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PuppetPalooza Brings Myriad Events to Santa Barbara

A Guide to Festival Happenings


3/1-3/4: Pacific Southwest Puppet Fest 2018 This festival will run concurrently with the S.B. International Puppet­Palooza festival. Workshops and other events will be held at held at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort and the Carrillo Rec Center, including On Camera Puppet Manipulation, Paper Puppets & Pantomime, Your Voice in Comedy Writing: Comedic Structure & Character Development, and more, as well as the Puppetzilla Puppet Slam, presented by the L.A. Guild of Puppetry. Visit the website for a full schedule and prices. pswpuppeteers.wordpress.com

3/1: Downtown Santa Barbara 1st Thursday Block Party Join the party that will celebrate the official opening of Puppet­Palooza! Enjoy light bites among stilt walkers and walkabout dodo birds. (Some of this event may be moved indoors due to rain.) 5-8pm. De la Guerra and State sts. Free.

3/2: Celebration of Families/Celebración de las Familias Spend a little time with Snook the Eco Sloth as you listen to music, have a bite to eat, take in the strolling performers, and more! 6-8pm. Alhecama Theatre, 914 Santa Barbara St. Free.

3/2: Meet the Muppets and the Performers That Make Them Great See Muppet characters such as Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and more at an evening of improvised mayhem, storytelling, interviews, exclusive footage, and musical muppetry madness! 6:30-8pm. The Marjorie Luke Theatre, S.B. Junior High School, 721 E. Cota St. $35-$50.

3/3: Flower Puppets Workshop with Natalia Montoya Make a unique and amazing puppet inspired by flowers and plants with Art From Scrap materials. 10am-noon. Art From Scrap, 302 E. Cota St. $8. Children ages 6 or younger must be accompanied by an adult. Call 884-0459 x13. exploreecology.org

3/3: Manuel Morán’s La Cucarachita Martina (Martina, The Little Roach) This jamming Latin rock-’n’-roll musical is based on a popular Cuban and Puerto Rican children’s tale about the little roach Martina and how she learns many lessons on her journey to find true love. This performance will be in English and Spanish simultaneously, under the direction of Dr. Manuel Morán, founder of the Society of the Educational Arts, Inc., a bilingual arts-in-education and Latino theater company that’s credited with re-establishing professional children’s and puppet theater in New York City. 10:30am-noon. The Marjorie Luke Theatre, S.B. Junior High School, 721 E. Cota St. $10-$25.

3/3: Puppetopia Featuring Brian Hull’s Kaytek the Wizard, Yulya Dukhovny’s A Real Elephant, and Heather Henson’s Harmonious Migrations Get swept up in the magic of puppetry with a full day of stilt walkers, face painting, bubbles, and more! Take part in sock-puppet workshops, have a bubble blast in Bubbletopia, marvel at Pali-X-Mano’s large-scale Summer Solstice Celebration inflatables, and see Solstice puppets on parade. Three kid-tastic puppet shows will play throughout the day: A Real Elephant, about how a little girl’s wish to meet a real elephant could be the difference between life and death, will be performed in a vintage suitcase, just like the 19th-century toy-theater tradition; Kaytek the Wizard will tell the story of a mischievous schoolboy who wants to become a wizard, discovers he is able to change reality by casting spells, and has to face his great new responsibility; and Harmonious Migrations will teach about the interconnectivity of the elements in the environment. 10:30am-4:30pm. (A Real Elephant showtimes: 10:30am, 2:30pm, 3:30pm; ages 6+. Kaytek the Wizard: 11:30am, 1:30pm; ages 8+. Harmonious Migrations: 12:30pm; ages 5-12.) Old Macy’s store, Paseo Nuevo, 701 State St., and PuppetPalooza Central, Paseo Nuevo (across from Paseo Nuevo Cinema). $10-$25.

3/3: Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins’s Time Machine Come see Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins, the puppeteer for the Missy Elliott and Pharrell music video “WTF,” who will entertain the audience with a break-dancing robot, a dinosaur, and other characters crafted from upcycled PVC pipes and wood scraps. Be captivated by the interactive performances of his rod puppets, hand puppets, and marionettes. Noon-2pm. Community Arts Workshop, 631 Garden St. $10-$25.

3/3: Hobey Ford’s Animalia Explore the magic of animals in a performance featuring Hobey Ford’s original “Foamies,” puppets carved from large blocks of foam with intricate mechanical design that gives them realistic movements. Learn about various ecological systems, endangered animals, and the metamorphosis of a butterfly and a tadpole. Breaking out of the traditional puppet theater booth, the whole theater will become part of the performance. 4:30-5:15pm. Community Arts Workshop, 631 Garden St. $10-$25.

3/3: Huber Marionettes’ Suspended Animation America’s premier, Emmy Award–winning marionette master Phillip Huber will create a sophisticated performance for the entire family with incredible, complex marionettes and puppets. 5:30-6:15pm. The Marjorie Luke Theatre, S.B. Junior High School, 721 E. Cota St. $10-$25.

3/3: Puppetzilla Puppet Slam This late-night performance of short puppet acts will range from outrageous to quietly touching. Mature content. 6:30-10pm. Alhecama Theatre, 914 Santa Barbara St. $20. Ages 18+. Call 252-1065.

3/4: Manual Cinema’s The Magic City UCSB Arts & Lectures presents this imaginative multimedia theater piece for the entire family, about 9-year-old Philomena, who wakes to discover that her miniature city has come alive. Projections, shadow puppets, live actors, miniature toy theater, and live musical accompaniment will bring this modern fantasy to life with whimsy, wit, and a world of imagination. Arrive at 2 p.m. for face painting, crafts, and balloons. 3-5pm. $14-$20. Campbell Hall, UCSB. Free. Call 893-3535. artsandlectures.ucsb.edu

3/4: Puppets Take Macy’s Celebrate the PuppetPalooza finale with a cornucopia of puppetry performances, delicious food, live music that will include Van Goat, and many more fun activities. First responders are welcome for free with advance registration. 11am-4pm. Old Macy’s store, Paseo Nuevo, 701 State St. Free-$15.

Details are subject to change. For the latest PuppetPalooza schedule, please visit puppetpaloozasb.com.

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