A Live Theatrical Performance Opens Shelburne Museum’s Upcoming Exhibition, Puppets: World on a String


February 7, 2018

Press Contact: Geeda Searfoorce

Marketing and Communications Manager

802-985-0881 (direct line)


(Shelburne, Vermont) Betsy Tobin and the Now Or Never Theatre will present The Auspicious Adventures of an Improbable Princess at Shelburne Museum for the opening of the new exhibition Puppets: World on a String on February 17 in the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education.

This original performance about transformation incorporates scenes from the great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, using shadow puppetry and video sequences with an original musical score composed by Jesse Manno. Designed and directed by Betsy Tobin. Assisted by Kathryn Moller. Performed by Betsy Tobin and Margarita Blush.

 In this original story, an ordinary woman enters a temple in an exotic land and exits almost unrecognizable. Her transformation continues through a series of everyday adventures that catapult her into previously unknown metaphysical realms. She encounters a wide array of characters from inner demons to animals and spirits. This quirky comedy about culture shock and what we gain from exposure to other ways of life incorporates ceremonial aspects of Balinese performances. It also draws inspiration from the fantastic characters and inventive storylines of the great Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. The show features vivid imagery, interesting twists and turns in the plot, and humor.

Director Betsy Tobin weaves a tapestry of stories, multi-layered visual images, and powerful scenes to communicate rich emotions and insights of life’s journeys. She has toured her work across Europe, winning awards and performing in major international festivals. Since founding the Now Or Never Theatre in Boulder, Colorado, she has created smaller shows like In Search of Giants and Stories of Sticks and Stones, as well as the large multi-media productions Wonder Tales of the Islamic World, The Odyssey, microcosm/MACROCOSM, Metaphor, and Shadows & Journeys, which was toured in canyons and National Parks across the Southwest. She can be reached at (303) 588-5048, btobin@indra.com, or www.nowornevertheatre.com.

The performance is funded in part by Shelburne Museum, the Boulder County Arts Alliance, and the Boulder Library Foundation. 


WHAT: The Auspicious Adventures of an Improbable Princess presented by Betsy Tobin and the Now Or Never Theatre

WHEN: February 17 at 4 PM

WHERE: Shelburne Museum, 6000 Shelburne Road in Shelburne, Vermont, in the auditorium of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The show will be followed by a gallery tour of the special exhibition, Puppets: World on a String, with curator Carolyn Bauer.

The performance is recommended for adults and children over age 10. Pre-registration is required for the performance. Visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/puppets-world-on-a-string-opening-tickets-40939664639 to pre-register. FREE with museum admission.


The immersive exhibition Puppets: World on a String will transport visitors into magical realms where animals speak, shadows come alive, and politicians face their harshest critics. Featuring multimedia works of art by local and national artists, from 19th century marionettes to contemporary digital installations, this exhibition pushes the boundaries of our concepts of this age-old art form.

WHAT: Puppets: World on a String
WHEN: February 17 – June 3, 2018
WHERE: Shelburne Museum, 6000 Shelburne Road in Shelburne, Vermont, in the Colgate Gallery of the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education

WHO: Curated by Carolyn Bauer. Featured artists include Frank Ballard, Sarah Frechette, Laura Heit, Jane Henson, Jim Henson, Christian Jankowski, Rick Meyerowitz, Tony Oursler, Margo and Rufus Rose, Sandglass Theater, Peter Schumann (of Bread and Puppet Theater), Betsy Tobin, and Andy Warhol.


Founded in 1947 by sugar heiress and pioneering folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888–1960), Shelburne Museum is the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s foremost public resource for visual art and material culture. The museum is open year-round, with the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Webb Gallery featuring important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley, and many more. For more information, please visit shelburnemuseum.org.

Shelburne Museum

6000 Shelburne Road or PO Box 10

Shelburne, VT 05482

(Tel) 802-985-3346 or (Web) www.shelburnemuseum.org