General Information - Biography
Paul L'Ecuyer, puppeteer, artist and musician became interested in puppetry at the early age of four years old while visiting a local puppet theater, "The Toy Cupboard Theater & Museums" in S. Lancaster, MA with his parents. His visit to the theater was such a magical moment, when he returned home drew a map which would lead him back if his parents would no longer take him. Throughout his youth, Paul visited the Fitchburg Public library and through books, taught himself how to make puppets. Together with his sister, Claire (who is totally blind) develped imaginative stories and recorded them using unique character voices on Claires tape recorder. Paul's mother helped him to design the costumes and even taught him how to sew them himself.
During his fourth grade year at St. Francis Elementary School in Fitchburg, Paul received a ventriloquist puppet as a gift. 'Charlie McCarthy' was an instant hit with his fellow classmates, and his teacher, Sr. Gloria, who allowed the shy young boy an avenue to express his talent. After much encouragement during a 'show and tell' demonstration of ventriloquism with his new puppet, his teacher brought him into every classroom of the school to perform the same skit. With as much success as his own classmates, Paul was no longer shy.
Paul continued to develop his voice characters and began to design and build many puppets and plays through his elementary and high school years. Several teachers through his early education recognized and encouraged his artistic and musical talents as well as his unique interest in puppets. Special men and women that Paul continues to thank as people who directed his path towards a life as a puppeteer; Sister Gloria and Mr. Beardmore, who encouraged his dreams. His piano and music teacher - Sr. Joseph-Marie. And especially, his high school art teacher, Mrs. Nelde Drumm whose keen insight and interest in her students continued to inspire, enlighten and direct Paul towards his life-long goal. His first job was that of a church organist at 'Our Lady of The Lake' parish in Leominster, and played the organ at weekend services and weddings for several years. During his junior year in high school, Paul developed a traveling puppet stage he called "Fantasy Theater" and performed at local events and festivals. Paul graduated in 1977 from Lunenburg High School and following graduation, attended New England School of Art and Design in Boston. Upon returning home to Lunenburg,, Paul was hired by Whalom Park Amusement Company. He developed hand puppet shows for the 'Kiddieland" area of the park, and produced the "Starshine Marionette" show where celebrity look-a-like marionettes performed their hit songs. Paul also managed the mascot costumed characters, and developed stage shows presented daily. He worked on much of the artwork throughout the park including graphics, signs, repainting and restoring props and rides. He remained at Whalom until 1989. Also, In 1982, he found the little map he drew as a young boy, Paul returned to the theater that first sparked his interest in puppetry. The puppeteer, historian, and school teacher: Herbert H. Hosmer Jr. was thrilled to learn that his puppet show had inspired a young audience member to pursue the same career. He invited Paul to study as a puppeteer's apprentice at his "The Toy Cupboard Theater & Museums". Paul continued to work at the theater while still working at Whalom until Mr. Hosmer's passing in 1995. In 1989, Paul was employed by the nationally known 'Vagabond Puppet Theater' of Atlanta, Georgia and toured much of the United States and the Bahamas' with the company for two seasons. During this time, Paul met and worked with Jeff Koslik. They teamed up as the Vagabond Puppet troupe which traveled the National tour covering much of the Southern and South Western United States. Upon returning to Massachusetts in 1992, Paul and Jeff developed their own touring puppet theater calling it the 'Drawbridge Puppet Production Company'. Now based in Lunenburg, MA Drawbridge Puppet Productions is presently in its nineteenth season of puppet and marionette performances. Paul and Jeff continue to provide the art of puppetry and education for families, schools, libraries, and youth groups throughout New England. The shows are totally designed and created by the puppeteers, i.e; scenery, props, staging and of course the puppets and marionettes. Each Drawbridge Production contains an original script and songs by Mr. Koslik. At the conclusion of each performance, a backstage tour or an 'Art of Puppetry' demonstration is conducted for the audience.
In May 2006, Mr. L'Ecuyer celebrated 25 years as a puppeteer. He plans to continue at least another 25 more.
Drawbridge Puppet Theater & Productions
Drawbridge Puppet Productions
1335 Mass. Ave. (Rte 2A)
Lunenburg, MA 01462
(800) 401-3694 or (978) 582-6565
This page was last updated: January 18, 2011