Cashore Marionettes: Bringing Art to Life

Sat, Nov 1, 7pm, 2014

Cashore Marionettes ElephantONLINE TICKETS CLICK HERE


Winner of a Pew Fellowship for Performance Art and Puppetry’s Citation of Excellence

This show is highly recommended for adults and children.


He’s only a man, with just two arms and two hands.

But Joe Cashore works miracles with only the slightest pluck and pull on strings that bind him to more than a dozen of his “Cashore Marionettes,” characters brought to life in a mesmerizing show for adults and children.

“Amazing…a once in a lifetime event…”

– Sunrise Theatre, NC

And can it be true that a pint-sized marionette “playing” a slice of music could capture our imaginations and suspend our disbelief even as the puppeteer stands in full view of the audience manipulating too many tensile strands to count?

Cashore’s many marionettes move through scenes set to classical music and collectively titled “Life In Motion.”

It is a measure of Cashore’s engrossing artistry that even as we see him pitch and yaw the elaborate apparatus that controls each character, we soon forget about the man and fix our attention instead on the hypnotic, languorous Janos Zelinka (Photo by Matt Cashore)movements of the marionettes.

“A powerful theatrical evening.”

– University of Notre Dame

Cashore, who has traveled the world for more than 20 years performing with his handcrafted string puppets, reintroduces us to an art form that goes back to ancient times.

In Cashore’s talented hands, the marionettes perform feats far beyond the wooden, jerky mimicry we might expect from mere toys. In sync with the music, each character acts out a narrative with smooth and subtle grace — an acrobat on a swing, a caveman making a fire, an elephant in the wild.

Cashore paces his 90-minute show slowly and deliberately. Still, the brief story arcs animated by each marionette capture a range of human emotions and keep the audience transfixed. Toddler-age children in the audience laughed loudest at the frequent funny moments (ever see a marionette “moonwalk?”), but even my 10-year-old son pronounced the show “hilarious” and “amazing” by turns.

The skill he demonstrates as he moves a hobo’s toe, a horse’s ear and “Johnny Lobotomy’s” fingers on a guitar casts a spell that’s impossible to shake.

Working solo, Cashore must focus on one marionette at a time, which invariably turns the show to sequences brimming with spiritual solitude.

But the stark beauty of a boy flying a kite or a mountain climber mastering a peak (here, the puppeteer himself) distills our primal, human need to make a mark and shout out our human yearning. Let computer trickery take you and fake you some other day. Pure, simple and beguiling, the “Cashore Marionettes” are the real deal.

The evening opens with a performance by local students and celebrates the power and impact of art in our communities.

To further honor the vibrancy of life’s unpredictable journey, Methow Arts is offering free tickets to students and families who lost their homes in the wildfires of the past summer. We believe that art heals the spirit and we invite those who have lost so much to join us for an evening of optimism and hope. Additionally, as always Methow Arts provides free tickets to clients of The Cove, Room One, and the Senior Center at those locations.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS: National Endowment for the Arts. Sun Mountain Lodge. ArtsWA. River Run Inn. Public School Funding Alliance. Community Foundation of NCW. Methow Valley Fund. KTRT – 97.5fm.

DATE: Sat, Nov 1, 7pm. LOCATION: Winthrop Barn. TICKETS: Twisp Daily Business, Riverside Printing Winthrop,, Methow Arts in Twisp, and at the door. PRICE: $15/ADULTS ADVANCE, $18/DOOR, $5 under 18 years old. Free to those who lost homes in summer wildfires. Call Methow Arts prior to the show to redeem these tickets. CONTACT: Methow Arts(.org), 509.997.4004,