Puppet Master Bart Buch Explores the Wonders of Mr. Rogers and the Neighborhood

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Photo by Bruce Silcox.

At In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, theatrical artist Bart Buch has created and directed Make Believe Neighborhood, inspired by the legacy of Mr. Rogers, the beloved icon of children’s media. His actual name was Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Photo by Bruce Silcox.

Buch relates, “He was amazing, actually radical in some respects, including his gentle, caring, non-masculine manner as one of the first representations of that kind of male on TV. Not really any queer themes (in our show) exactly, just the queer-affirming and all-affirming message that Fred Rogers espoused to millions of children and the people that care for them, that ‘I like you just the way you are,’ and ‘You are special, there’s no one in the world just like you.’ It has Martin Dosh doing music with me again but incorporating covers of Fred’s songs, recorded especially for the show, by Andrew Bird, Sylvan Esso, Bonnie Prince Billy, Jayanthi Kyle, Leslie Ball, Dallas Johnson and more.  It is an almost all-ages show and has been in development for three years with our South Minneapolis neighbors contributing much to the process and product.”

Make Believe Neighborhood
Through Feb. 25
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 1500 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

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