Puppet Series @ The Cherry

We produce an annual series of puppet shows for families.  Shows are the first Saturday of every month at 10:30 am at The Cherry Artspace (102 Cherry St., Ithaca NY). Special events may be in other locations. The series runs from September through June.  Here is the schedule for 2022 -23. Tickets are $12 Adult, $8 ages 3-18, < 2 free. Tickets are free for participants of the Big Brother Big Sister program. Half priced tickets for anyone with an EBT card (or equivalent). 

*Some shows have free workshops afterwards – these are free and open to anyone, even if you did not get a ticket to the show.*


June 8 2024 – Scribouillis – SPECIAL GUEST from Montreal!

**Two show times at Community School of Music and Art! 10:30am & 7pm**

Mimi, a playful and curious little girl, is drawing.  Suddenly her drawing comes to life! It’s a Scribouillis, an impulsive, greedy creature that metamorphoses before our very eyes. The child and her creature befriend each other and invent games, but when the Scribouillis is about to eat Mimi’s blankie it’s not so much fun anymore… If it’s important to learn to share, it’s also important to learn to recognise and express one’s limits.

Scribouillis is a tribute to children’s imagination and their ability to give life to the inanimate, just as Mimi knows how to give life to her drawing and a puppeteer gives life to her puppet. Scribouillis is an imperfect creature who is the embodiment of Mimi’s scribble, and the story is, in essence, an ode to creation and the art of puppetry.

Crédit photo: Alain Lefort 2019

Sept 7 2024 – The Baffo Box Show! – Modern Times Theater

The Baffo Box Show: A Compact Cardboard Comedy is performed in a one-of-a-kind suit-stage, this show packs classic hand puppetry, Dadaist ventriloquism, and stand-up comedy into a cardboard box and delivers it, with impeccable timing, live on stage.

Inside the box are the Baffos – two slapstick chaps who keep the sun, moon and everything else running on schedule. From the moment the lid opens, audiences are captivated as the Baffos juggle and dance their way through the day’s chores, despite the undeniable evidence that their world is changing.

A daring work of puppetry and object manipulation, full of beautiful images, junk music sonatas, and Modern Times Theater’s unique brand of all ages comedy. This re-envisioning of classic hand puppet forms is digital entertainment as it was meant to be: two hands, ten fingers, and no camera tricks. Puppeteered by Justin Lander and directed by Rose Friedman, The Baffo Box Show was supported by a 2022 Family Grant from the Jim Henson Foundation.

Modern Times Theater has been making and touring puppet shows and variety acts, and creating public community events since 2007. They pursue a radically divergent model of art making, creating venues in unlikely locations, and revitalizing the historic, run-down, and defunct. Working in populist theater forms, they seek to reinvent and reimagine classic American entertainment. Co-founders Rose Friedman and Justin Lander are a husband and wife duo, producers for Vermont Vaudeville and alumni of the Bread and Puppet Theater.

This series was made possible by a grant from NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (A Statewide Theatre Regrant Program)

Previous shows:

May 4 2024 – The Hungry Troll by Marina Gershon & Isaac Sharp

Did you know that most trolls are very nice? Except when they get too hungry! If Trudy the Troll doesn’t make her magical pancakes she’ll turn into a monster. Dragons, hot air balloons, a magical pantry and more in this brand new puppet musical adventure! Live music, original songs, lots of surprises.

April 6 2024 – The Chicken Show – performed by A Couple of Puppets

Henrietta, the singing chicken longs to be a star on Broadway but the Mean Ol’ Farmer is going to put her in a stew if she doesn’t produce an egg by morning. Find out how Henrietta, with the help of her friends learns to believe in herself to make her dreams come true.

Special guest artist, Liz Joyce from A Couple of Puppets is coming to town! She’s a master puppeteer and winner of an UNIMA citation, the highest award in American Puppetry! Written, created and performed by Liz Joyce & A Couple of Puppets. Directed by Terry Snyder. Music by Ken Hopson & Liz Joyce

March 2 2024 – Cardboard Explosion – by Paper Heart Puppets

“Cardboard Explosion!” brings four original stories to life using nothing but cardboard and the power of your imagination. With help from the audience, puppeteer Brad Shur transforms simple cardboard shapes into elaborate puppet characters, then brings them to life right before your eyes. Get ready to outsmart dragons, choose-your-own superpower, and train adorable animal sidekicks in this fun, energetic, participatory show. Best for 5+

December 7-17 2023 – Silly for the Holidays – by LilySilly Puppets

Aunt Irene and Wanda the Wizard open up the show with this silly holiday-themed puppet short. Meet Irene’s new toy – Yeti on the Rocks. He’s not abominable, he’s adorable! Then stay on to see Peter and the Wolf – a collaboration of The Cherry and Circus Culture. Music, circus, puppets…what more can there be?

November 4 2023 – Alfonso’s Miniature Orchestra – by LilySilly Puppets

Alfonso lives with his grandmother in Southern Spain and isn’t allowed to study music. When he falls in love with the guitar, his only help comes from flamenco-dancing Rosita who teaches him the secrets of the instrument. A great intro to classical music for kids. Live music by classically trained guitarist Matthew Ocone. Featuring music from Spanish Masters, including Grenados, Albeniz and Tárrega.

October 7 2023 – Wanda & the 3 Potions – by LilySilly Puppets

Wanda the Wizard has always been very helpful on the set of Aunt Irene’s variety show, but her new potions are making a magical mess. See the singing Ms. Lips, the Eye Monster, the Opera Cat and more! Live music by Matthew Ocone.

September 16th, 10:30 am – Magnificent Monster Circus – with CactusHead Puppets

Come one, come all, to a circus like no other! Encounter magnificent creatures from the wilds of your imagination as their quirky human caretaker tries to teach them new tricks. Kids can lend a hand to Eustice the Unicycling Unimonster, make friends with a Fiery Fanged Worm, cheer for Agnes the many-legged Acropod, and more! This colorful, silly, multi-sensory show full of friendly monsters is a perfect match for young audiences.

June 3rd, 10:30 am – Shadow Puppet Party – with LilySilly Puppets

CactusHead Puppets was started in 2010 by married couple John and Megan Regan. Known for their playful performance style and exuberant creativity, CactusHead tours throughout the Northeast with fun shows and workshops for all ages. They are a Resident Touring Company with Puppet Showplace Theater, and  Megan and John are both graduates of the University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts program. They also host the annual Paper City Puppet Slam in Holyoke, MA. Megan is originally from the Kansas City area, where she worked with Paul Mesner Puppets, now known as What If Puppets. John is from western Massachusetts, and is honored to be performing in the same venues where he saw puppet shows growing up. 

Hear the tale of the Cabbage Girl, see the dancing Robot Ballet and follow Goldilocks and the 3 ALIENS in this dynamic collection of short shadow puppet shows. Get a glimpse into how shadow puppets work with Lily and Matt after the performance.

May 6th 10:30 am – Sock Monkey Circus – performed by Honey Goodenough

Sock Monkey Circus is a full circus performed in miniature! This performance features the magical talents of the host “Funny Honey” and her clever monkeys, who are trained to juggle, dance, and swing on a flying trapeze! All this while traveling in their very own circus train car that converts into a miniature stage. These silly monkeys continually outsmart our host, all while performing a variety of circus routines. Everyone is welcome to monkey around with the Sock Monkey Circus! 

Recommended for ages 3 and up. Length: 40 minutes.  Photo credit: Kirk Marsh.

April 1, 2023- Aunt Irene’s Variety show & ***WORKSHOP!*** – by Lily Silly Puppets @ The Cherry (102 Cherry St. Ithaca)

A puppet show for all ages, Aunt Irene’s show is filled with music and fantastic variety acts. See the singing Madam Sloth, the mysterious Linked Lizard, the Opera Cat and Wanda the Wizard. Things seem to go awry as a needy witch casts spells to compete with acts and musical numbers. Live music by guitarist Matthew Ocone. Songs in a variety of languages and a look backstage after the show!

****After this show there will be a FREE workshop! Everyone can make their own fabric hand puppet to take home. All materials provided. (We will be using hot glue.)***

March 4, 2023- Crankies for Kids! performed by Marina Gershon & Isaac Sharp @ The Cherry (102 Cherry St. Ithaca)

Crankies are scrolling stories told with puppets and music! Two fun stories: The Tale of the Snail – A snail has a dream of being more quirky, so starts on a journey mysterious and murky. Meeting a whale, a spider and a fish, to try to make true his most special wish. And The Biggest Beet – a fairy tale about animals and a very stubborn beet! With silly original songs. Live music from classically trained guitarist Isaac Sharp. Best for ages 4+.

November 5 2022 – Little Red Ridinghood – performed by A Couple of Puppets

Children squeal with delight throughout this traditional tale with a twist. Find out what happens when Little Red gets mixed up with Porquoi the pig who is in the wrong story. Complete with changing scenery, music and charming hand puppets, this show will have audiences ratting on the wolf and cheering Little Red to safety. Show is 30 minutes. Best for ages 2-7.

Special guest artist, Liz Joyce from A Couple of Puppets is coming to town! She’s a master puppeteer and winner of an UNIMA citation, the highest award in American Puppetry!

October 1 2022 – Stewie’s Magic Hat – performed by GoodHearted Entertainment

The time has come for Stewie to follow his family’s tradition and find a job with a very important hat! His Grandmother announces that he will become an apprentice to the Great Garbanzo, a highly accomplished wizard! Will he master these magical tasks to earn his magic hat? Will he make his family proud? The story unfolds with magical messes, musical dragons, and many more amusements to help Stewie find the hat that fits him best! Best for ages: 4+

Photo credits: CRG Photography

June 4th, 10:30 am – I LOVE TACOS – performed by Brad Shur of Paperheart Puppets @ The Cherry

There is joy in the world, and it comes wrapped in a tortilla!
Join White Nosed Coati and a cast of amazing Mexican wildlife in three original stories celebrating tacos and the place they were created. Each story is packed with exuberant humor, and colorful characters. So get ready for magical Quetzal birds, taco monsters and the mystery of the volcano rabbit and his ultimate salsa!

Thursday, April 21 @ 4pm SPECIAL EVENT: The Monkey and the Pirate Puppet show from the Great Arizona Puppet Theater!

Ahoy mateys! This original story about a monkey, a pirate and a valuable banana treasure is performed with traditional hand puppets in a beautiful hand painted oceanside puppet stage. Filled with lots of rambunctious antics and monkey silliness this show is sure to delight all your buccaneers! Guest artists Great Arizona Puppet Theater! Make a paper puppet after the show.

SPECIAL EVENT: Sunday, March 20th 2022 12:30pm – Aunt Irene’s Variety Show & Special Guest Baroque Ballerina – performed by LilySilly Puppets and Julia Bengtsson ***FREE dance workshop after the show!*** This show is at a different LOCATION – CSMA Community School of Music & Arts (330 E State St, 3rd floor)

See a singing sloth, the Opera Cat, and Wanda the Wizard in this puppet variety show. Things seem to go awry as a needy witch casts spells to compete with Aunt Irene’s cast. Special guest Baroque Ballerina, Julia Bengtsson from The New York Baroque Dance Company will perform and lead a dance workshop for kids after the show.  Live music by classically trained Matthew Ocone on guitar and Bill Hurley on violin. The show is about 30 minutes, with a short peek backstage afterwards and the dance workshop immediately after. Limited Seating!

September 2021 – Milo the Magnificent SOLD OUT performed by Alex & Olmsted

Photo by Alex Griffin

Milo the Magnificentis a highly engaging puppet show about an aspiring magician. This wordless comedy, inspired by turn of the century vaudeville entertainers, is as highly physical as it is charming. Using stunningly innovative puppetry, Milo presents a variety of magic tricks which don’t always go as planned. Great for all ages!

40 minutes. Wordless. No Intermission.​​ All ages. Photo by Alex Griffin

October 5th- The 3 Little Pigs– performed by Liz Joyce.

In this version of the classic tale, BB (a reformed wolf with allergies), sells real estate to the new pigs in town. This puppet show features hand-carved marionettes, musical numbers and lots of laughs. All ages!

June 13th 2020 – CANCELLED – The Hoboken Chicken Emergency – performed by Magic Garden Puppets *This is the 2nd Saturday of the month!*

*FREE Workshop after the show – Make a simple Marionette! 11:30am*

Based on Daniel Pinkwater’s book, The Hoboken Chicken Emergency is about a little boy and his 266 pound chicken, Henrietta. When the chicken gets loose, ruffling the feathers of the citizens of Hoboken, there’s only one way to save the day! Live music! Marionettes! A Giant Chicken! More TBA!