Review Fix chats with playwright and puppeteer Joshua Holden about his exciting new production.
About the Production:
The Joshua Show: Episode 1 won Best Performance & Fan Favorite at the Puppeteers of America’s National Festival and Joshua Holden was named one of “20 Theatre Workers You Should Know” by American Theatre Magazine.How do you cheer up when life gets you down? Put on your dancing shoes and find out in this whimsical production featuring multiple styles of puppetry, live music, physical comedy, and tap dancing! Even if you show up a sulky sourpuss, you’re sure to leave an “Ambassador of Joy”.
Performances begin Saturday, September 9th and continue through Saturday, September 30th, 2017. Opening Night is Sunday, September 10th at 2 pm. For Tickets and Information: visit here.org or call 212-352-3101. THE JOSHUA SHOW: EPISODE 2 is playing in repertory with The Flatiron Hex also presented by Little Shadow Productions in association with HERE, as part of the SubletSeries@HERE. To learn more visit here.org/shows/detail/1940/
Review Fix: What was the inspiration behind The Joshua Show?
Joshua Holden: In 2012, I was traveling through Chicago on a road trip and my friend, Kasey Foster, asked me to create a piece with her for the upcoming The Nasty Brutish and short Puppet Slam (funded by Heather Henson and the National Slam Network). I had never heard of a puppet slam before, but historically anything involving Kasey Foster is pretty spectacular so I said yes. Well, she ended up bailing on me and insisted that I create a piece of my own. As a puppeteer, I worked for other companies, but I was not creating my own stuff. I was really hesitant to say yes. “Joshua, what do you daydream about?” Kasey asked. “Hosting my own family show that makes people feel happy.” The Joshua Show was born!
Review Fix: How did you prepare?
Holden: I had a week and the piece was 10 minutes long. Seems simple enough, but at the time, I was at the end of four years of being on the road with different tours and jobs. Everything I owned was in two suitcases. I had a polyester suit, my favorite shoes, a ukulele, and art supplies. I threw together a couple of puppets, wrote a couple songs on the ukulele and wrote a piece that felt like a well established episodic kids TV show. I believe it was called The Joyfriends: Episode 25. The little sketch was so well received that I continued to develop it.
Review Fix: What makes this production of The Joshua Show: Episode 2 different or special?
Holden: Here we are five years later! The Joshua Show has traveled all over the country as well as internationally. Episode 2 builds on all that is successful about Episode 1. In short, it’s bigger and better. I have an incredible design team working with me – we’re all on the same page creatively, and that’s really exciting.
Review Fix: Who do you think will be affected by seeing the production the most?
Holden: The show is truly for families. Parents often take their kids to shows that ignore them. The Joshua Show is different – it speaks to the parents and kids at the same time. It’s a show for parents to bring their kids to knowing that everyone will have a good time. The parents may enjoy it even more than their kids. Episode 2 is really going to hit the hearts of those that that feel disheartened by the daily bombardment of bad news. It tells the story of persisting and fighting for joy even when you just want to give up.
Review Fix: How do you want it to be remembered?
Holden: I want people to think about their experience at The Joshua Show and smile. Cheesy? Maybe. But I’m sincere. Making someone smile is very powerful.
Review Fix: What’s next for you?
Holden: Our own TV show, a successful sold out Broadway run with a full chorus of retired tap dancing grandmothers, and an album featuring the musical stylings of Judy Garland brought back from the dead.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Holden: This is a really exciting time for us. We’ve been working hard for the last five years, and we finally feel like we’re at this turning point with the help from Little Shadow Productions – the only way is up. We’re on the ground floor of something awesome, and we can’t wait to take everyone along for this crazy ride!
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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