Reviews and Recommendations and Recent Performances:

 

February, 2014: The Snowmaiden was presented at the Thomaston Public Library in Thomaston, CT

Purple Rock Productions regularly performs at:

Open Hand Theater in Syracuse, NY

Rockville Public Library, Rockville, CT

Pine Point School, Stonington, CT

 

 

Reviews from past performances:

 

April, 2008:

The Snowmaiden received a wonderful review in the "Reminder News", written by Tom Phelan.

"True to the storytelling technique of folk tales, this one ended with Duprey’s assurance: “and the old couple were never lonely again.”

The tunes played by mandolinist Bill Walach throughout the performance were all original Russian melodies, with frequent repetition of the “Russian Round Dance,” which Duprey taught willing members of the audience after the show."

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Winter, 2005:

"I have had quite a lot of positive feedback from my patrons, and I, myself, truly enjoyed your masterful performance! The production was wonderful, truly enhanced by the beautiful live music and interaction between you and the musician. The music really gave the production the atmosphere of Russia. It was also particularly nice to get the chance to see the puppets close up and watch how you work them."

Amy Lilien-Harper,
Harry Bennet Branch,
Ferguson Library, Stamford

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August 31, 2005 The Republican (Longmeadow); Article by Christine Swasey:

Shouts and laughter filled the Betty Ann Low Room of Storrs Library recently as Purple Rock Productions performed an old-fashioned puppet show entitled "Spinning Straw Into Gold" for about 45 enthusiastic young spectators.

...In this performance (Duprey) added elements to the traditional tale, like a colorful dragon and a clumsy spider.

...Puppets asked the children for help: "Was someone pulling my tail?" or "Which way did he go?" to which the audience shouted out its reply.

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28 Jan. 2004:

Dear Rolande and Bill:

Thank you so much for giving us such a wonderful performance of The Snowmaiden last Saturday. I am not exaggerating when I say that every single family thanked me for getting such a great family program and commented on how talented you were as they left the auditorium that day. This is really the ideal winter program, especially for such a religiously and ethnically diverse community as Stamford. We truly enjoyed having you here and I hope we can work together again sometime soon!

Elizabeth McKay, Children’s Librarian, Stamford Public Library

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Winter 2004: Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry newsletter:

“The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the story of a boy who loses himself in a land where monsters, mermaids and fairies live. With only a small wizard to help him navigate through all the different places he visits, the boy works to save the Imagine Nation from destruction by a very hungry worm. The adventures included a hilarious chase scene – a mischievous egg pursuing the comical wizard. “

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August 2003:

As Head teacher of a small primary school in Orkney, off the northernmost tip of Scotland, I was delighted to be able to engage the services of Rolande Duprey (for two workshops, shadow theatre and Physics of Movement)……There were enough marionettes for each pupil to be able to use their own, which was marvelous… The children were enthralled with how these deceptively simple marionettes came to life and each had their own personality. This was performed for the other pupils of the school…and was greatly enjoyed“.

--Mrs. Alison Mainland, Rousay Community School.

 

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Quotes from other puppeteers:

The set is an ingenious stacking of different sized & shaped baskets, which we learn at the beginning is ‘Basket City’, and which includes a mall, post office, apartments, hotel, bank, fountain, and the Palace of the Queen. 

As her original story unfolds, characters are introduced often with a musical or rhythmical song, and we learn about each one as they emerge from somewhere in the maze of those baskets…some emerge reluctantly, others are eager for a newfound freedom, but most are on some kind of quest.  Throughout there are a series of very clever transformations as we discover that what’s upright one minute really belongs upside-down, and a constant guessing game of who is where keeps the audience alert!  From giant-sized basket puppets to a tiny fellow looking for his mother, simple and colorful silk rod puppets to exquisite hand made cloth marionettes, and of course, the unique basket puppets – my favorite was the Empty-headed Queen!    

                                                                                              -- Marilyn O’Connor Miller

 

Rolande Duprey is a talented performer and a tireless worker who is dedicated to improving the quality of her art. Above all, she is a sensitive and compassionate human being who cares about people and the world around her. She is a rare individual and I am privileged to have had her as a student.

--Frank W. Ballard, Professor Emeritus, University of Connecticut

 

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Recommendations for the director:

The great success of this project is due in large part to Rolande’s total artistic commitment and professionalism. In addition, her caring personality, eye for detail, timing and theatrical sense have taken the idea to a higher level than dreamed possible. We are extremely grateful to Rolande Duprey for helping CCfH develop the “Our Community Puppet Theatre” and highly recommend her to any organization interested in employing her considerable teaching or development talents.

--Darrell Decker, Executive Director, Concerned Citizens for Humanity.

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Our entire program, and all its many successes, are the result of Rolande, and her knowledge, artistry and inspiration. Rolande is a first class artist and puppeteer in her own right; I have seen her performances several times, both in Hartford and in New York, and have always been impressed with the high level of artistry and creativity she exhibited.

…In short, Rolande is an immensely talented woman with a clear expertise in puppetry, and the ability to communicate her love and knowledge to others. I feel fortunate to have had her in our department for the past nine years, and I give her my highest recommendation.

--Jonathan Gillman, Head, Theater Department

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