Everyone loves puppets. They may not breathe, move on their own—or even be alive, for that matter—but they can make both children and adults alike smile as they dance on strings. Wise Fool New Mexico, known for its whimsical performances, is having a four-weekend in March dedicated to these strange creations.
Puppet Tales includes puppetry, music, folktales and circus performances for youth and adults alike. Yes, adults are invited and may even have more fun than their younger counterparts! “Puppet shows let adults transcend what is real, and suspend your disbelief for just a little while,” Amy Christian, co-founder of Wise Fool, tells SFR. (In an interview for puppetshowplace.org, Carl Weiting was asked why adults should attend these puppet slams and the answer was comical. “Because the Internet can't heckle you back,” and “Because where else can you see 4,083 uses for felt & the common coat hanger?” were just two of his answers, as far as why adults should go see a puppet show.)This event takes place annually, and this year will be held at the Santa Fe Wise Fool Studios on Saturdays and at the Peñasco Theater on Sundays (times, dates and addresses below).
Wise Fool's puppets range from tiny, hand-held creations to creatures 10 feet tall. This weekend a presentation explains all about verities of puppets and masks, then after you have a look at what kinds of puppets are out there, you may feel the uncontrollable urge to make a puppet. Luckily, there is also a workshop on puppet building.
Wise Fool was founded in 1989 in San Francisco, and its members started by making giant street performance puppets. Soon, however, the urban bustle was burning out the collective, and soon enough, two of the original members of Wise Fool ended up in Santa Fe. Around the time that they moved to New Mexico, the puppet focus shifted and they entered an era of circus performance, for which the troupe is still very popular—but these last few years have marked the return of the puppets.
This weekend, March 6 and 7, is a Look Inside Show, which consists of a lecture on puppets and masks, a hands-on puppet creation workshop and then a movie screening of Handmade Puppet Dreams in the evening. The whole first weekend is dedicated to being hands-on and fun for the younger attendees of the event.
Looking into the future, Puppet Tales continues on every weekend in March with a variety of shows, workshops and activities. The last weekend, March 27 and 28, features a Puppet Slam. The "Puppet Slam" circuit is part of a national network, which consists puppet shows focused toward adults all over the country. A Puppet Slam is kind of like a variety show, only a number of the acts happen to include...well...puppets. The mini-plays can be funny, satirical, political, poignant, dramatic, musical, or any other variety of adjectives.
This is the third year of Puppet Tales, so if you need a break from the everyday troubles of being a grown up, don't wait another 12 months. Find your way over to Wise Fool and get your puppet fix.
Look Inside Show: 4 and 6:30 pm Saturday, March 6 at Wise Fool Santa Fe
2 pm Sunday, March 7 at the Peñasco Theater
Puppet-making workshop: 5-6 pm Saturday, March 6 at Wise Fool Santa Fe
5-6 pm Sunday, March 7 at the Peñasco Theater
Screening of Handmade Puppet Dreams: 7:15 pm Saturday, March 6 at Wise Fool Santa Fe
7:15 pm Sunday, March 7 at the Peñasco Theater
Events continue through March 28
$5-$8 at Santa Fe studio
Free at Peñasco Theater
Wise Fool Studios
2778 Agua Fria Road
The Peñasco Theater
15046 Hwy. 75, Peñasco