The Olde World Puppet Theatre performed their award-winning medieval
Tales of Belvuria series live for over 30 years, making it one of the
longest running puppet series in the United States.
We spent the '80's in San Francisco where we were
Macy's puppet company for 11 Bay Area stores. Each of
the four seasons brought a new show traveling to all of
their stores, the largest being the Christmas Season in
their downtown San Francisco store in their famous
We dazzled the opening of the San Francisco opera season
by featuring our jewel-like marionettes in eight windows
for Tiffany & Co. as well as providing winter holiday
windows for three Saks Fith Avenue stores. We also
planted the idea for the talking Mother Goose by Worlds of
Wonder and gave inspiration to Steven Sondheim for his
Broadway hit Into the Woods.
The California Board of Education and the National
Association of Librarians recognized us with awards for
best children's plays for The Tales Of Belvuria.
The Olde World Puppet Theatre has made TV appearances in
segments on PBS, Evening Magazine, numerous local news
shows and public access cable TV shows. Some of our earlier
Tales of Belvuria tapes were seen nationwide across Canada.
In 1992, The Olde World Puppet Theatre returned home to Portland Oregon,
opening deluxe indoor marionette puppet theaters in both Mall 205 and Jantzen
Beach Super Center. For the next 15 years they also continued performing their
live traveling shows for festivals and local events throughout the western United
States. It is a source of pride that our clients booked our live shows over and
over again. Among our continuing clients: Macys, Nordstrom, I Magnin, Horst
Mager's Octoberfest, Portland's and Seattle's Italian Festas, and the elementary
educational systems throughout the western United States.
In 1994, The Olde World Puppet Theatre was hired by David Poulshock
Productions, producers of the children's video Wee Sing Under The Sea to
consult on its creation, build the three most complex puppets in the video,
and to perform many of the most difficult segments.
From November 1996 to January, 1997, we curated and created The
Incredible, Fascinating, Wonderful World of Puppets for The Oregon
Museum of Science and Industry, the largest puppet event ever held on the
west coast. It featured over 1,000 puppets from around the world, hands-on
activities for visitors and three months of live puppet performances by the
most famous puppet troupes on the west coast. Drawing over 71,000
visitors, it helped OMSI recover from the river flooding that ravaged their
campus. This is still one of our proudest achievements.
We began building giant puppets for Portland Scandinavian Revels,
starting with an 18 foot tall Water Mother puppet operated by four
puppeteers, followed by an eight foot tall wind mask that transformed on
stage. Other puppets for that show included Dala Goats, each three to five
feet tall. They were the first puppets to be printed from a computer and
blown up to their huge size. The show went on to run in Seattle as well as
Boston, taking our creations across the United States.
Portland's Starlight Parade and Rose Festival Parade have also featured our
larger creations, including fifteen-foot tall Norse God puppets, a giant purple
smoke-belching dragon, and Renaissance-costumed walkaround characters,
winning the company three Best Float awards.
Along the way, we have built several sets of puppets for
other company's shows including Portland's Tears of Joy
Theatre's Adventures of Perseus, and the Ojai Valley
(California) Land Conservancy's
Quilly the Quail's Adventure Show.
Working with Michael Curry Designs, we also designed
and built 25 rod puppets for Orlando Disneyworld's live
stage production of Hunchback of Notré Dame, which
was seen by over 21 million people during its six-year
run. Other challenging projects included the Barq's Root
Beer Dog amd Sophie, the River Otter mascot for the Fort
Vancouver Library system.
No, No, No Pinocchio
was created for the
Festas Italiana in both
Portland and Seattle.
For Portland area festivals we
built the puppets, props and
sets for an outdoor version of
Wizard of Oz.
For those of you who missed
the disco scene of the late
70's, an artist named Meco
created a disco version of the
Wizard of Oz which told the
entire story of the movie in 27
In our version, in addition to
our usual cast of marionettes,
several of the puppets were
human-size, worn by the
puppeteers, allowing them a
totally new freedom to
interact with the audience.
We have also been either puppet or costume consultant for such films as Skin
Deep for Blake Edwards, Mousehunt, and Titanic, as well as winning the
Portland Drama Critic’s DRAMMY award for Best Costumer for Tygre’s Heart
Shakespeare Company's production of Much Ado About Nothing.
Using all Oregon-based talent, we spent the last four years
making the movie Witch Key, a Prince's Adventure, one of the
most beloved and performed tales in the series, and the book,
The Enchanted Ring, a Princess's Adventure, another of our
most performed tales.
Over the years, our memberships have included the San Francisco Bay
Area Puppeteers Guild, The Columbia Association of Puppeteers,
UNIMA and The Puppeteers of America.
We created The Olde World Puppet Theatre Studios with the goal, in the
new digital age, to release our stories directly into people's homes for the
whole family to enjoy and share. Printed and electronic books, DVDs and
electronic downloads all fulfill this goal. Later we hope to film other
puppet companies, preserving the traditions of American puppetry for
future generations to come.
We operate three websites, http://www.belvuria.com - the destination
website devoted to everything about our mythical kingdom, and
http://www.puppetmuseum.com, an international magnet for puppet
enthusiasts, with visitors from over 110 different countries represented
to date, and http://www.st-wolfgangs.org, a time capsule of the
Renaissance Fair days of old.
For more information on any of these projects click on the "Commercial"
menu button above.
For a downloadable .pdf file of the text on this page, click here.
Continuing with outdoor live puppet spectacles, we teamed up with St.
Wolfgang's Bavarian Guild to produce three shows performed at Pacific
Northwest Renissance Fairs. Lord of the Dance, was a seven-minute giant
puppet and mask event took over 68 performers and featured the music of
Todd Allen. The Legend of Bily Goats Gruff featured all kinds of puppets
from rod to giant parade puppet, thrilling the live audiences for 22
minutes. The 11th century St George and the Dragon was recreated as a
living bard puppet piece and was performed for over seven years.
Each story tells children and families a new adventure from our very unique
and original land of Belvuria. Each of the interlocking shows is complete
within itself, a snapshot of the lives of the land's inhabitants, their trials and
tribulations. The series was designed to bring family audiences of all ages into
our fantasy world. They were performed in indoor live theatres which we
designed and built in Pacifica and Palo Alto, California, as well as touring to
the educational systems throughout the west coast.
We produced The
Robin Hood for
Robin Hood Days
glass, these unique
characters lifted off
the windows of an
outdoor chapel to
battle foes in this
romantic legend of
The creative forces behind the theatre are Master Puppeteer
Steven M. Overton
and Martin Richmond. Other company members include
Michelle Brouse Peoples, Brittany Burton, Dan DeMoy,
Candace Dobson, Bill Holznagel, Geordie Humphrey,
Samantha Anne Maggio, Bobbi Overton, Wyatt Peoples, Justen
Steve Richmond, and Jason Ropp, and Starr Sheppard-Decker.
The series features 17 interlocking episodes with
over 150 exquisite marionette characters- from
Dragons to Unicorns, Witches, Pixies, Faeries, a
King and Queen, and a Prince and Princess.
© 2017 Olde World Puppet Theatre
Page Last updated September 10, 2017
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