Jim Gamble is recognized as one of this country's finest puppeteers, and has been honored internationally with "Grand Prix" winner at International Festivals in Russia, Japan and Yugoslavia. With three decades of performances credits, The Gamble Puppets annually perform for hundreds of audiences in the United States. International credits include tours in Japan, Korea, Singapore, France, Russia, Yugoslavia, Iran, Israel, Fiji, Micronesia, Siberia, Hong Kong, Bolivia and Croatia. This award-winning company offers six productions. Each fosters entertainment-packed musical education, cultural enrichment and learning experiences in puppetry and literature.
Hansel and Gretel features beautiful hand-crafted string puppets in this production of the Humperdinck opera, based on the classic tale first published by the Brothers Grimm. Two puppeteers present the performance on a European-style full proscenium stage, enchanting audiences with the exciting and perilous adventures of two lost children. As the children encounter friendly forest animals and a peculiar old woman who "loves little children so much that she could just gobble them up!" the audience can't wait to see what happens next.
Myths of the Aztecs provides a fascinating glimpse of pre-Hispanic times in Meso-America. Performed by two puppeteers and framed by Aztec temple sets, the production features colorful rod and shadow puppets depicting legends from long ago. Life-sized puppets depict a Hispanic puppet girl visiting temple ruins in Mexico City and the archeologist who introduces her to Aztec culture. Large rod puppet Aztec gods introduce myths and transform into shadows as they depict the founding of Mexico City and "How Music Came into the Aztec World." Filled with Spanish vocabulary and authentic Aztec musical interludes, the production provides an entertaining and educational experience for the audience.
Tales of the Ashanti stage settings and characters were inspired by the characteristic artwork of the famed Ashanti tribe of West Africa. A patchwork map of Africa, interwoven with the highly prized Kente cloth, serves as centerpiece to the performance. Beautifully crafted puppets reflect the distinctive carvings and patterns found on Ashanti printing stamps and gold weights. These life-sized rod and body puppets are used to tell stories from this fabled tribe, introducing students to traditional African storytelling methods. Based on scripts adapted from approved curriculum reading materials, the performance, rich in history and imagination, provides an experience that is one-of-a-kind.
Peter and the Wolf and Carnival of the Animals are two rod puppet productions utilizing the innovative 'curtain of light' technique. The puppeteer, dressed all in black, operates the puppets while standing directly behind them, invisible to the audience. Peter and the Wolf, based on Prokofiev's famous musical work, features a variety of puppet characters that portray people, animals and instruments. This performance introduces students to the sights and sounds of instruments from the orchestra. Carnival of the Animals is a delightful musical appreciation program based on the composition of French composer Saint-Saens. It features the composer as a little boy imaginatively creating his own musical carnival characters.
The Nutcracker is a charming and popular marionette production of Tchaikovsky's classic masterpiece. In this full-stage production that uses colorful string puppets to dramatize the story, a life-sized puppet figure of Godfather Drosselmeier narrates as the well-loved tale of the Nutcracker and Clara unfolds. Russian Cossacks, Turkish Belly Dancers, Chinese Dragons and saucy Spanish Scarves perform; jack Frost dips and swirls on his flashing ice-skates, and a beautiful ballerina pirouettes to "Waltz of the Flowers." Colorful sets provide a backdrop for the puppet production, highlighting the exciting moment when the Nutcracker hero duels the treacherous Rat King. This perennial holiday classic is available in November and December.
Carnival of the Animals - Camille Saint-Saëns’ zoological fantasy, the Carnival of the Animals, comes to life on the puppet stage with Jim Gamble's spectacular puppet creations. This innovative puppet presentation highlights both the art of puppetry and the work of France’s beloved 19th century classical composer. The performance, a whimsical study in transformation, uses the articles found in a child's room or objects seen through his window to create fanciful animals that relate to the individual thematic pieces of Saint-Saëns’ music. The Carnival of the Animals (Le Carnaval des Animaux) is both a heart-warming and humorous blend of classical music and puppet theatre, and a reminder for students that art is made from the materials both in and of our lives.
To schedule this artist, please call Music Center on Tour at (213) 972-4310 or EMAIL US›