Tuesday, September 28, 2010

review - MASTERPUPPET THEATER

Today I am reviewing Masterpuppet Theater, created by Michael Rogalski and published by Quirk Books. Quirk books sent me a copy to review, which I am very grateful. Actually I am also grateful that I really enjoyed this box of fingerpuppets and plays. It includes "60 finger puppets, 12 sets and a folio of classic scenes" as it says right on the box. Inside I was delighted to find all the finger puppets from Shakespeares most memorable scenes, including the fairies and Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, and 2B-R02B (yes a robot!).

The book gives some introduction and background into this kit. He not only gives selected scenes in this folio, but also encourages people to do the complete play, other plays and even make up scenes on their own. The creativity possible here is endless. I soon discovered that while my 2 and 4 yr olds are too young to truly grasp Shakespeare, they do enjoy playing with the fingerpuppets and making up their own plays. As I said to Michael Rogalski, "this is replacing board games on our game night." Here you can see the boys having a special afternoon!
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I did get to ask Michael some questions via e-mail and they are included below.

1. What inspired you to create MasterPuppet Theater?
I latched onto William Shakespeare as a worthy collaborator early in the process—he still enjoys prominent placement on the bestseller lists. I liked the idea of a kit that would facilitate performing Shakespeare’s plays, like that's all it would take to make each of us a classical thespian. The notion of fingerpuppets occurred to me, and when I made the first prototype—King Lear— I found it impossible to resist poking my fingers through the holes and strutting around my desk. And laughing. The combination of literature’s greatest characters and puppetry’s humblest form just clicked.

2. How did you chose what scenes to include in the book?
The scenes included in Masterpuppet Theatre represent some of the most iconic moments of the Shakespearean stage. Preference was given to scenes featuring dramatic impact and famous quotes, with a nice mix of dialogues and soliloquies. And a scene from The Winter’s Tale was chosen just for having the most famous stage direction in all of theatre: “Exit, pursued by a bear.”

3. Even my 4 and 2 yr olds think this is fantastic, and it is vying for the spot in Family Game Night. Do you have plans to create other versions using other playwrites?
Family Game Night—that’s what Masterpuppet Theatre likes to hear! Several followup versions have been proposed. The Masterpuppet format lends itself quite readily to other literary genres and authors. Their development as actual products is dependent upon the success of the Shakespeare version, so it's literally in the hands of the fans.

4. Love the robot…what play was that in again? ;)
2B-RĂ˜2B is one of the Wilde Cards included with Masterpuppet Theatre to inspire improvisations, mashups, prequels and sequels to the Bard's works. Maybe Titus Androidicus? ( : { >


You can purchase the kit by going here - http://www.masterpuppettheatre.com/shoppe
Or from Quirk Book's website here - http://irreference.com/masterpuppet-theatre/

Now for something special - a giveaway...my first ever! Quirk Books is sending me another copy of Masterpuppet Theater to give to a loyal reader. Mrs. B has given me permission to copy her format, so following are the rules of entry:
  • Comment on this blog.
  • Go to Irreference.com and leave a comment here on your favorite book or item found there.
  • post about this blog on Twitter (one entry per day).
  • become a follower of this blog
  • for 2 entries, write a blog about this giveaway.

Start commenting today for entries, winner will be chosen by random drawing on Wednesday, October 6, 2010. Don't forget to leave a comment for each entry, and make sure I can contact you by e-mail or your blog if you are a winner.

Thank you to all the people and companies that helped with this blog.
Eric Smith at Quirk Books or you can access their facebook page here.
Mrs. B from Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom.
Smilebox for the free slideshow. This is my 1st time using them, feedback is appreciated.
Michael Rogalski the creator of Masterpuppet Theater for the creation and the time to answer my questions. Click here for the Masterpuppet Theater facebook page.
And finally my children for playing along with the photo shoot.

17 comments:

  1. Hi Angie! Hey good job on your review. I enjoyed reading it! That book/kit sounds like an excellent idea for kids to get involved and learn. I would love to see if he does different themes in the future. So....to enter for the give-away, do you have to do ALL of those things, or just one? Thanks! :)

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  2. Quirk Books has the coolest books! I loved this one, and your review simply made me drool!

    I'd love to get it for my little witch! :)

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  3. On Irreference, I still want to read their Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, on my wish list forever!

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  4. Of course, I follow your blog! ;)

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  5. Just blogged about it: http://bringingupsalamanders.blogspot.com/2010/09/lilac-wolfs-great-giveaway.html

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  6. ... And just twittered about it: http://twitter.com/bupsalamanders/status/26030949859

    Fingers and toes crossed now! :)

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  7. Twittered today: http://twitter.com/bupsalamanders/status/26088843650

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  8. Oh how fun! I gave each of my girls an annotated Shakespeare edition as teens... how cool to be able to pass off the tradition 10 years earlier to my grandkids!

    LyndaB
    lfeb@ma.rr.com

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  9. I already own a ridiculous number of Quirk books! Looking over the catalog, I've jotted down the Jane Austen Handbook to come back to later - looks like a Christmas gift for my favorite Austen fan.

    LyndaB
    lfeb@ma.rr.com

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  10. :) I am following this blog now.

    LyndaB
    lfeb@ma.rr.com

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  11. Stopping by to leave my daily Twitter: http://twitter.com/bupsalamanders/status/26245628383

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  12. Twitter of the day: http://twitter.com/bupsalamanders/status/26357668499

    :)

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  13. Guess today is my last Twitter-of-the-day! http://twitter.com/#!/bupsalamanders/status/26482554496

    Fingers and toes crossed now! :)

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  14. Last Twitter indeed: http://twitter.com/#!/bupsalamanders/status/26554100319

    Now fingers and toes are definitely crossed!

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  15. I hope you guys don't mind, I have a reader who needs a little extra help.

    She posted this on the wrong page, but she finally got it posted so I hate to take it away from her.

    "I want to win the finger puppet thing that CW and Ivan has!!!" --Gabrielle.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. :0)