Summer Show


Paperhand Puppet Intervention is pleased to present
our 20th annual summer show
“We Are Here”

Paperhand Puppet Intervention returns for their 20th annual puppet pageant of unlikely proportions. Mask and dance, shadow puppetry and stilt walking unite as cardboard comes to life and paper-mache’ flies to the music of the band.

WE ARE HERE is the 20th anniversary celebration spectacle of unlikely proportions by North Carolina’s own intrepid and ponderous puppet troubadours, Paperhand Puppet Intervention. WE ARE HERE to illustrate and illuminate our shared human experience using giant puppets, masks, stilts, and shadows in movement to live original music, while also looking at the perspective of foxes, bees, box turtles, woodpeckers, mushrooms and the majestic trees. WE ARE HERE to grapple with some of the emerging monsters that we all create through our unconscious behaviors and to imagine the solutionary Earth defending creatures (including us!) that rise to transform them into a sustainable future. WE ARE HERE to open a portal into wondrous realms of our collective dreams and magical possibilities that lie just below the surface of the business of everyday life. WE ARE HERE making art toward protecting the sacred and standing up for the Earth. WE ARE HERE to raise our voice for justice and for peace. WE ARE HERE now, to do our best work and live our best lives. Join us and be a part of the action!

“We’ve been reflecting on how one of the biggest problems that we all face is our disconnection and our ability to distance ourselves from what we really care about in the world around us,” says Paperhand co-creator Jan Burger.  “This year we wanted to focus on that process of taking a stand and saying We Are Here.”


Puppetry is a powerful and moving art form that reflects our humanity back to us in a very authentic way,” says Donovan Zimmerman, Paperhand co-creator.  “One of our main missions is to get people reconnecting with their feeling self and emotional body that allows us to truly connect with the earth, its creatures, our own hearts and stories, and with each other.”

2019 Summer Show Schedule

Summer Shows Dates (mark your calendars!)
  • Fri Aug 2, Sat Aug 3, Sun Aug 4 – 7 PM shows with a 6:20 pre-show, Forest Theatre
  • Fri Aug 9, Sat Aug 10, Sun Aug 11 – 7 PM shows with a 6:20 pre-show Forest Theatre
  • Fri Aug 16, Sat Aug 17, Sun Aug 18 – 7 PM shows with a 6:20 pre-show Forest Theatre
  • Fri Aug 23, Sat Aug 24, Sun Aug 25 – 7 PM shows with a 6:20 pre-show Forest Theatre
  • Fri Aug 30, Sat Aug 31 – 7 PM shows with a 6:20 pre-show Forest Theatre
  • Sun Sep 1 – 3 PM matinee, 7 PM evening show with preshows at 2:20 (matinee) and 6:20 (evening) Forest Theatre
  • Mon Sep 2 – Labor Day – 7 PM show with a 6:20 pre-show Forest Theatre
  • Fri Sep 6, Sat Sep 7, Sun Sep 8 – 7 PM shows with a 6:20 pre-show at the NC Museum of Art
  • Fri Sep 13, Sat Sep 14 – 7 PM shows with a 6:20 pre-show Forest Theatre
  • Sun Sep 15 – 3 PM matinee, 7 PM evening show with preshows at 2:20 (matinee) and 6:20 (evening) Forest Theatre
  • Fri Sep 20, Sat Sep 21 – 7 PM shows with a 6:20 pre-show Forest Theatre
  • Sun Sep 22 – 3 PM matinee, 7 PM evening show with preshows at 2:20 (matinee) and 6:20 (evening) Forest Theatre
  • Fri Sep 27, Sat Sep 28 – 7 PM shows with a 6:32 pre-show Forest Theatre
  • Sun Sep 29 – 3 PM matinee, 7 PM evening show with preshows at 2:20 (matinee) and 6:20 (evening) Forest Theatre

Pre-Show Performers:

Aug. 2 – Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys
Aug. 3 – The Bucket Brothers
Aug. 4 – Honey Magpie
Aug. 9 – The Oblations
Aug. 10- Tim Smith Band
Aug. 11 – Chessa Rich
Aug. 16 – Chris Frisina
Aug. 17 – Ravary
Aug. 18 – Anita Lorraine
Aug. 23 – Jess Klein & Mike June
Aug. 24 – D Town Duce
Aug. 25 – Dean Driver
Aug. 30 – The InterACTive Theater of Jef
Aug. 31 – A Different Thread
Sep. 1 (matinee) – Neville’s Quarter
Sep. 1 (evening) – A Different Thread
Sep. 2 (Labor Day) – Last Demerius (Katherine Whalen)
Sep. 6 (NCMA) – Jackson Emmer
Sep. 7 (NCMA) – Skylar Gudasz
Sep. 8 (NCMA) – The Resonant Rogues
Sep. 13 – Eric Bannan
Sep. 14 – XOXOK
Sep. 15 (matinee) – Grand Shores
Sep. 15 (evening) – DreamRoot
Sep. 20 – T Gold
Sep. 21 – Crystal Bright
Sep. 22 (matinee) – Grand Shores
Sep. 22 (evening) – Charming Disaster
Sep. 27 – Puppets (part of our Radacackalacky Festival!)
Sep. 28 – Puppets (part of our Radacackalacky Festival!)
Sep. 29 (matinee) – Grand Shores
Sep. 29 (evening) – Shannon O’Connor

Get your tickets at the door for shows in the Forest Theatre.  You can pre-order tickets for the shows at the NC Museum of art here or get them at the door. (Please note that shows in the Forest Theatre and NCMA do sometimes sell out, so please arrive early or pre-order tickets for Raleigh shows if you can!)

Thank You!

Thank you to our sustaining Patreon Patrons, our Kickstarter Supporters (New record: 367 backers!), our Work/Play Volunteers, our audiences, our beautiful venues: Forest Theatre and the NC Museum of Art, our Front of House and Performance Volunteers (So wonderful to have you as part of our team!), and last, but not least, our immensely talented, courageous, beautiful inside and out, Puppeteers, Musicians and Crew.

Our lively, hardworking and skilled interns from 2017 ‘Of Wings and Feet’! Back row: Kelly Washatka, Maya Patrick, Hannah Tishkoff; Front row: Jake Brower, Nyssa Collins, Sally Slade, and Emily Brink

Over 130 Work/Play Volunteers!

We send a humongous heartfelt Thank You to each one of our over Work/Play community volunteers who are spending part of their Saturdays with us all summer to create this show. Our shows take an incredible amount of people power and we love you powerful people! We can’t create this summer show without your help and are so grateful for the support of our community.

Cast of 2017 ‘Of Wings and Feet’!

We Are Here Written and directed by: Jan Burger and Donovan Zimmerman in collaboration with the cast and the community.

Stage Managers:  Kathryn Wall
Assistant Stage Manager: Maggie Lea

Cast and Crew: Full details to be announced closer to opening night!

About our Summer Shows

Each year we write, create, build and perform a large summer pageant-play-extravaganza.

These performances last about an hour, include an ensemble of professional musicians who create an original score of music and involve a cast of puppeteers, which has included as many as twenty-eight performers.

Our summer extravaganza is attended by over 18,000 people each year!

We are grateful to be funded by donations from supporters through a Spring Kickstarter fundraiser and, year-round, through Patreon. We open our studio to the community every Saturday in June and July for Work/Play Days where folks of all ages and persuasions get messy building puppets and props for the Summer Show.

Through our annual summer performance, Paperhand Puppet Intervention helps create a community that shares picnic blankets, ideas, experiences and a love of wonder. We hope you can join us.

Summer Show Questions & Answers here.

View our past shows here.