Down the Rabbit Hole: Ballard Celebrates 150 years of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

This past Saturday and Sunday, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry offered fall community puppet-building workshops with acclaimed Boston puppeteer Sara Peattie.

This year’s free workshops held at the Ballard Institute workshop space celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Participants brought the colorful and fantastic figures that popular Carroll’s fanciful world to life, rendering the White Rabbit, the Red Queen, the Cheshire Cat, the March Hare, and the eponymous Alice into puppet form.

Workshop participants are invited to parade with their puppets as part of the Celebrate Mansfield Parade that will be held on Sunday, September 20 at noon (Line-up begins at 11am at Farrell Field near the Post Office). The parade is part of the 12th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival.

Sara Peattie’s dramatic puppet creations have been featured at community parades and pageants across the United States. Long a mainstay of Boston First Night festivities and the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in New York City, Sara Peattie’s work—through her Boston-based Puppeteers Cooperative company and Puppet Free Library—combines community participation, simple, cheap, and practical puppet-building techniques, and a brilliant design sense that allows community members of all ages to take part in the age-old pleasures of participatory puppet performance in public spaces. Sara recently designed and directed the community puppet parade and pageant in Storrs Center as part of the 2015 Puppeteers of America National Puppetry Festival.

For information on the 12th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival, visit