Puppet Showplace Theater

Puppet Showplace Theater Logo

Basic Information

Address: 32 Station St, Brookline, MA, 02445
Phone Number: 6177316400
Director: Leslie Burton

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Puppet Showplace Theater

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Additional Information

Days and Hours: Thursday-Sunday


Puppet Showplace Theater is New England's center for puppetry arts. Each year, we present over 300 performances by professional puppet companies to audiences of all ages at our intimate Brookline Village theater. Our touring productions reach thousands more at schools, libraries, theaters, and cultural centers throughout the Northeast region and beyond.

We offer workshops, classes, summer programs, and training opportunities to both children and adults, and we partner with local and emerging artists to develop new and innovative puppetry productions.

After decades in operation, our theater has become a treasured cultural institution. Puppet Showplace is run by an experienced staff and volunteer board of trustees. We are supported by contributions from individual donors, local businesses, and foundation and government grants. From children's birthday party performances to provocative Puppets at Night shows, our programming is designed to reach a large and diverse audience of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.


Field trips are a fun way to bring curriculum to life! We can suggest a variety of shows that will be age- and topic-appropriate for your students.

Contact the Box Office for detailed recommendations and booking:
617-731-6400 x 101

Curriculum Connections

Our Mainstage shows are recommended for pre-k through 5th grade. Performances highlight:

• Stories, art, literature, and music from around the world
• Dramatic arts, and both verbal and non-verbal expression
• Visual design, construction, and engineering
• Values such as sharing, teamwork, friendship, bravery, and environmental conservation

Group Type: All ages
Disabled Access:

Wheelchair accessible

Program Type:

Puppet Showplace Theater is a Non-Profit theater dedicated to sharing puppetry with the greater Boston area, to people of all ages and identities.

Accreditation: None
Admission/Tickets: Yes
Registration: Yes
Food: No food or drink permitted in the theater
Length of Visit: 1 hour
Student/Staff Ratio: 2-3 box office staff members per show
Max. Group Number: 75
Group Requirements: None
Return Policy: None
Exhibits: None
Freebies: None
Gift Shop/Factory Outlet: Yes
Retail Store: Yes
Amenities: Bathrooms, Water fountain
Videos/DVDs Shown: None
Reservations Needed: Yes

Located directly across from the "Brookline Village" train stop on the D line

Nearby Attractions: Brookline Public Library, Emerson Public Gardens
Mission Statement:


Puppet Showplace Theater is dedicated to presenting outstanding professional puppetry to diverse audiences through performances, workshops, and community outreach activities


Audiences say: "I've been coming here for 47 years and the shows never cease to amaze me!"

Artists say: "I felt like I had made it when I first performed at Puppet Showplace twenty years ago, and I look forward to returning year after year.

Donors say: "For us, we will never miss a puppet show. They are so important to our family!"

Facility History:


Puppet Showplace Theater was founded in June 1974 by visionary educator and puppeteer Mary Churchill. Mary's company, The Cranberry Puppets, performed shows featuring a cast of crocheted characters. Mary was known for her witty adaptations of children's stories that featured strong female protagonists. She was a regular performer, tireless administrator, and generous benefactor of the theater until her death in 1997.

From the day it opened, Puppet Showplace became a home for touring puppet companies from across New England and beyond. Many performers became regulars, appearing on stage each season and contributing to the financial support and governance of the theater. Puppet Showplace also became the official home of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry (formerly known as the New England Puppetry Guild).

In 1977, puppeteer Paul Vincent Davis became the theater's Artist in Residence. While at Puppet Showplace, Paul developed over a dozen productions for youth and family audiences. Paul received 5 UNIMA citations for his work, the highest recognition in American puppetry. He was also the subject of the book Puppeteer by Karen Lasky, which documented the behind-the-scenes development of his production of "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp." Paul remained active as a performer until his retirement in 2007. He continues to teach and mentor young puppeteers in his role as Resident Artist Emeritus.

In 2009, Brad Shur of Paper Heart Puppets started a new generation of resident artists. Under Paul Vincent Davis' mentorship, Brad trained in the art of glove puppetry and learned to perform three of the master puppeteer's classic shows. He also began developing original productions that incorporated numerous styles of puppetry, from elaborate shadow puppets to intricately sculpted characters. In partnership with the staff, he significantly expanded the theater's all-ages educational offerings.

In 2017, Sarah Nolen became the theater's current Resident Artist. Originally from Austin, TX, she has quickly earned a reputation in Boston as a skillful performer across multiple puppetry styles and a visionary designer on large-scale creative projects. Sarah has introduced new adult classes and launched monthly "Gym Jam" TV puppetry workout nights. She works with local schools to provide hands-on arts education, preserving the art of puppetry for future generations.

Puppet Showplace now serves a diverse audience, with patrons in recent years coming from 38 states, 10 foreign countries, and from hundreds of towns across Massachusetts. We sell over 20,000 tickets each year, host over 110 field trips, and reach thousands more with touring shows and workshops.

Our programming has grown over the years to include camps and classes, school residencies, and presenting collaborations with major cultural institutions. Puppet Showplace is also credited with creating the country's first adult "puppet slam," a cabaret-style of short form puppet theater now popular across North America.

Puppet Showplace has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, from an Eliot Norton Award Citation for "Keeping the ancient art of puppetry alive for audiences of all ages," to Boston Magazine's "Best Birthday Party Venue." Today, Puppet Showplace Theater's success is reflected in our audience, which includes the children of children who attended shows when the theater was first founded.

Social Networking:

@puppetshowplace on Instagram
@PuppetShowplace on Twitter
Puppet Showplace Theater on Facebook