Jim Martin's Pupplets

From story concept and scripting, to set design, construction and production, Pupplets is an all-inclusive puppet production company, dedicated to entertaining and educating children through dramatic story, musical presentation and comedy.

The core group of the puppet troupe consists of Jeffy Grummet and his baby sister Trudy, Quincy the Dynamic Dog, and cousins Thad and Mort Thorndyke. These and many other wonderful characters have been sharing their innovative creativity and humor with audiences throughout the United States.

But the world of Pupplets extends beyond the manipulations of these eight characters. The Pupplets company can produce individualized puppet shows and events to suit every occasion -- whether it be television, corporate promotional video, or live puppet theater, Jim Martin can guide the production from start to finish utilizing 20 years of puppeteering knowledge and expertise.

Founded in 1973, Jim Martin's Pupplets' shows are designed around concerns and values that are developmentally significant to children. Thousands of children in television audiences, schools, private clubs and corporate celebrations have been delighted by the Pupplets' zany antics. Jim Martin's favorite shows are those performed during the holidays -- Easter (featuring that certain Bunny), Halloween (with a friendly Scarecrow) and Christmas (starring the jolly fellow himself). These characters interact with each of the Pupplets as well as the audience -- and strangely enough, are exactly Jim Martin's height!

Earth First was the Pupplets' first major production, an ecology performance piece created for the prestigious Three Rivers Art Festival. From that success, Pupplets joined the staff of Pittsburgh's Citiparks department and founded The Pittsburgh Puppet Theater. For the next seven years, Pupplets performed under that name and created quality original productions such as Truth of Tooth, a live show promoting dental hygiene; Meet The Eats, good nutrition tips presented in a game show format; and Glad To Know Me, designed to help children understand their own emotions and how to interact with others. Mister Punch Comes To America has a distinctly historic flavor, and The Mad Mangy Monster Show is a wild, madcap musical. Jeffy's Bill Of Rights - And Wrongs explains the difference between a child's rights and responsibilities which Jeffy sorts out with his More Grown-Up Self. This production was written especially to commemorate the United Nations Year of the Child.

Since appearing as regulars on The Cap'n Jim Show, produced by Pittsburgh's NBC affiliate (WPXI, Channel 11), Pupplets have been at home on television as well as in stage productions. They have appeared on all of Pittsburgh's TV stations in programs such as: The Most Important Person (KDKA, Channel 2); Adventure Time (WTAE, Channel 4); and Jeffy's Clubhouse spots (WPGH, Channel 53).

Not limited to live theater and television, Pupplets are also at home in industrial video. Jim Martin received the 13th Annual Telly Award for The Magical World of Herr's, a video production seen by thousands of tourists daily at the Herr snack food factory in Nottingham, PA. Pupplets co-produced this project, and handled all puppet-related areas including puppet design, construction, special effects, performers and scale props (such as radio-controlled vehicles for Herr's chipmunk mascot, "Chipper," to drive!). When Herr Foods decided to update their tour, they turned once again to Jim Martin and his Pupplets and produced Herr's, the Tastiest Tour in Town.

The Pupplets have also lent a hand to perform community service. For several years, they co-hosted the American Heart Association's annual telethon, conducting interviews, answering telephones, singing, telling jokes, cooking and requesting donations.

Jim Martin explained the use of entertainment to achieve worthwhile goals. "We strive to provide the audience with something new and different. The shows are far more than just entertaining diversions. They contain fresh ideas which help kids think as well as learn and grow."

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