SHARON (puppet video series) by Molly Rice and Rusty Thelin. RealTime Interventions, streams constantly with new episodes added.
Among online productions from Pittsburgh theater companies, Sharon is one of a kind. We have here a pre-filmed (well, video-recorded) series using Calico Critters dolls as tiny puppets on miniature sets. Produced by RealTime Interventions, Sharon comes across as artfully done, socially relevant, and just plain cute. Title character Sharon—a little brown bear dressed in human clothes—is a child care worker who enjoys her cigarettes and coffee when not tending the kids. Molly Rice and Rusty Thelin, co-artistic directors of RealTime, conceived the series from their own experiences with child care and fleshed it out by interviewing local caregivers. Aided by artists in several specialties, they blend real-life scenery footage with the puppetry to create episodes that are more convincing than you might imagine. “Chapter 1” is already online; the second drops February 10. Get into Sharon’s world by visiting RealTime on the web. (M.V.)