RIP VAN WINKLE, 2014-15 Season



Got No Strings: The GIANT Puppetry Exhibition

Got No Strings is a 5,000-square-foot exhibition first curated by John Streetman III, Executive Director of the Evansville (Indiana) Museum of Arts and Science* where it premiered for 16,000 patrons in 1999. 

Immediately after its two-month exhibition in Evansville, Bits 'N Pieces GIANT puppets were shipped to Germany for the European premiere. A huge gathering of Bits 'N Pieces Theatre's nine-foot-tall giant puppets filled the Munich Children's and Youth Museum for an exciting exhibition entitled Got No Strings: Bits 'N Pieces' Giant Puppetry. More than 6,000 German children, their families and their teachers were introduced to the company's puppetry magic. During that residency in Germany, Bits 'N Pieces Puppet Theatre also presented performances of its Aesop's Dinosaur and Ant as well as puppet-making workshops. (See video on YouTube)

This is not the first time Master Puppet Builder Holli Rubin's work has appeared in museum settings. Some of the puppets in Got No Strings were previously featured in group shows at the Tampa Museum of Art and the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach.

A Look at the Creative Process Up Close - This delightful participatory exhibition documents the puppeteers' creative process from conception of a show through rendering, construction, rehearsal and production. In addition to the giant body puppets the inclusion of many smaller puppets, character costumes, and selected set pieces permits viewers to experience close up the entire range of artistry which goes into the making of the characters and sets as it can never be seen from the audience. Strolling through this fanciful population of exotic giants as they might a springtime garden, exhibition-goers pause among the puppets and admire the artistry — the sculpture, costume, and design — revealed in each of the fantastic creations. 

Interactive Exhibit - Like old vaudevillians, these puppets have tales to tell of their many years on tour, and thousands of one-night stands; of clapping throngs and broken limbs. Good times and exciting times have left their magic marks upon these world travelers. At the exhibition's three work stations museum-goers explore one of the giant puppets currently under construction -- try it on, move its mouth and wiggle its nose; watch a video about the company’s creative process; and make paper puppets of their own for fun.

Award Winning - Bits 'N Pieces' combination of imagination, artistry, and hard work have made it an award-winning representative of Florida arts at home and abroad. Recognition of its achievements include:

  • The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games’ Cultural Olympiad’s Regional Designation Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Arts

  • The Arts Council of Hillsborough County’s Award for Excellence in Arts Education

  • The award-winning Art Off the Wall television series about artistic process (see video on YouTube) featuring Artistic Director and Master Puppet Builder Holli Rubin 

  • The Florida Theatre Conference Distinguished Career Award in Children's/Youth Theatre presented to Executive Director Jerry Bickel.


*  The Evansville exhibition was sponsored by the Indiana Arts Commission and American General Finance Foundation. In Florida, Bits 'N Pieces' international efforts receive support from the International Cultural Exchange Program of the Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County.

Bits 'N Pieces Puppet Theatre, Entertaining Children Since 1972


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