Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ahoy! Bathtub Pirates Sails Into Detroit!

If you're in the Detroit area and are looking for something to do after Christmas, head to the Detroit Institute of Arts! Drew will be there the weekend after Christmas to perform Bathtub Pirates. It's the perfect way to unwind after the holiday!

Kids can also check out this really cool article about the show from Yak's Corner, a publication of The Detroit News. There's even a little pop quiz, just to see if you are paying attention!

For more information, please visit the Detroit Institute of Arts' website.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2007 Singing Christmas Tree, Part Five

By the way, the gentleman in the background playing checkers with Tenor is none other than "Mac." He's a stagehand at Ovens Auditorium and is legendary in these parts.

And here's the show's finale!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

2007 Singing Christmas Tree, Part Two

Here's the second part of our video series from the 2007 performance of the Singing Christmas Tree. It's not too late to grab your tickets for this year's Singing Christmas Tree! Performances of the Singing Christmas Tree are this Saturday, Dec. 12 at 3PM and 8PM, and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3PM. In addition, the Singing Christmas Tree for Kids takes place Saturday Dec. 13 at 11AM! There's something for the whole family! Ticket information is available through Carolina Voices' website.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Ghost of Singing Christmas Trees Past

We're excited to be a part of the Singing Christmas Tree next week for our 27th consecutive year! The Singing Christmas Tree takes place at Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, NC. You can find out ticket information on Carolina Voices' website.

For our 25th Singing Christmas Tree in 2007, the puppets staged a revolt and took over the show. Here's the first of five video segments we produced for the Tree that year. We'll add more next week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Giveaway for the Holiday Season!

We have an exciting giveaway, just in time for the Holiday Season! If you purchase a copy of The Foam Book DVD between now and December 31st, you will be entered into a drawing for a free Puppet Kit!

The Puppet Kit contains everything you need to build one polyfoam puppet! It includes:

  • One Can of Design Master Color Tool Spray Paint

  • Three Square Feet of 1/2" Polyfoam

  • Three Square Feet of 1" Polyfoam

  • One Square Foot of Fake Fur

  • One Pair of Craft Eyes

  • Three Yards Craft Velour

  • And much more!

So hurry over and order your copy of The Foam Book DVD today!

One entry per customer. Kit does not include a copy of The Foam Book or The Foam Book DVD. No Purchase Necessary.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Drew Gets Scholarly

The Senior Scholars of Charlotte will be getting a taste of the Grey Seal philosophy when Drew Allison addresses them on November 17th. The Senior Scholars, founded in 1973, is an organization for seniors and retirees where members meet weekly to hear a prominent speaker on interesting and diverse topics.

Drew will be talking about his career in puppetry, demonstrating some of the puppetry styles that we use, and explaining our approach to performance on stage and on camera.

Meetings are held at 10:00 AM in Shalom Hall at Myers Park Baptist Church’s lower level, 1931 Selwyn Avenue. Visitors may attend free of charge.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Monster Mash!

Here it is... the Monster Mash with Facebook Fan Gina Gambony!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Become our fan on Facebook!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

GSP and Destination Imagination

Drew recently had the opportunity to meet and inspire a group of students from Destination ImagiNation. DI is an exhilarating educational activity in which students work in teams to solve Challenges and present their solutions at Tournaments. Teams are tested to think on their feet, work together and devise original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the Challenges. Participants gain more than just basic knowledge and skills- they learn to unleash their imaginations and take unique approaches to problem solving. Annually, 72,000 children in morethan 6,000 schools participate in DI. This year DI expects to have 15,000 teams in 50 states and 30 countries around the world. (From their website.)

The students are all making a puppet this year as one of their challenges. They had a great time meeting Drew and got lots of great ideas!

Drew was featured in the NC Destination Imagination newsletter. You can read the article on their website.

We wish the students from Destination Imagination the best of luck in all their puppetry pursuits! And don't forget to send us pictures!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monster Mash with Grey Seal!

Halloween is one of our favorite times of year at the Grey Seal studio. We've been known to dress up, play our Halloween music incessantly, and we've even thrown a Halloween party! This year we'd like to bring you in on the fun. We want you to do the Monster Mash with us-- and you don't even have to leave the comfort of your computer chair!

Become a fan on our Facebook page between now and Friday October 23rd. We'll randomly select one of our fans to star with us in a Monster Mash video on JibJab! Then we'll debut the video the week of Halloween!

It'll be a Graveyard Smash!

Friday, October 2, 2009

GSP on Voice of America!

Our friends at the Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta, GA) were featured last week on the broadcast Voice of America. Voice of America is heard internationally, and the special on the Center was featured as one of their Special English programs which is designed to help teach English to those who are not native English speakers. Cool!

As part of the broadcast, Grey Seal was honored to be featured as one of the artists that are invited to perform at the Center. They even used an audio clip from our show Bathtub Pirates! How cool is that?

To hear the broadcast or read a transcript, please visit their website!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Puppets Go International!

There are many performances throughout the year that we look forward to, and the International Festival at UNC Charlotte is one of the top ones on that list. We have had the privilege of performing at the International Festival for many years, and every year there is something new to see and do. There's great food, great entertainment, and a slew of great arts and crafts from around the world. It's fun for the whole family!

Come out to see us perform at the International Festival this Saturday, September 26th! We'll be at the Barnhardt Student Activity Center performing Tangle of Tales at 1:00 and 3:00. Visit their website to see a full schedule of events. Admission is free! We'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Getting our Friends at the NBA Ready for the New Season!

Fall is always a busy time around the Grey Seal workshop, as we help our NBA clients get ready for their new season. Right now we are hard at work getting our friend Hugo from the New Orleans Hornets in top shape so that he can greet his fans! (Um, Hugo? Do you always greet your fans by hanging them upside down?)

By the way, have you seen the new team color that the Hornets debuted last year? You can check it out on their official website. Hugo is now looking good in Creole Blue!

We're also getting our hometown hero Rufus Lynx of the Charlotte Bobcats ready for his debut.

Rufus is one of the coolest cats we know, and he's got some cool surprises up his sleeve for his fans this Fall! Keep an eye out here and we might be able to give you a little glimpse of what you might see at one of the Bobcats games!

Interested in having a character designed for your organization? Contact us today at workshop@greysealpuppets.com or give us a call at 704-521-2878. Let us show you that our characters mean business!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall Schedule is Filling Up!

Fall is in the air! School is back is session, and it's the perfect time to book Grey Seal for an appearance!

Grey Seal Puppets performs over 250 shows a year in schools, theatres, and libraries. Our repertoire includes everything from familiar stories to original works—each uniquely staged and presented. Interested in having us come to your school? We have teachers’ study guides available for all our productions.

Grey Seal Puppets performs nationwide at such prestigious theatres as The Smithsonian Institution, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. We've also been honored with the N.C. Theatre Arts Award, the Puppeteers of America President’s Award, and three UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence in Puppetry.

You can find a list of all our current touring shows on our website. Why wait another minute? Contact us today at info@greysealpuppets.com or give us a call at 704-521-2878!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Summer Ends With A Bang!

Whew! It was a busy summer for Grey Seal!

The workshop was hopping all summer finishing a big project for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. RCCL is launching a brand new ship this Fall called Oasis of the Seas. There will be several parades on board ship, and Grey Seal had the opportunity to help construct props for one of those parades. Stay tuned to our blog to see some photos!

Drew spent the first week of July at PuppetFest Midwest in Trenton, MO. PuppetFest Midwest is an independent puppet festival in an intimate setting, where puppeteers can study in-depth techniques such as performance and puppet building, as well as see performances by some of the best puppeteers around.

Drew performed The Emperor's New Clothes and led a workshop called "Advanced Adventures In Polyfoam Puppet Construction!" Participants built their own "Nip and Tuck" puppet heads, as well as learned how to make moving eyes and other moving puppet features. It was a great way to start off the month!

The following week found us tucked into the charming Downstairs Theatre at Atlanta’s phenomenal Center for Puppetry Arts for a week-long run (17 performances!) of our adaptation of the Andersen classic, The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Grey Seal’s Drew Allison did three performances a day and hoped his voice and arms and shoulders would survive the run. Survive they did as we enjoyed sold-out audiences throughout the week. Everyone on the Center Staff was simply amazing to work with and Drew was particularly thankful for his great stage manager for the run, Gillian, who was always so upbeat and wonderful and made the shows a pleasure to perform.

The National Puppet Festival was also taking place in Atlanta, at nearby Georgia Tech. Drew took advantage of this awesome opportunity and made his way over to the Festival each evening in time for dinner after the final performance of the day at the Center. Drew saw an amazing array of wonderful performances throughout the week. He also caught up with longtime puppeteer friends and made some new ones as well.

July wrapped up with a week of performances in Fairfax County, Virginia. Drew performed Salsa Cinderella 13 times in four days at libraries all over the county! Whew! Drew said it was a challenge to do three performances with three different setups and strikes each day, but the performances were well-spaced out and all went well and it was a lot of fun. He had great audiences who were very multi-cultural and savvy. It was a great week!

But there's no rest for the weary at Grey Seal! This Fall promises to be a busy one. Keep up with all our latest news by subscribing to our news feed. It's easy-- just click on subscribe in the column on the right. You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tangle of Tales Earns Three MTA Nominations!

We're so honored that Tangle of Tales has been nominated for three Metrolina Theatre Awards! The categories are Special Event: Outstanding Original Play, Special Event: Outstanding Production, and Special Event: Other Exemplary Performance/Element for Drew Allison (Puppeteer). You can see a full list of nominees at the Metrolina Theatre Association's website.

The Metrolina Theatre Association, representing more than 50 organizations, along with hundreds of theatrical artists, directors, and producers in the Charlotte region, will hold the sixth annual Metrolina Theatre Awards, recognizing excellence in theatre.

The show will be presented on Sunday evening, September 20, in the McGlohon Theatre in Spirit Square. More than 350 people attended the 2008 awards event. This year’s awards ceremony will feature scenes from some of the top-rated shows of the past theatre season.

The Metrolina Theatre Awards recognize outstanding performances and creative elements in 7 categories (Drama, Comedy, Musical, Regional–North, Regional–South, College/University, and Special Event). This year, there will be around 90 recipients. MTA organizes more than 80 peer nominators; this year, MTA nominators attended 105 adjudicated shows, submitting thousands of nominations. They then complete a preliminary ballot to select the award nominees. The final vote is certified by an independent accountant, and winners are announced at the awards ceremony.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A visit from the stork...

Grey Seal has a new cub! Workshop coordinator Vania Reckard (along with husband Chris) welcomed second daughter Elisabeth Rose Reckard into the world on May 6, 2006. She was healthy 8 lbs, 3 oz with a full head of dark hair! Four-year-old Sophie is delighted to be a big sister. We're very proud of our new family member. Way to go, Vania!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More to See on our YouTube Channel!

We've just added clips from several of our touring shows to our YouTube channel! You can now see excerpts from Bathtub Pirates, Elves and Trolls, The Emperor's New Clothes, A Show of Virtues, and Tangle of Tales.

We've got even more in store for our YouTube channel, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Foam Book Giveaway!

Here's your chance to win your very own copy of The Foam Book! All you have to do is register as a member of our Foam Book Community between now and April 30th. Everyone who is registered for the Foam Book Community will be automatically entered for the drawing. The winner will be drawn at random and will win a copy of The Foam Book!

The Foam Book Community is a great place for puppet builders, whether beginners or advanced, to come together and discuss puppet building The Foam Book way. In our forums you can share tips, ideas, and photos of the characters that you've built. You can also discuss puppet performance and staging-- everything that goes into a puppet performance.

Don't be shy-- come join in the fun at the Foam Book Community!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We Create Character!

We've been working with the University of Virginia Athletics Department for the past several months to not only revise their iconic mascot Cavman, but to add new characters to their mascot family!

Meet Sabre, Cavman's newest co-hort! He's the coolest horse around, and he wears the UVa colors with pride! So keep your eye out for Cavman and Sabre, and go Hoos!

If you'd like more information on our custom character design services, please contact our workshop at workshop@greysealpuppets.com!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Reviews are In for Tangle of Tales!

Review from Arts a la Mode:

Puppeteer Drew Allison, founder of the Grey Seal Puppets, performs this friendly, low-key, 60 minute one-man show consisting of three folk tales from around the world. In between are swaying/jumping/bouncing characters called Blockheads and Wobblies who entertain by moving creatively to background music.

The first tale is “The Frog Prince” from Germany which is a familiar story. The lesson being: keep your promises. The second tale is from Scandinavia, “Three Billy Goats Gruff”, where a troll living under a bridge is outsmarted by three brother goats. The third and, by far, most popular folk tale is “The Three Little Pigs” from England where the industrious pig’s brick house survives the huffing and puffing of the wolf, who proves more popular than scary with the kids.

The simple set with traditional puppet stage has Mr. Allison hidden beneath holding up the various puppets. He uses a microphone and is quite a voice actor speaking the dialogue of all the characters in the show, as well as managing the sound effects. This non-threatening performance is well-paced and age-appropriate for younger children (ages 5 and up) who have no trouble listening attentively or accepting and relating to the puppets as real, even interacting with the stage characters. It is clever enough so it can also be appreciated by adults willing to sit back let the inanimate objects come to life.

After the performance Mr. Allison came out to meet the audience and explain the types of puppets used (rod, string, and hand puppets). The variety of puppet styles adds to the fun, and is even more impressive when the attention to detail becomes more evident. The Grey Seal Puppets perform nationally and Charlotte is fortunate to have these high-caliber puppet performances to appreciate. Review by Ann Marie Oliva

Ann Marie Oliva is an award-winning playwright. She is the producer/editor of ARTS à la Mode and a judge for the National Youth Theatre Awards. Ann Marie is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

JLC Puppet Theater Makes Headlines!

The latest issue of "The Crier," the Junior League of Charlotte's quarterly magazine, features a cover story on the JLC Puppet Theater. Grey Seal's Drew Allison worked in close collaboration with the Junior League of Charlotte to develop a puppet show based around the Junior League's Healthy Child Initiative. The show is called, "You Are What You Eat!" and features a game show where contestants answer questions about healthy food choices.

The JLC Puppet Theater's schedule is already full, with appearances planned at preschools and elementary schools throughout the Charlotte area, as well as appearances at Levine Children's Hospital.

Drew Allison demonstrates puppet performance to members of JLC Puppet Theater.

If you're interested in developing a custom puppet program, give us a call! Grey Seal Puppets has worked with theatres, churches, and civic organizations to bring their puppet dreams to life. Put us to work for you!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Upcoming Performances: Tangle of Tales at Children's Theatre of Charlotte

Three favorite folks tales from around the world come to life with a touch of the familiar and a taste of the new. Using a variety of puppet styles, "The Frog Prince" from Germany, "Three Billy Goats Gruff" from Scandinavia and "The Three Little Pigs" from England are each told with refreshing wit and wisdom.

In between each of the tales there’s a whole menagerie of zany characters to see and enjoy. Tangle of Tales is fun for everyone!

Tangle of Tales will be presented at Children's Theatre of Charlotte January 31-February 1st. Visit the Children's Theatre website to buy your tickets today!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Father Time Ushers in New Year at First Night Charlotte

Grey Seal Puppets' Cheralyn Lambeth took Father Time out for a night on the town New Year's Eve in Charlotte, NC. Father Time was the showstopping star of the First Night parade! Despite heavy winds, Father Time soldiered through, interacting with the crowd and celebrating the New Year in style. For a gallery of images from First Night, visit the Charlotte Observer's website at www.charlotteobserver.com/436/gallery/446092.html. Read the article here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/446357.html.