Children watching a colorful marionette performance by Robbins-Zust Marionettes, featuring two puppets on stage against a backdrop of vibrant, painted scenery.
Free Friday marionette shows by Robbins-Zust Marionettes at Dottie's Coffee Lounge, every Friday at 11:00 AM in July and August; photo courtesy Dottie's Coffee Lounge.

Robbins-Zust Marionette Shows Return to Dottie’s Coffee Lounge for Free Friday Performances

June 9, 2024

Editor’s Note: The following article is derived from officially released information, published with few or no editorial changes. The Greylock Glass  occasionally provides our readers with such content if the information is factual in nature, and requires little to no interpretation or analysis, often when original reportage would not provide additional relevant information.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — This summer, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge in Pittsfield will host a series of enchanting, free marionette shows presented by the renowned Robbins-Zust Marionettes. Every Friday at 11:00 AM in July and August, these performances will take place on the side patio at 444 North Street, with indoor arrangements in case of inclement weather.

Celebrating 53 Years of Magic

Poster for Robbins-Zust Marionettes' Free Friday Puppet Shows at Dottie's Coffee Lounge, featuring a marionette performance scene. Shows are every Friday at 11 AM in July and August 2024, located at 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. The poster lists the schedule of performances and includes contact information for Dottie's Coffee Lounge.

Celebrating 53 years of captivating audiences, the Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes return for a special limited engagement. Founded in 1971 by Genie Zust and her late husband, Richard Robbins, the marionette troupe has been a cherished fixture in the Berkshires. Following the couple’s move from New York City, they began crafting and performing with wooden and plaster puppets, bringing beloved fairy tales to life. Their son, Dion, continues to uphold the family tradition.

The Robbins-Zust Marionettes have performed their classic tales with hand-crafted puppets and live music for thousands of children at venues like the Dorset Playhouse, Gramercy Arts Theatre, Boston Children’s Museum, and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Their shows have also graced fairs, schools, libraries, birthday parties, and many other locations.

Handcrafted Puppets and Timeless Stories

Richard Robbins meticulously carved many of the marionettes from wood, a skill he refined using a book from the Berkshire Athenaeum. The heads were cast in plaster molds by both Robbins and Zust, who also created the costumes and authored the scripts for their performances.

Summer 2024 Performance Schedule

This summer’s schedule includes a diverse array of classic tales and musical stories:

  • 7/5: Jack and the Beanstalk
  • 7/12: Rumpelstiltskin
  • 7/19: Three Little Pigs
  • 7/26: Stravinsky’s Firebird, set to Stravinsky’s original recording, narrated by Genie Robbins-Zust
  • 8/2: The Carnival of Animals, accompanied by the music of Camille Saint-Saëns
  • 8/9: Little Red Riding Hood
  • 8/16: Sleeping Beauty
  • 8/23: Beauty and the Beast
  • 8/30: Peter and the Wolf, featuring the music of Sergei Prokofiev, composed in 1936

Join the Fun at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge

These performances offer a delightful opportunity for families to experience the timeless art of marionette theater, enjoying stories brought to life by the skilled Robbins-Zust family.

For more information, visit Dottie’s Coffee Lounge at 444 North Street, Pittsfield, or check their website. You can find the Robbins-Zust Marionettes on Facebook.

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