June Puppet Slam poster

In an unsuspecting corner of Hollins Market in Sowebo, behind an ordinary old white door, is a most magical treasure: a small theater of twinkling lights, the aroma of popcorn, colorful eclectic ephemera and large marionettes line the walls and rafters. The sounds of upbeat live music in the corner, packed with folding chairs, and a chattering full pre-show house. This is not your ordinary puppet show, it’s a Puppet Slamwich!

This series of puppetry and performance art for adults, housed at Black Cherry Puppet Theater are irresistible variety shows give a spotlight to both established and emerging performance artists attracting folks from up and down the east coast. Puppetry becomes a mode for exploring a range of humorous, archetypical, contemporary, light-hearted or intense storytelling, and a medium of performance art in a rich, vibrant experience for the audience. The performers push to both expand and honor the traditional notions of puppetry, which is truly an ancient art form. The puppets themselves take many forms such as beautifully crafted hand and rod puppets, marionettes, shadow, light and body puppets. Ranging from miniature to bigger than life-sized, silent or with sound effects, dialogue, live music, built sculptural sets, or layered combinations. Over the past few years, the Puppet Slams at Black Cherry have exponentially expanded, bringing a stage and inspiration to this growing medium and culture in Baltimore. Valeska Populoh, artist and volunteer curator, and Black Cherry executive director Michael Lamason, are bringing such vitality  to Baltimore by drawing and supporting exciting emerging performance artists.

KATHERINE FAHEY “New Sun”
with a musical performance by The Bowlegged Gorilla

KEVIN SHERRY “The Yeti” (new puppet)
-PLUS! A new Original song by Brain Bear

ALEX VERNON & SARAH OLMSTED THOMAS “Off the Record”

DAVID GREENFIELDBOYCE “Little Cloud”

CHUCK GREEN “Nightstand”

MADISON J CRIPPS “Marionette Cabaret”

DAN FRIEDMAN “Thermocline”

Performances are at 7:00 and 9:30 this evening, June 1, 2013 at Black Cherry Puppet Theater located at 1115 Hollins St, Baltimore.