By Ashlee Green
Photo By Larry Rippel
In collaboration with Spring Hill Brewing, the Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh will host its third annual Puppet Slam ‘n Picnic tonight at the Workingmen’s Beneficial Union in Spring Hill from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
A “puppet slam” is a mash-up of contemporary puppetry shorts intended for an adult audience. Tonight’s showcase is not specifically for children, but all ages are welcome. The show will feature hand puppet, marionette, ventriloquist, object theater and shadow puppet performances by both seasoned and first-time puppeteers. Puppeteers include Alison Babusci of Light Bright Beautiful Puppetry, Cheryl Capezzuti, Kellee Van Aken of Fuzzy Boundary Productions, Joann Kielar, Bob Rumba, Albert Pantone, Theresa Casciato and Becky Spevak. Event hosts are Tom Sarver and Dave English. Music will be provided by Daniel “Kreepy Dollz” Baxter and his band, Imaginary Friends.
Show up at 6 p.m. for a puppetry workshop by Light Bright Beautiful Puppetry in the outdoor picnic area. Bring your own picnic basket or enjoy beer from Spring Hill Brewing, non-alcoholic beverages and food from the Asado Taco Truck. Puppet-themed pastries will also be available for purchase to benefit the Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh. Giant Puppet Dance Club will signal the end of the picnic with an interactive dance experience, then at 7:30 p.m., guests will parade indoors and the main show will begin.
Capezzuti, chair of the Puppet Slam, says she’s especially excited about this event taking place at the WBU because of the history of the space. Many of her ancestors, including her mother, lived just a few blocks away from it in Spring Hill. She says the WBU used to be a bowling alley and that it’s always been designed as a gathering space.
The Puppetry Guild of Pittsburgh, affiliated with Puppeteers of America, was founded in 2015 to bring puppeteers, puppet makers and puppet enthusiasts together to celebrate the art of puppetry in Pittsburgh. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children and residents of Spring Hill, Spring Garden, and City View. For more information and to purchase tickets online, go to https://puppetslam.bpt.me. Cash-only tickets are also available at the door.