Summer Show

Paperhand Puppet Intervention is pleased to present
our 19th annual summer show
“In the Heart of the Fire”

In the Heart of the Fire

Paperhand Puppet Intervention returns for their 19th 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.

This year’s show, “In the Heart of the Fire” explores the paradoxical gift of fire. We ask, “What makes us who we are? Is it our cleverness, the machines we forge and the towers we build? Or is it the stories we share and the fire in our hearts?” We tell tales of fire, of giants and trolls, of trickster creators and how we came to be human.

Paperhand’s yearly spectacle tells stories of the human heart, illuminates and incorporates myths from around the world, and inspires young and old alike. Our shows have become a tradition for thousands across the Triangle and Triad and, we hope, they help to nurture connection within our community and the Earth itself. We try to present an alternative to the discouraging news of the day while striving to make our world a better place for all.

2018 Summer Show Schedule

Pre-Show Performers

All shows in Forest Theatre in Chapel Hill except for three shows at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh Sept 7, 8, and 9.  Regular shows begin at 7 PM with a pre-show starting at 6:20. Matinees begin at 3 PM with a pre-show starting at 2:20.

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!)

Fri Aug 3 — D Town Deuce
Sat Aug 4 — The Band Sorelle
Sun Aug 5 — Crystal Bright
Fri Aug 10 — Charles Latham and the Borrowed Band
Sat Aug 11 — Bulltown Strutters
Sun Aug 12 — Honey Magpie
Fri Aug 17 — Lagamorph Quartet
Sat Aug 18 — Jimmy Magoo
Sun Aug 19 — Triangle Afrobeat Orchestra
Fri Aug 24 — The Bucket Brothers
Sat Aug 25 — Katharine Whalen’s Swedish Wood Patrol
Sun Aug 26 — Logan Valleroy and Gabriel Pelli
Fri Aug 31 — The Oblations
Sat Sep 1 — Will Ridenour and Gabriel Pelli
Sun Sep 2 Matinee — Violet Bell
Sun Sep 2 Evening — Violet Bell
Mon Sep 3 — Boom Unit Brass Band
Fri Sep 7 (NCMA in Raleigh) — Violet Bell
Sat Sep 8 (NCMA in Raleigh) — Bulltown Strutters
Sun Sep 9 (NCMA in Raleigh) – Curtis Eller
Fri Sep 14 — Rachel Kiel
Sat Sep 15 — A Different Thread
Sun Sep 16 Matinee — Eric Bannan
Sun Sep 16 Evening — Mardi Magoo and the Modern Mystics
Fri Sep 21 — The InterACTive Theater of Jef
Sat Sep 22 — Bulltown Strutters
Sun Sep 23 Matinee — Just Dirt
Sun Sep 23 Evening — Breadfoot

Thank You!

Thank you to our sustaining Patreon Patrons, our Kickstarter Supporters (New record: 305 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’!

In the Heart of the FireWritten and directed by: Jan Burger and Donovan Zimmerman in collaboration with the cast and the community.

Co-Stage Managers: Lawruh Lindsey and Kathryn Wall

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 16,000 people!

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.