Michael Gunst has toured, taught, and performed in educational settings for over 35 years. As a creator and collaborator of original material Michael’s work has been with Boston’s Studebaker Theatre Company, Faustwork Mask Theatre, Toronto, Circus Flora, St. Louis, among others. In Colorado Michael has performed with the Colorado Shakespeare Company’s Arts in Education program, and locally in Denver and Boulder theatres. He received his MFA from Brandeis University. “Gunst’s impressive handiwork is on full display…imaginations will be ignited,” says The Daily Camera, Boulder, CO about Michael’s show Four Wishes. He has been touring Four Wishes since 2007 after he won the Boulder Fringe Festivals “Pick of the Fringe”.
FOUR WISHES “visually impressive …well-crafted…educational and fun” -CBC-
Adapted from a Wabanaki tale written by Joe Bruchac, Four Wishes is the story of four Abenaki men who yearn for more. The traditional teaching tale is unfolded with an elegant and eye-catching collection of puppets, masks, props and an engaging narrative. The entire production is performed by a buckskin-clad Michael Gunst, who slips naturally from one character to another. One man is greedy for many worldly possessions, the second for stature so he can be taller than anyone, the third seeks immortality, while the last wishes to be a better hunter so he can provide for his people. They journey by canoe to visit Gluskabe, a great creator who will grant such wishes. But what happens if they open their medicine pouches too soon?
“This graceful, well-crafted production out of Boulder, Colo., is well-deserving of a broad audience” -Winnipeg Free Press-
“Michael Gunst has performed for the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library Science Sights and Sounds Family Series and the Wonderful Wednesday Children’s Event Series. His performances are one of the best I’ve seen in the 30+ years I have been hiring performers. He presents such a rich artistic and creative performance which is highlighted through his awesome stage settings and professional storytelling. In 2016, the elementary school age audience was so invloved in the story, Four Wishes, they were shouting to the puppets to follow the directions so their wish would come true. ” Kathy Klatt, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library
Gunstwork Puppet Mask Theatre is available for full or part-time residencies.
Individual workshop and performance prices are determined by each artist. Please contact us for performance and workshop pricing for a particular artist. Visit our Pricing page for other pricing information.
Performance for grades 1st through 12th
Adapted from a Wabanaki tale written by Joe Bruchac, Four Wishes is the story of four Abenaki men who yearn for more. The traditional teaching tale is unfolded with an elegant and eye-catching collection of puppets, masks, props and an engaging narrative. The entire production is performed by a buckskin-clad Michael Gunst, who slips naturally from one character to another.
Masks & Movement Workshop
Workshop for grades K through 12th
This workshop revolves around theater, mask, mime, character development, theater/movement improvisation and the creation of short sketches. The goal of the workshop is to nurture a cognizance of the value of movement in mask theater. The program focuses on how to create theater with little or no spoken language. The main objective is to build a varied movement vocabulary, to cultivate a fertile and accessible imagination and develop good ideas into exciting and comprehensible theater. The workshop will help to improve one’s physical awareness through flexibility, strength, theater games, and focused controlled exercises. Students will gain an awareness of their habitual ways of moving, i.e. walk, stand, sit, etc., and gain a greater understanding of how their bodies are put together. We will touch on creating the ability to perform before an audience with energy, without nervousness.