. “Charlotte’s performances are always super fun and entertaining,” said Ms. Skilton. “She really connects with the audience and draws the children into being part of the performance. Children just love her.”
Washington Montessori School is located at 240 Litchfield Turnpike (Route 202) in New Preston, CT. For more information, please call 860.868.0551 or visit washingtonmontessori.org/puppetshows