There is no one way to become or to be a puppeteer. In my native Poland, a puppeteer is usually an actor trained at a Theatre Academy in live acting, acting with a number of kinds of puppets and in other performing skills. In the United States, professional puppetry artists come from many walks of life, and various professional disciplines. They study or work as actors or fine art artists, writers or teachers; they come from the circus or the world of music; they study at universities, and they hone their skills apprenticing at professional theaters and learning from masters from all around the world. As much as there is no one form of puppetry art, there is no one way for this practice to relate to and with society and the environment. Every puppetry company creates not only its repertoire and other programming features but also chooses a business model and organizational structure, to define or find, create and develop its own place in society.
I had twenty years of study and professional theatrical and puppetry experience in Poland, but after arriving on Cape Cod in 2001, I had to find new ways to practice a puppetry. Dream Tale Puppets was founded in 2003 as a branch program of the Cape Cod Children’s Museum, one of my visa sponsors. Today John Wesley United Methodist Church in Falmouth provides us with studio, rehearsals and performing space. Friends, Laura Opie and Gail and Eric Stewart, give a home to our many puppets, sets, technical equipment, and materials for our next projects.
Dream Tale Puppets produces and performs puppet shows with the goal of providing high quality theatrical experiences to our audiences. We use diverse puppetry techniques, masks, and live acting. Each production generates its own creative process; each develops its own theatrical and visual language. In some projects, we begin by writing a play, often adapting fairy tales or children’s literature; in other projects, as in our present production, the script emerges during the rehearsals.
We also bring shows by puppetry artists from beyond the bridge and the state border to Falmouth, with the goal of giving Cape Cod children and families easy and frequent access to this wonderful art.
In cooperation with Cape Cod cultural organizations, we produce and conduct workshops and other educational and artistic projects for children and adults. Designing, building, and acting with puppets, creating puppet stages, and inventing stories, dialogs and characters offers a joyous opportunity to develop creative and social skills. Our projects can be adapted to a variety of educational, recreational and other needs and goals.
Dream Tale Puppets’ actors live on Cape Cod, in the Greater Boston Area, and in NYC. We tour, but Cape Cod is our home base; most of us live here, and we develop most of our new projects here. Each of our projects is a new adventure; we practice a variety of creative approaches, so Dream Tale Puppets takes many forms–and offers many ways to be involved. Each project has its own ensemble, which transforms and grows. Shows, which stay in our repertoire for years, are often open for new actors to join.
If you are interested in seeing more puppetry programs on the Cape, please join our emailing list. Please tell your friends about this event and upcoming programs. Check our website and follow us on social media. If you would like to be a part of developing puppetry on Cape Cod, please let us know. There are many ways to contribute, from ushering and holding box office duties, preparing venues, posting posters or information online to helping with editing texts or building puppets. If you are interested in learning acting, acting with puppets, or voice acting, let us know. We have actors in training program, and we will be happy to find a place for you. It is exciting to imagine what we could do together.