Summer in Morinesio by Sam Lasseter

In June of 2013 I traveled to a small village high in the Alps of Northern Italy.  I traveled there along with the wonderful Jenifer Cote, the graceful Douglas Gallagher, and the inspiring Hillary Younglove to attend the Midsummer Pageant & Workshop.  The workshop was a week long workshop to create large scale procession puppets, run by puppet makers Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles.  The annual Midsummer Pageant honors St. John the Baptist through traditions and rituals grounded in the community.  


Fritz and Christa Gaebler who own the inn in Morinesio, Casa deí Fiori took us in and treated us like family (at times I really wondered if Chista was my long lost grandmother). Along with them was a friend of theirs from India, Raj, the head chef at a health resort, who helped cook for all of us. And we ate like kings! The blend of Indian, German, and Italian cuisine made for, truly, the best food I've ever eaten.  


Alex and Sophia were amazing teachers, they knew exactly how to work with us and how to explain their methods.  There was no question that they knew what they were talking about; along with this workshop they also host the New York's Village Halloween Parade, so they have years of experience with large scale puppetry.  


I was told about the Midsummer Pageant & Workshop through my dear friends and former teaches from Sonoma Academy–Hillary (on left), Doug, and Jenifer.  Each of them had major influence on my life and helped me find my passion for the arts so it was quite the honor to share this experience with these amazing people.


Through the week we created quite the array of puppets...


The two main puppets of this year were two musicians and accordian player and a 


And toped them off with beautiful paint jobs.