File puptcrit/puptcrit.0904, message 500

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2009 07:04:43 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Show alert/Chase's Jack tales

Grego is right about my having a connection with Claremont, Califiornia. I graduated there from Pomona College 56 years ago come May/June. I also had 3 puppet exhibits at the Los Angeles County Fair in nearby Pomona, the town where my college was hatched before moving next door to a then very rural Claremont. Our International Puppetry Museum lent several puppets to an exhibit at the Petterson Museum at Pilgrim Place in Claremont in 2008-9 also.

I welcome the information on folklorist Richard Chase, and his book, "The Jack Tales" and also the information about Richard Chase's connection with Claremont and his connection with the Renaissance Pleasure Faires. 

The Faires began in Studio City, CA, next to a concrete-lined channel of the Los Angeles River, as a fund raiser for public radio station KPFK. That was after I graduated from Pomona College.

 2 or 3 years ago, the Pomona College magazine put me on the cover and inside  there was an article on my puppet collection now housed  in Pasadena. (

Preston Hibbard was very active in starting the Faire when he lived in Studio City. He was an artist and a puppeteer who did a good Punch & Judy show which had the line, "and your mother dresses you funny".

The Faires have been independent of KPFK for decades. 

 I went  to the 2009 Faire now at Santa Fe Dam, on Easter Sunday. The only puppets were those by Folkmanis, on sale at a poppet booth, but at past Faires, Bruce D. Schwartz originated his famed "The Rat of Huge Proportions" and "The Farmer's Acursed Wife" at age 17/18 when the Faire was in Agoura. Preston Hibbard did "Punch", and French puppeteer Roger Jouglet  (sometime Los Angeles resident) performed  too. Some years, Giant puppets were included in the Royal Procession. And my good friends Phil & Sharon Moyer, (volunteers at the International Puppetry Museum, active members & officers of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry) were active participants at the Faires until their deaths last year. I miss them & I miss seeing puppet shows at the Faire.

Once again it is a small world.

Maybe I can obtain a copy of the study guide supplied by Das Puppenspiel for use by teachers who are bringing their students to performances at the Orange Couny Performing Arts Center this week (700 students will have that pleasure as part of OCPAC's ongoing Education Program which seeks to train the next generation of theater-goers. It seems a worthy project to me!

Looking over the OCPAC Press releases, there seem to be TWO phone numbers for the box office (714) 755-0236 is mentioned in the text, and (714) 556-2121 is at the bottom of the Press Release pages.

Grego has given our local puppeteers another reason to travel to Costa Mesa May 1-2 or 3.

Alan Cook 

-----Original Message-----
From: Grego
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 8:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Show alert/Chase's Jack tales

Apparently the source material for "Beyond the Beanstalk"  is a book  
of "Jack tales" collected by Appalachian folklorist Richard Chase.  
For many of his later years he lived in Claremont, Ca. (your old  
stomping grounds, right Alan?) There the famously eccentric geezer  
told his tales and taught his stuff, including Appalachian flavored  
English folk-ritual/dance. I first met him at one such workshop at  
the local Unitarian church.
  His troupe (myself included) went on to perform dance and mummery  
at the original Renaissance Faires, where he was a revered elder.   
The troupe became not only a popular attraction, but also an ongoing  
research and exhibition lab that spawned many new projects after  
Chase (aka "Uncle Dick" or "The Old Man") left to end his life back  
in Appalachia. That Faire provided a large degree of vocational  
sustainability for the budding 20th century renaissance of  
traditional hand-craft and performance arts, making it a grand venue  
for both puppet makers and performers over the years. It, and Chase,  
provided key elements in the formation of my current work.
Wish I could see the Das Puppenspiel show.
Thanks for the heads up, Alan.

On Apr 29, 2009, at 12:14 AM, Alan Cook wrote:

> The Orange County Performing Arts Center, in Southern California.  
> once again provides a stage for puppets. This time, they present  
> the local debut of the 35 year old touring company from Westfield,  
> New York known as "Das Puppenspiel" in a performance of "Beyond the  
> Beanstalk" which is a collection of folk tales originating in Engand,.
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