Puppeteer Fred Michael’s marionettes will entertain passers-by at Port Townsend’s Pope Marine Plaza this Saturday. (photo courtesy Port Townsend Main Street Program)

Puppeteer Fred Michael’s marionettes will entertain passers-by at Port Townsend’s Pope Marine Plaza this Saturday. (photo courtesy Port Townsend Main Street Program)

Busking on the Block set for Saturday

Marionettes to be star of show

PORT TOWNSEND — Fred Michael, a puppeteer who voiced the Prince Tuesday character on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” will join Key City Public Theatre actor Brendan Chambers for this Saturday’s free Busking on the Block performance in downtown Port Townsend.

The 2 p.m. show, featuring Michael’s “Circus of Strings” marionettes, will unfold on the Pope Marine Plaza beside the Cotton Building, 607 Water St., said Mari Mullen, director of the Port Townsend Main Street program presenting the series.

This hour-long live performance is a kind of re-emergence for Key City Public Theatre, which has presented its programming online since the pandemic darkened the playhouse in 2020.

Saturday’s Buskers on the Block show is for all ages, Mullen noted. And Michael not only voiced Prince Tuesday, she added, but also worked with Fred Rogers to animate the rest of the puppets, such as King Friday and Henrietta Pussycat.

Key City Public Theatre, meanwhile, is starting a new slate of youth theater classes next week. In these sessions — limited to 10 socially distanced, masked participants — Chambers and fellow teaching artist Maggie Bulkley help elementary-, middle- and high school-age kids develop their creative selves.

Information about each class, along with registration and wait-list signup, are found at keycity publictheatre.org or by phoning 360-385-5278 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays.

On the virtual theater front, KCPT is selling tickets and series passes now for “The Art of the Solo,” a collection of four one-woman and one-man shows from past years.

The plays will be streamed online over four weeks starting April 29, with live post-performance discussions and an opening-night watch party for each one.

First up is “Returning The Bones,” starring Gin Hammond portraying no fewer than 28 characters. Set in Texas during the era of Jim Crow laws, it focuses on a young Black medical student seeking her place in the country and the world.

Hammond also stirs in the luminaries of the time, from Queen Elizabeth to James Baldwin and from President Lyndon B. Johnson to Eleanor Roosevelt. The show was originally performed in 2010 at the Key City Playhouse.

Tickets to “The Art of the Solo” are $10 per performance or $35 for all four via keycitypublictheatre.org.


Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]

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