Madeleine Beresford and Margaret Moody met at Oberlin College and founded Galapagos Puppet Theater in 1987.Through puppetry, they enjoy bringing together the arts of sculpture, theater, and writing. Galapagos performs original fantasies, adaptations of folktales, and a historical drama based on the diary a young girl kept in Nazi Germany (Esther's Story).
Margaret and Madeleine make most of their own hand, rod, shadow and life-sized puppets. Taiwan's I Wan Jan Troupe made the puppets that Galapagos uses in Chinese folktales.
Margaret and Madeleine studied with the late master puppeteer Lee Tien-lu, who was named a "national living treasure" in Taiwan. Master Lee taught Margaret and Madeleine the basic movements of the Chang Chung Hsi style, which is also known as the "theater of the palm of the hand." Galapagos now performs three episodes of the Journey to the West, a classic Chinese folktale.
While in Taiwan, Madeleine and Margaret teamed with filmmakers Oren Rudavsky and Peter Hutcheson to produce the documentary Theater of the Palms: The World of Puppet Master Lee. The film was shown at the Margaret Mead and Bombay film festivals and aired on PBS stations around the country in 1991. Theater of the Palms is available as part of school residencies by Galapagos.
Madeleine teaches residencies with the New Jersey State Arts Council and with Arts Horizons. She apprenticed with the Salzburg Marionette Theater and has worked with the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Madeleine performs solo shows in the greater New York area.
Margaret is an active member and past president of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry. Since 1996, she has been part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council artists roster. Her favorite parts of puppetry are creating character voices and making puppets. Margaret offers solo performances in the Boston area for small groups, including libraries and private parties.
Steven Hollow, who began working with the troupe in 2002, is a distinguished teaching artist with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He has been a visiting faculty member for the North Carolina School of the Arts and Long Island University; an outreach artist for the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning; and an arts consultant to the New York City Board of Education.
Thank you for presenting such a wonderful puppet show
at the Tibetan Museum last Sunday. I was very impressed (and entertained)
by your repertoire of characters.
Our 3rd - 8th grade students sat quietly for the hour-long
performance as the puppeteer disappeared against the backdrop and Esther
herself came to life.The performance will certainly become a gateway to
classroom discussion about this period.
Thanks to James Moore, Jan Rogers, Steven Hollow, James Norman and Andre Burger for photographing the puppets. And thanks to Amy Ritterbusch for web design.