Friday, March 30, 2012

Spotlight: Martinsburg, West Virginia

In the Summer of 2010, I was the prop shop foreman for the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV. I'll have an upcoming post about Shepherdstown and CATF. However, while staying in West Virginia, I visited the town of Martinsburg.

It is my habit, when staying for any length of time in a new area, to explore everything that is practical within a 40 minute drive. Martinsburg is a neat little town. One of the first things that caught my eye were the enormous "artists pallets" placed in front of each of the shops. These featured artwork that was themed to the services the shops provided.

Colin standing by to give you a sense of scale

I have to say, these are just the bee's knees. What a cool, simple idea.

Materials required:
Welded stand

While I was walking down the street, I saw a posting in a window for a puppet show at a place called Wonderment Puppet Theater. I can't resist a puppet show, having designed puppets and taught puppetry, as well as writing and producing my own puppet shows. I was delighted when I went down the street to find this amazing building:

I sat through the $4.50 show with some other kids, and was warmly welcomed by Joe and Jane Santoro and given the "backstage tour". When Jodie and Colin came to Shepherdstown to visit me, I had to bring them there. After the show, we all had a great time singing songs, and I learned "Rattlin' Bog".

Here's my version of it:

So there you have it. Cool public art and a puppet theater. More on that puppet theater later!

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