F. A. Q.

What exactly do you do?

Puppet shows! Our specialty is tailoring our shows to the interests and inclinations of our audiences. Although puppet shows are believed by many to be children’s fodder, we always aim to produce a show that appeals to all ages—even adults-only audiences if that is what is called for.

This is not mere children’s fare. Our speciality is Traditional English Punch and Judy, but we do other kinds of shows as well, such as fairy tales and legends. We can make the shows edgier for adult audiences, too, or we can keep them very kid-friendly. We pride ourselves on delivering to our clients the kind of show they want. Our motto is “Just ask.”

What is Punch and Judy exactly? I mean, I’ve heard of it, but what happens in a Punch and Judy show?

We’re glad you asked that. Punch and Judy is a traditional puppet performance which dates back to at least the mid 17th century. It involves a somewhat wayward hero, Punch, and his interactions with his wife, teaching his baby to walk, run-ins with the law, narrow escapes, supernatural beings, and nonstop laughs.

I heard that Punch and Judy is violent. Is that true?

It doesn’t have to be. The traditional Punch and Judy show often did involve a lot of slapstick humor on the order of Tom & Jerry–always silly, never serious. However, in keeping with modern practices, our shows rely more on absurd and comic situations for humor than mere slapstick.

But you do other puppet shows as well?

Indeed we do. Our favorite subjects are mythology and fairy tales.

How long is your show?

It varies. A 30-minute show is typical, but we have no difficulty expanding it or condensing it, depending on the wishes of our clients.

How many people are in your outfit?

Just me–my suit is only so big.

No, no, you goofball. I mean, how many people are in your production crew?

Oh, I see. The traditional Punch and Judy Show is designed to have but a single puppet operator, who is often accompanied by an additional person called the “Bottler.” His or her job is to help set up, interact with the crowd, and, in the case of street performance, pass the hat at the end of the show.

Other productions, such as our version of the Greek Cyclops story or Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky,” sometimes call for two puppet operators.

Would this be a good idea for a school event, and could it be made educational?

Definitely. Our principal puppeteer is a schoolteacher by profession and has made a career out of educating young people. We are happy to take questions after the show about Punch and Judy. For schools, we charge an especially low rate.

So, you could make this an educational experience?

Certainly. I (Kitos) am a teacher by profession and offer a mini-lecture on the history of the English Punch-and-Judy Show if desired. It’s fascinating stuff, really, once you start learning about it.

Does it have to be educational?

Not at all. We’re quite happy to keep things nice and farcical.

What? You do corporate events?

Yes we do. If you’re sponsoring a corporate event and you want to include something people will remember, this is it. The levity of a puppet show, often serves as an excellent ice breaker. We are always happy to work with clients to incorporate particular themes or references into the show.

If I hire you, what do I need to provide?

Just space. We are entirely self-sufficient and bring our own PA equipment (if required), our own electricity, and our own lighting for nighttime events.

Okay, I’m kind of interested, but…is this expensive?

No, not at all. Send us a message describing the type of event you want us for, and we’ll give you a quote. Although this is mostly a labor of love for us, it’s not entirely a labor of love, so we do have to charge for our performances, plus travel expenses outside of Monroe County, NY. Prices depend on the type of show, the venue, and the number of shows desired. At public festivals, you see, we sometimes repeat our show up to three times throughout the day as new crowds come along. Often we can charge lower rates if circumstances permit us to set up a hat for tips (at the discretion of our clients).

Who are you, anyway?

Professor Kitos, our primary and sometimes sole operator, is a retired high school Latin teacher. This is the sort of thing Latin teachers end u Professor Feist is by a day a research scientist. Professor Rauncie is a retired Dean of the Rochester Institute of Technology. As for how we got into puppetry in the first place—well, we’re not sure. It just kind of happened.

We are happy to provide references and more detailed information about who we are upon demand.

What do you mean, “Professor”?

Oh, I should have said. Punch and Judy puppeteers are traditionally referred to as “Professors.” Pretty classy, no?

Thanks for reading all this! For more information, contact Kitos at kitosdigiovanni@gmail.com


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