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The Cashore Marionettes will perform Tuesday in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. (Provided via The Cashore Marionettes)

Cashore Marionettes to celebrate an unusual artform and the richness of life

Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium hosts many shows throughout the Performing Arts and Concert Series and the special add-ons, but the shows all have one thing in common: there are people performing for an audience. 

The auditorium’s next upcoming show, however, is a little different and will feature the Cashore Marionettes. The show is the work of Joseph Cashore, a man who has dedicated his life to creating lifelike puppets.

On Tuesday, audiences will be able to see the Life in Motion performance that showcases scenes from everyday life with marionette characters. The scenes are accompanied by classical composers such as Beethoven, Strauss, Vivaldi and Copland. 

Through the music, humor, poetic insight and marionette manipulation, Cashore hopes to get across the message of celebrating the richness of life to adults and young adults. 

Andrew Holzaepfel, senior associate director for student activities, was excited to work with the Cashore Marionettes show again after it was performed a few years ago.

“It’s going to be nice to have them back,” Holzaepfel said. “It was very well-received last time around, so we’re really excited to show it again. The marionettes are just beautiful pieces of art, and Joseph Cashore brings them to life in an amazing way.” 

After the Tuesday night public performance of Life in Motion, Wednesday morning the Cashore Marionettes will be performing another show, Simple Gifts, for local elementary school students. Holzaepfel feels grateful to be able to give elementary students an opportunity to experience such an unusual show.

“It’s a very unique kind of a show,” Holzaepfel said. “You don’t often come across a marionette performance, so this is really a good opportunity to see such an artform in person.”

Cashore has received numerous awards for his puppeteering, including a Citation of Excellence from the international puppetry association, which is the highest honor an American puppeteer can receive. One of Cashore’s goals was to find a way to promote puppetry to adults, and Tuesday’s show is intended for audiences no younger than eight years old but more geared toward adults.

Students are interested to see how the performance with marionette figures will compare to other theatrical performances they’ve seen in the past. 

Bella Lindner, a freshman studying criminology, is interested in the uniqueness of the show and how puppetry can be geared toward adults.

“This show sounds really different than most of the typical shows that come to campus,” Lindner said. “I can’t wait to see how a puppet show can be geared towards adults and how it compares to other shows I’ve seen.” 

Lexi Garvey, a freshman studying retail merchandising and fashion product development, is amazed by the talent and attention to detail it takes to create a marionette show.

“This show sounds incredible,” Garvey said. “The amount of talent it must take to create those puppets and to be able to control them during the show while not drawing focus away from the story line is just amazing. This show is definitely unique and is going to be amazing to watch.” 


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