Modern Times Theater brings theatrical magic to RFPL

BELLOWS FALLS — The Rockingham Free Public Library is pleased to welcome back Modern Times Theater on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m., for a new production: The Baffo Box Show: A Compact Cardboard Comedy.

"When the world breaks," says the news release, "someone has to fix it. In this comedy in a box, audiences are invited into a fragile universe of cardboard, where the Baffo Brothers keep the sun running on schedule, negotiate with a demanding neighbor, and attempt to keep a changing world from coming apart."

Performed in a "suit-stage," this show packs classic hand puppetry, Dadaist ventriloquism, and stand-up comedy into a cardboard box "and delivers it, with impeccable timing, live on stage."

Inside the box are the Baffos - two slapstick chaps who keep the sun, moon, and everything else running on schedule. From the moment the lid opens, "audiences are captivated as the Baffos juggle and dance their way through the day's chores, despite the undeniable evidence that their world is changing."

A "daring work" of puppetry and object manipulation, "full of beautiful images, junk music sonatas, and Modern Times Theater's brand of all-ages comedy, this re-envisioning of classic hand puppet forms is digital entertainment as it was meant to be: two hands, ten fingers, and no camera tricks," say organizers.

Puppeteered by Justin Lander and directed by Rose Friedman, The Baffo Box Show is supported by a 2022 Family Grant from the Jim Henson Foundation.

Modern Times Theater has been making and touring puppet shows and variety acts and creating public community events since 2007. They say they pursue a radically divergent model of art making, creating venues in unlikely locations, and revitalizing the historic, run-down, and defunct. Working in populist theater forms, they seek to reinvent and reimagine classic American entertainment.

Co-founders Friedman and Lander are a husband-and-wife duo, producers for Vermont Vaudeville, and alumni of the Bread and Puppet Theater.

The Baffo Box Show is presented with funding from the Vermont Early Literacy Initiative, which is hosted by Vermont Humanities Council. For more information about the event and other library programs, visit, call 802-463-4270, or stop by the library at 65 Westminster St.

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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