Saugerties Lighthouse Sesquicentennial: Keep That Lamp Trimmed ‘n Burning

Arm-of-the-Sea Theater will present its annual outdoor performance spectacle, The Esopus Creek Puppet Suite, in Saugerties on August 16th, 17th and 18th. This year’s show, “Keep That Lamp Trimmed ‘n Burning,” is inspired by the 150th anniversary of the Saugerties Lighthouse. The story is set in 1869, with the nation still deeply wounded from the Civil War, and the rise of the women’s suffrage movement in Upstate New York. It centers around a lighthouse keeper who is losing his sight. His two teenage daughters take over his duties and become renowned as boat handlers and keepers of the light. This outdoor performance event features larger-than-life puppet characters, shadow projections, masked dancers and various low-tech devices of theatrical enchantment.

Saugerties Lighthouse, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Arm-of-the-Sea is an award-winning arts ensemble that fuses visual storytelling with live music in contemporary works of mask and puppet theater. Founded in 1982 by Marlena Marallo and Patrick Wadden, the company’s hybrid style channels the evocative power of the arts as a force for joy, insight, and community uplift. The theater is in the early stages of a project that will transform the ruins of a 19th century papermill adjacent to Chorvas Park into the Tidewater Center for Hudson River Arts and Science. Information about this project will be available at this event. 

The 2019 Puppet Suite begins at 8:00 PM at Tina Chorvas Waterfront Park, 61 East Bridge Street, in the village of Saugerties. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children and $25 for a family of four. Purchase tickets in advance here. Tickets are available at the park entrance each evening of the event. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early and bring lawn seating. In the event of inclement weather, the performance may take place at St Mary’s Hall, 23 Cedar St. in Saugerties.   For more information, visit or call 845-246-7873.  

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