Open Hand Theater


A World of Puppets

A World of Puppets

Crabgrass Puppet Theatre presents

"The Pirate, the Princess and the Pea"

A hilarious new show for all ages, with fabulous puppets and characters galore. 

our opening Family Series performance

Saturday October 4 at 11 am

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New this fall!


Join us at 10 am for a hands on story hour suitable for children as young as 3 years - with an accompanying parent - and anyone who wants a more in-depth exploration of the upcoming performance.  

Cost is $5 per child, accompanying parent is free.

Please support this program with a donation.

The Pirate, the Princess and the Pea - Crabgrass Puppet Theater

A pirate and a princess open our 2014 "World of Puppets" Family series with a search for hidden treasure. The princess stays one step ahead of the pirate with every clue. But how can she get him out of the way long enough to dive for the treasure? Join Crabgrass Puppet Theatre on a thrilling voyage chock full of sea monsters, sharks and side-splitting action!

Crabgrass Puppet Theatre has twice been awarded the prestigious Citation of Excellence from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA-USA), the highest honor in American puppetry. They have performed in venues including the World Trade Center, the Philadelphia Museum, the North Carolina Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the California Academy of Sciences, the Detroit Institute for the Arts, and hundreds of schools, museums, and theaters across the country.

Crabgrass founders Jamie Keithline and Bonnie Hall perform more than 200 shows each year, reaching over 100,000 people throughout the US.

Saturday, October 04, 2014, 11:00 am
At the Castle on North Salina Street
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Monkey Business - Open Hand Theater

The puppet stage unfolds, engaging children in an interactive performance of the well-loved story:  “Caps for Sale” by Siberian born children’s author Esphyr Slobodkina.  We'll try out several adapted versions of the story with puppets, a chorus of vowel sounds, and some new twists and turns. This performance is ideal for toddlers and young readers, and a perfect complement to our new "Up Close" presentation before the show at 10 am.

Based on a folktale, the story follows the life of a mustachioed cap salesman who wears his entire stock of caps on his head — seventeen in all (including his own cap). He strolls through towns and villages chanting, "Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!" One day, the peddler sits down under a tree to take a nap, with all his wares still on his head. When he awakens, all the caps but his own are gone - stolen by a troop of monkeys, who now sit in the tree wearing them. Children can try out their own monkey sounds, movements and ideas for the story's end.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 11:00 am
At the Castle on North Salina Street
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Carnival for Halloween - Dan Butterworth

Ghouls, ghosts and goblins, grand sets, special effects and puppet staging surround the exquisitely moving marionettes and shadow puppets in the world of Dan Butterworth. One of America’s leading puppeteers, Dan will use his highly sophisticated puppets to create some amusing, cute and slightly scary Halloween antics. Appropriate for all ages.

Dan has performed internationally in operas and classical music festivals, film and television. He picks varied projects, often which involve collaboration, such as constructing a puppet theater around an adult tricycle, helping to create an Inuit show in Nunavut, Canada, and designing sets for the St. Petersburg, Florida production of Strauss’ comic opera “Die Fledermaus”.

Dan has been supported by the National Foundation for the Arts since 1979, and in 2005 he was honored with the Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, for which he humbly allowed his puppets to take the bow. 

Saturday, November 01, 2014, 11:00 am
At the Castle on North Salina Street
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Robin Hood - Brad Shur

We welcome Brad Shur to our "World of Puppets" stage this season with his newest original performance featuring the legendary Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest. Brad is a versatile puppeteer who has created and performed characters made of everything from pixels to paper mache. Since 2009, he has been the Resident Artist at Puppet Showplace Theater, where he performs regularly for youth and family audiences and teaches puppetry classes to students of all ages. 

Brad toured the country as a performer with Big Nazo (Rhode Island), Wood & Strings Theatre (Tennessee) and The PuppeTree (Vermont). As a builder, Brad has designed and fabricated puppets for American Idol, Dollywood, Underground Railway Theater, Avenue Q productions, and the U.S.S. Constitution Museum. He is a graduate of the Film and Animation program at the Rhode Island School of Design.

All of the puppets Brad uses in his performances come from his workshop, where he builds them by hand from wood, paper, plastic, foam and fabric.

Saturday, November 08, 2014, 11:00 am
At the Castle on North Salina Street
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A Christmas Carol - The Puppet People

Warm your hearts with this Dickens holiday favorite, beautifully performed by Mark Carrigan and Michelle Smith-Carrigan and their exquisite marionettes. Watch Mean Ol' Scrooge as he discovers Christmas is not a HUMBUG!  This puppet spectacular features beautiful handcrafted marionettes, shadow puppets, gorgeous masks, lavish costumes, vivid sets, a professional soundtrack that includes many holiday favorites, a giant 9-foot parade puppet and guaranteed smiles!

The Puppet People have been entertaining for over 20 years throughout New York State, Massachusetts and Vermont. They toured nationally and performed at Lincoln Center with the Bennington Marionettes. They have worked contractually with Capital Repertory Theatre, WXXA-FOX/ Channel 23, The Egg/ Steamer 10 theatre, Actors’ Collaborative, Inc. and Capital Region Center-Lincoln Center Institute.

Saturday, December 06, 2014, 11:00 am
At the Castle on North Salina Street
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Grandfather Frost's Stories of Russia - Open Hand Theater

Grandfather Frost, Baba Yaga and her most mischievous cat, and a lost girl are the background for this wonderful winter adventure into the world of Russian folk tales. One of Open Hand Theater’s touring performances,"Grandfather Frost's Stories of Russia" presents a unique duet of music and puppetry that brings to life a whole storybook of characters, adventures and culture.

Open Hand Theater has a long-standing tradition of honoring the artistry, folk stories and puppetry traditions of cultures throughout the world through simple, styled presentations.  We are pleased to feature our international artist in residence, Russian puppeteer Vladimir Vasyagin, along with our Music and Arts Education Coordinator Leslie Archer in this lively and engaging performance. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014, 11:00 am
At the Castle on North Salina Street
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Open Hand Theater · 518 Prospect Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13208-2523 · (315) 476-0466 ·