Articles and Stories about the Littleton Lyceum



The Lyceum in Littleton's 300th Anniversary Parade
Littleton Lyceum Contra Dance


Tanglewood Marionettes

Lyceum in Littleton's 300th Anniversary Parade - September 2014

On Saturday, 6 September, the Lyceum was represented at the Littleton 300th Parade by Maya Apfelbaum and company of Fireart, located in Greenfield, MA.

Littleton Lyceum Contra Dance - August 2014

A mixture of locals and out-of-towners joined hands at the Oak Meadow School in Littleton on the evening of August 2 and danced the evening away. The Littleton Lyceum sponsored an authentic New England contra dance free of charge as part of the Littleton 300th celebrations. Committee President, Andrew Bowers explained, “The Lyceum has existed for almost two-thirds of Littleton’s 300 years, providing cultural enrichment for generations. This is a continuation of that.”

The evening featured the music of Maivish with Adam Broome and Jaige Trudel playing multiple instruments. Two callers shared the stage, Nils Fredland and Mary Wesley. Nils and Mary also acted as “dance angels,” repeatedly coming down from the stage to demonstrate dance steps to the crowd. Many people who had never contra-danced before found themselves ready and able to engage due to the callers’ efforts. According to Lyceum member, Andrea Curran, “It was great that the dancers with experience kept helping the new people.” She also noted, “There were people there from age five to eighty-five and they were all dancing!”

The Lyceum was very fortunate to have found a venue for the dance at the Oak Meadow School. Michael Kearney explained that the traditional dance hall in Littleton had been abandoned and eventually burned by the Town—the Central Hall, which stood across from the Historical Society. “It was great to be able to bring back to Littleton a bit of its past,” concluded Bowers, “but mainly it was just plain fun!”

Tanglewood Marionettes - December 2011

The Tanglewood Marionettes entertained an audience of over 200 at the Littleton Lyceum's second program of their 2011-12 season.

A nationally touring puppet theater, the Tanglewood Marionettes was founded in 1993 by Anne Ware and Peter Schaefer and is currently based in central Massachusetts. On Friday, Dec 9, they presented their original show, "An Arabian Adventure," based on the stories of "1001 Arabian Nights." While the plot was fun and fast-paced, it was the beauty and professionalism of the show that made it a big hit with the audience.

After an introduction to puppetry by Peter Schaefer, the show begins with the house lights lowering as the puppet theater opens, book-like, and the compelling music draws the viewer into the story. Each page of the "book" is a glorious backdrop before which the very human-like marionettes perform. An adventurous prince finds a grieving princess -- the prisoner of her evil uncle, the vizier. We go from a splendid palace garden to a dismal dungeon to caverns and secret passages and finally into the sumptuous palace itself.

All along the way we are introduced to marvelous characters: the scheming vizier with glowing eyes, a helpful ghost hovering over a malevolent skeleton, a heroic flock of bats, a truly scary monster scorpion and more! As the book closes and we reach "The End," we feel we have been a part of an amazing bit of storytelling.

The mixed-generational audience was enthralled at every turn, especially, when in his adventures, the puppet Prince made his way down into the hall and tramped through, around and over attendees. Children followed along as though he were a pied piper. Our persevering prince ultimately managed to defeat the nefarious vizier and win the heart and hand of his princess.

After the show, most of the theater-goers elected to stay and explore backstage. Peter Schaefer demonstrated how many of the special effects worked -- the disintegrating skeleton, the evil, glowing eyes, et cetera -- while Anne Ware introduced several score people to the various puppet performers. It was an enchanting and delightful evening.

The program was co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Littleton, whose president, Alan Bell, spoke. He reminded us of the many civic projects supported by Rotary, such as the donation of dictionaries to each third grader, co-sponsoring the 4th of July Town Picnic and the ever-popular Appleman Triathlon.