Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Halloween shows

This Halloween we are proud to perform:

“Revenge of the Crashing Witches”

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23

2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30

2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31

Strange things happen when the cranky Dottie Splinterbottom moves next door to Witch Hazel Green. One by one, Hazel’s sisters, the Witches Emerald, Jade, Kelly, Olive, Avocado and Mint Green, fly into utility poles where they become impossibly stuck. At first, Hazel’s magical attempts to help them seem to backfire, but eventually all is well. 

Please remember to wear a mask — the kind that covers your mouth and nose. Halloween costumes are welcome, as well.

If you are coming from Dubuque, we expect the detour to last through November. Either take the East Dubuque bridge to 20, 20 to 84 and 84 north to Hazel Green. Or, if taking the Wisconsin bridge, get off of 151 at Kieler. Take H to Cuba City and 81 south of Hazel Green. Leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

“Scribble” shows in September

We are reopening the opera house after nearly a year, with performances beginning Labor Day weekend.


Performances will be:

11 a.m & 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4
(No performances on Sunday, Sept. 5)
11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 6

11 a.m & 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11
2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12

Please wear a mask if you are over the age of 2
Tickets are $5 per person, available only at the door.
The door will open a half hour before each performance.

This is the story of four school friends who meet a magical mouse and find themselves on a fantastic adventure, when they become characters in stories they are writing. But the princess, mermaid, astronaut and race car driver find that their stories have gotten all jumbled up. Fortunately, Scribble has some magical pencils to help them fight unexpected villains and sort things out.

The 45-minute show features, rod puppets, hand puppets and shadow puppets. The original show with original music was created in 2014 with a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Upcoming shows in 2021

 We have decided not to do an Eastertime show again this year, as the pandemic hopefully winds down. However, we have a new summer library-themed traveling show available that we should be able to do indoors or out. It’s called 

“Cat and Dog’s Trip Across America”

This is a departure from our usual traveling hand puppet shows. This is a table top show, featuring a suitcase “cranky” and a few other surprises. Depending on how the summer goes, we might offer this show in the opera house. 

In September, we’ll bring back “Scribble,” our original story about a mouse who takes four school kids on a writing adventure. This story is told with rod and hand puppets as well as two different kind of shadow puppets. 


“Scribble” will be performed on Labor Day weekend, Sat. Sept. 4 and Monday, Sept. 6, as well as Sept. 11 and 12. This is a show about the magic of creative writing, first performed in area schools several years ago, thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board. We will make this available for area school trips to the opera house during week days from Sept. 7 through Oct. 8. This is a perfect show for grades 2-4 (but great for all ages.)

“Revenge of the Crashing Witches”

Our Halloween shows will be the weekends of Oct. 23-24 and 30-31.

“Christmas Around the World”

Our Christmas shows will be the weekends of Dec. 11-12, 18-19 as well as Wednesday, Dec. 29.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Shows cancelled

 Sadly, we will not be doing any shows at the Hazel Green Opera House until this pandemic is under control and people feel safe to come out to a puppet show. There were extremely small audiences for our September and October shows and we were barely able to pay for the advertising. Luckily, we had a little bit of money tucked away and we are set to receive a $769 grant through the Wisconsin Arts Board. This will help pay the heat, light and insurance bills for a little while, hopefully until we can open the doors again.

In the meantime, wear a mask and stay safe. Enjoy the holidays as best you can, and if anyone is interested in purchasing a puppet as a gift, please call me at 608-732-7129.

Monday, October 5, 2020

A Halloween show

 Yes, we are planning to perform our regularly scheduled Halloween shows!

As with our September shows, there will be several changes because of Covid.

We will require mask-wearing for anyone age 5 and older

We will require reservations, so that we can keep our audiences to 25 or fewer people and also to notify you if we have to cancel. The largest audience we had in September was 19. Most audiences were quite, quite small and 3 shows were cancelled because there were no reservations. While this makes us a bit sad, we also appreciate that you won’t come to the theater if you aren’t feeling well or might have been exposed to the virus.

Of course, we will clean surfaces in between shows and seat our audience groups at appropriate distances.

And now, on with the show!

“The Phantom of the Hazel Green Opera House”

11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Sat. Oct. 24
2 p.m. Sun. Oct. 25
11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Sat. Oct. 31

In this spoof VERY loosely based on a well-known musical, mysterious things have been happening at the Hazel Green Opera House. Witch Hazel Green and Frankie are trying to find out who has kidnapped Scarecrow Sally and her new friend with an unintelligible name. The historic building itself is a character in the comedy which is appropriate for all ages. It is more silly than it is scary.
Other characters on the marionette stage include a little black cat, a pumpkin-headed ghost, a skeleton and the Six Dancing Green Sisters, as well as a few surprise cameos.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

We are baaaaack! Jack will climb the beanstalk!

 After much thought and discussion, we have decided to go ahead with our September shows. Please note the many changes we will make in the way we do things at the Hazel Green Opera House.

 The Fever River Puppeteers Board met recently and approved our plans to host performances of 

"Jack and the Beanstalk"

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sat. Sept. 5

2 p.m. Sun. Sept. 6

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday (Labor Day) Sept. 7

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sat. Sept. 12

2 p.m. Sun. Sept. 13

New Policies:

Seating will be assigned and limited to 25 per performance.

Seating by reservation only -- call 608-732-7129

Visitors age 5 and older must wear a mask.

(There will be a little surprise for kids who keep their masks on.)

Visitors will be asked to arrive at prescribed times to avoid crowding in the lobby.

We will do the after-show photo ops by taking turns and social distancing.

Tickets are now $5 per person. Pay at the door. Check or exact change, please.

Please be aware that, because of the pandemic, there could be cancellations.

    Our marionette version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" is based on the old English fairy tale, in which a poor and not-so-bright lad trades the family cow (performed by your favorite bovine, Bossie!) for a handful of magic beans. The beans grow into a mighty stalk which Jack climbs to find adventure in the giant's castle up in the clouds. It's all there -- the goose that lays the golden egg and a sarcastic singing harp. Witch Hazel Green puts in an appearance or two to help Jack understand  things and there just might be a budding romance between Jack and the giant's tiny kitchen maid, Jill.

We first performed this show standing on tables in the Benton Public School library during Labor Day weekend of 1994. The late Peg Roberts played the piano live and during one performance stopped playing to retrieve a toddler who had climbed onto the puppet stage! 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Some thoughts about reopening

With the virus still lurking everywhere and new developments every day, we are pondering whether the Fever River Puppeteers will have a fall/winter season.

What will the schools be doing? Will they open in some way with masks and social distancing?
If so, we could do something like that at the Hazel Green Opera House. We can ask people to make reservations ahead of time, so that we can limit audience sizes to 25. We can seat people in household groups with distance between the groups. We can ask people — including kids — to wear masks. We can take temperatures, sanitize surfaces in between shows and put up a plexiglas barrier at the ticket booth. We would probably man the ticket booth ourselves and not ask our board members to volunteer, as they usually have done.

Our first fall show is usually timed to coincide with the Benton Labor Day weekend celebration. 
This year, the village fire department is NOT having a celebration. 

So, we could:

  • Offer shows all 3 days of Labor Day weekend.
  • Or, we could skip that weekend.  
  • We could offer our show, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” all through September or part of September, then take the rest of the year off and wait for a vaccine.
  • Or we could see how things are going and try to have a Halloween show and maybe even a Christmas show, again, only taking reservations and limiting our audiences. Unless things are much worse....

We could also offer our shows online, on a private YouTube channel, with families voluntarily sending us a “subscription” fee, of perhaps $10 per family per show. 

Would you do that? 

We made our Easter show available for free. And we made our summer show as well as the pattern and instruction for making a puppet available to libraries for a fee. We have had zero response to either one, although our YouTube host tells us that people are visiting the site. 

Your thoughts?

Email us at voight167@centurylink.net.