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.
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 ArmoftheSea.org or call 845-246-7873.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org