Friday, December 30, 2011

PSN January 2012 Directory

     Our latest Directory updated in January includes basic contact information on active puppet slams. If you are an audience, find puppet slams in your area. If you are a slam curator,  talk to other curators to find nearby acts that can tour. If you are a performer, use the Directory to find curators to pitch your show to.

You may download the Slam Directory  as PDF or as Excell

Friday, December 23, 2011

Contribute to our Calendar

     If you are having an upcoming Puppet Slam or Cabaret, please contribute to our monthly Puppet Slam Calendar. Each month, we put out a calendar with basic information on Puppet Slams happening that month and also a brief look ahead into the year. Our calendar is sent via direct email to around 3,000 people (and growing). We also repost and retweet this information on social networks, blogs and through community distribution lists. 

     To collect information efficiently and create accurate copy for the month, we ask that you email your  Submissions generally 1 week before the month of the event. We also ask that you update future events and let us know of any changes, postponements, or cancellations as soon as possible before the Submission Deadline. All Puppet Slams who have received a slam grant are required to send in Calendar Submissions.
Please email back to  by the following dates (Note: Do not try to submit through Google Docs):

For Slams happening in:
Submissions due no later than:
January 2012
Monday, December 19th, 2011
February 2012
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
March 2012
Thursday, February 23, 2012

April 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
May 2012
Tuesday, April 24th, 2012
June 2012
Friday, May 25th, 2012
July 2012
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
August 2012
Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
September 2012
Friday, August 24th, 2012
October 2012
Monday, September 24th, 2012
November 2012
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
December 2012
Monday, November 19th, 2012

Thursday, December 22, 2011

January 2012: The Slampocalypse will not be televised!

Warm up your Winter Woes and kick off the New Year with a puppet slam or cabaret! Whether you see 2012 as The End, or a new beginning, one thing is certain: The Slampocalypse will not be televised! (unless of course you know of an affordable documentary film crew with a soft spot for performing objects)

New Year Slam #Phoenix
Friday, January 6th at 8:00PM
Saturday, January 7th at 8:00PM

Great Arizona Puppet Theater
302 W. Latham Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
(602) 262-2050
Facebook: Adult Puppet Slam
$8 Advance/ $10 Door

Arizona's quirkiest, edgiest puppeteers come together for some raunchy fun! Independent performers do short pieces, which are usually funny and always adult! Puppet Slam nights at the Great Arizona Puppet Theater are for guests 18+.

Puppet Slamwich #Baltimore
Saturday, January 14th at 7:00PM & 9:30PM

Black Cherry Puppet Theater
1115 Hollins Street
Baltimore, MD 21223

Pepito the Clown hosts performers from New Jersey, Brooklyn and Baltimore, including marionettes by Princeton Puppet People, worm songs by Laure Drogoul, a preview of Black Cherry’s new show, and captivating performances by Eric Avery & the Ragdoll Engine Collective.

The Fussy Cloud Puppet Slam #Seattle
Saturday January 14th at 8:00PM
Theater Off Jackson (Upstairs Gallery)
409 7th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 340-1049

Dreary as it is during Seattle's long Winter, we're drumming up a second edition of The Fussy Cloud Puppet Slam.  Gavin Cummins and Rachel Jackson return along with Elizabeth Westermann, Jenelle Weidlich, Beau Bond, and more!  

Blood from a Turnip #Providence
Friday, January 20th at 10:00PM
95 Empire Performance Collective
95 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 831-9327
Since the day Blood from a Turnip began in February of 1997, BfaT, as the salon is affectionately called, has offered professional puppeteers and those new to the art form an opportunity to present big stories, in miniature.

Puppet Showplace #Brookline
Saturday January 21st at 8:00PM

Puppet Showplace Theatre
32 Station Street
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 731-6400

It’s never too cold for puppets!  January’s Puppet Slam features live music and a new gender-bending puppet performance by Elephant Tango Ensemble, the magnificent Liz Joyce, and more!

UConn Puppet Slam #Storrs
Saturday, January 21st at 8:00PM

Studio Theater, University of Connecticut Department of Dramatic Arts
802 Bolton Road
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-1127
(860) 486-4025

See exciting and innovative works for puppets and objects by professional puppeteers from the Northeast, as well as new productions by students from UConn’s Puppet Arts Program

Puppet Playlist #NYC
Monday, January 23rd at 8:00PM
Tuesday, January 24th at 7:30PM & 9:30PM

The Kraine Theater
84 E. 4th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-6088
New York’s only all-original puppet slam returns. This month’s theme, by popular demand: The Beach Boys, featuring brand-new works of puppetry & musical interpretations by some of New York’s most exciting singer-songwriters!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Great Small Works Spaghetti Dinner - Occupy The New Year!


Occupy The New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011, 8pm
Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South, NYC
$15 suggested donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)
info: 917-319-8104


Little Did Productions
director/lead puppet designer & builder: Jessica Lorence
performers/builders/designers: Emily Norton, Luke Santy, Sarah Whalen

a toy theater video by Dr. Kate Sorensen, Niknaz Tavakolian, & Killer Sideburns

projections, music, and dance from Montreal by Zuzu Knew (Design), Julia Thomas (Choreography) & Tyr Jami (Sound), and...

Tyr Jami, manipulated cello, samples, voice & Zuzu Knew, layered overhead projections, re-interpreted traditional Icelandic folk songs, psychedelic-pop and recordings of the sister team's Icelandic great-grandmother, with analogue projections


the Occupy Wall Street Puppetry Guild with a holiday tale featuring Mayor Michael Bloomscrooge and the ghosts of Occupations Past, Present, and Future performed by members of OWS Arts & Culture

light & sound installation by Kenny Wolleson & friends


music for dancing by Jessica Lurie and friends!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Occupy Kabaret Street - Puppetry joins the Occupy Movement

At this point, most people are probably familiar with the Occupy movement. It started in September with Occupy Wall Street in New York City and has spread to hundreds of cities throughout the world. Arts and Culture committees are common in many of the occupation sites with art projects helping to build community, beautify spaces, enliven actions, and illustrate hopes and visions. And now PSN's favorite artform is also starting to make a regular appearance: puppets are increasingly joining the movement!

In this blog post I will be focusing on just one puppetry project, a cabaret, organized by Puppet Underground for Occupy K Street in Washington, DC. But puppetry is starting to blossom in other occupations, perhaps most notably in New York City with the Occupy Wall Street Puppetry Guild who formed in October and helped organize the Occupy Halloween parade. The Puppet Underground cabaret, “Occupy Kabaret Street”, was organized in coordination with local organizers and activists to support an action—the occupation of a vacant building—planned for November.

The Context:
On November 19th, DC activists identying themselves as Free Franklin occupied the Franklin School building, a publicly owned building in downtown DC that has been vacant for years. From 2002-2008 it housed a homeless shelter but that was shuttered as part of the trend in the last decade to cut homeless services and push shelters to remote areas on the fringes of the city.

Enter the Activists:
With national attention focused on the concerns highlighted by the Occupy camps, local activists and organizers decided to draw some of that attention toward the local issue of how public property is regularly misused and sold to private developers while there continues to be a severe shortage of affordable housing and homeless services. In recent years the city government has been trying to sell off the Franklin School building to private developers (one proposal was to turn it into a boutique hotel). It was an occupation in 2002 that originally pushed the city to open Franklin as a homeless shelter, so it seemed appropriate that another occupation would serve to highlight the potential public uses of the space.

The Cabaret:
The goals of the cabaret were layered: to introduce new people to Occupy K Street, to educate Occupy K Street activists about social movement history in the area, to creatively provide the story (and local significance) of the Franklin School building, and to provide witnesses to its occupation. (Up until the end of the cabaret, no one had any idea the school had been re-occupied.)

The cabaret was organized like a walking tour: sites related to social movement history were chosen and the shows were set up at each of those sites. Musicians played while the audience was led from one site to the next and activists presented the history of the site at each new location. The final location was in front of the Franklin School and hosted a show about the history of the building. At a dramatically timed moment toward the end of the show, a forty foot banner reading “Public Property Under Community Control” dropped from Franklin’s roof and the show ended with the announcement that Franklin was now occupied. A statement from the occupiers was read and an after-party commenced with pie-eating (OccuPie!) and music to support the activists inside the building.

The Performances:
The Bread and Puppet Theater performed two short shows. Local puppet group The Shadow Senators offered a tribute to Joe Hill. Music was provided by rock band Ugly Purple Sweater and Mexican folk music band Son Cosita Seria. Poetry was read by Zein ElAmine and a monologue was performed by political performance artist Quique Aviles. Puppet Underground ended the cabaret with the show about the history of Franklin School.

Follow Up:
The Franklin School building occupation garnered significant local and national press attention (with several international stories published about it as well). It successfully put the issue of the loss of public property and cuts to homeless services back in the spotlight. Two days after the action a community meeting was held to discuss publicly what longtime community members would want to see happen with the Franklin building. Currently activists and artists are continuing to plan how to use their momentum to support affordable housing campaigns, to broaden public engagement in the issues, and to follow up with communities about their ideas for reclaiming and repurposing their vacant public property.


PBS News Hour’s interactive tour of the cabaret (capturing pictures, video, sounds and stories from the route):

Video of the banner drop and Free Franklin’s statement:

Huffington Post article describing the arrests of the activists: