Information for new puppet troupes
If you are interested in performing at the Festival, please review the information at the bottom of this page.
Information for 2014 Performers
We welcome all our puppet troupes to Almonte, Ontario, and the Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival.
Many of you must travel a long way and we truly appreciate the time and effort that it takes to get here. We’re delighted to have you in Almonte!! We’ll do our very best to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
For those of you arriving by plane at the Ottawa Airport, there will be someone from Puppets Up! waiting to greet you and to drive you to Almonte and your accommodation. At the end of the weekend, you will be driven back to the airport for your return flight at the appropriate time.
Please plan on arriving in Almonte on Friday afternoon, August 8th. You will have an assigned theatre venue and you can start unloading your gear there. We have 6 theatre venues this year:
- the Riverside tent
- the theatre in the Almonte Old Town Hall
- the Shepherd’s Mill tent
- TYPS Youth Centre
- the Ultramar tent
- the Victoria Mill tent
Every year we pair up two troupes together in each venue – a troupe with a simple set-up with a troupe that has a more complicated set-up. At 3:00, your theatre crew will arrive at your venue and they will help you set-up and get installed. Our theatre crews are volunteers who have a some background in theatre or television work. Many are retired CBC television technicians and producers. You’ll find them very friendly and extremely helpful.
At 7:00pm, on Friday evening, there will be an opening night reception and you are warmly invited to be there. It’s a good chance to meet the other puppeteers, your billeting families, and to enjoy the refreshments and entertainment. We promise not to make the speeches too long!
On Saturday morning, August 9th, please report to your theatre venue in plenty of time for your show. In each venue, the 2 shows alternate with each other and the theatre crew will be there to assist you with this. We have many volunteers to look after the comings and goings of the audiences and a theatre host who introduces your show. We will check with you to make sure all the information in your introduction is correct and agreeable to you. A schedule of shows will be up on our website soon and you’ll be able to see the times of your shows.
From 1:30pm – 2:30pm during the day, all the theatres shut down and there is a parade from 1:45pm to 2:15pm on the main street. Please join the parade with some of your puppets to promote your show. The parade assembles at the Almonte library at the top of Mill Street and proceeds down the hill until it reaches the bottom. Your theatre crew will be able to direct you to the library and keep an eye on your gear while you’re away from the theatre.
On Saturday evening, at 8:00pm there will be a very popular adult cabaret in the theatre of the Almonte Old Town Hall. It’s usually a sold out event!! All troupes are asked to contribute a sketch of about 3-5 minutes in length. It should certainly be “adult” in nature and a little on the raunchy side. The audience is definitely looking for some risqué material. In the weeks before the festival, you will be contacted by the cabaret producer, Allan Martin, who will discuss your tech needs and get an idea of what you’re going to do. It’s a lot of fun!!
On Sunday August 10th, you’ll follow the schedule and perform your shows. There is a Green Room on the second floor of the Almonte Old Town Hall where you can go and relax. Try to see some of the other shows during your “down time”. This year we have 12 shows to see.
At the end of the day on Sunday, the theatre crews will help you strike your set-up and pack up your gear. Some of you will leave at that time to drive home. Some may need to stay over on Sunday night to get an early start Monday morning for a longer trip home. This will all be arranged with your billeting family.
In regards to billeting, you will be contacted before the festival by Glenda Jones, our wonderful billeting lady. She works hard to find a comfortable, clean and welcoming home-away-from-home for you. Many of our local residents are very generous in opening up their homes to wayward puppeteers.
Thanks again for coming to Puppets Up!
If you have any questions, please contact Noreen Young at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll be happy to help you.
New puppet troupes
If you’d like us to know about your puppet troupe, please email us some photos and videos of your work and an address for your website (if you have one). You can send this information to our Artistic Director, Noreen Young, at email@example.com. In September, we start looking for shows for the next summer so that’s the important time.
Each year we choose between 10 – 12 puppet troupes to perform at Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival. The final selection is done by the end of December. We choose shows that are mainly family oriented. They can be for young children or older kids and, once in a while they can be strictly for adults. Shows should be somewhere between 40 to 50 minutes long but sometimes we like shows that are 30 minutes long.
Looking forward to hearing from you and we promise to answer your questions.