September 22, 2011


Curran Theatre, August 18 – 27

SHN and SF Sketchfest present a limited engagement of STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG, a night of hilarious uncensored mayhem with The Miskreant Puppets and their fearless puppeteers set loose live onstage to explore the art of improvisational comedy. Created by award-winning director, producer, writer and performer Brian Henson and actor and improvisational guru Patrick Bristow and featuring The Jim Henson Company’s renowned puppeteers, STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG will play a limited engagement of 10 performances August 18 through 27 at the Curran Theatre (445 Geary Street). Tickets go on sale July 15 at 10 am.

STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG is a madcap multimedia romp in which the skilled art of puppetry and comedic intelligent nonsense collide. Unpredictable, irreverent and rebellious, it’s never the same show twice as a team of expert puppeteers set off on a trail of twisted sketches and songs at breakneck pace while interaction with the audience prompts the spontaneous storylines unfolding on stage.

With live musical accompaniment and Patrick Bristow as host, STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG features a cast of six puppeteers in an uninhibited and unscripted live puppet performance. The show, described by Entertainment Weekly as “one giant Mad Lib,” is actually “two shows in one” as the hilarious puppet action is projected on large screens flanking the stage, while the puppeteers display their skillful talents below all in full view of the audience.

SF Sketchfest co-directors Janet Varney, David Owen and Cole Stratton elaborate on how this special engagement came about: “Brian Henson appeared earlier this year at SF Sketchfest for a lively, funny, and fascinating conversation– as well as an incredible live puppet demonstration– with Neil Patrick Harris. When Brian described the STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG puppets improvising adultsonly sketches and songs, the crowd went wild and we knew we had to team up with SHN to bring this amazing show to San Francisco.”

STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG evolved from Henson’s previous production Puppet Up! – Uncensored, which made its debut at the 2006 HBO Comedy Festival (Aspen, CO) and later toured the 2006 Edinburgh Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland), The 2007 Comedy Festival (Las Vegas, NV) and Australia’s Sydney Big Laugh Comedy Festival and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (both 2007). Puppet Up continued to be workshopped in monthly performances at Avalon Hollywood and eventually a completely revamped production, featuring all new technical wizardry and original music and staging, opened in New York City as STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG.

Henson Alternative is The Jim Henson Company’s label for content created specifically and exclusively for adult audiences. Previous credits include “Tinseltown” for Logo, “Puppet Up! – Uncensored” for TBS and the upcoming feature film Happytime Murders currently in development.

The San Francisco production of STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG is presented by SHN and SF Sketchfest in association with the original producer of the New York engagement WestBeth Entertainment.



 Tickets for STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG range in price from $30 – $65 and go on sale July 15 at 10 AM at or by calling 888 SHN 1799 (888 746 1799).
 For current box office hours please visit

Thursday Aug 18 and 25 at 8 pm
Friday Aug 19 and 26 at 7pm and 10:30 pm
Saturday Aug 20 and 27 at 7pm and 10:30 pm

Additional information about STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG available at

Backstage Podcast Interview Series:

For Immediate Release
SHN press contact: Anne Abrams/Erin Garcia/Shannon Barbara
(415) 551-2075 or
SF Sketchfest press contact: Cindy Lang
(415) 789-9090 or



Brian Henson (Creator, Producer, Performer) is Chairman of The Jim Henson Company and an award-winning director, producer, writer and puppeteer. Henson served as Executive Producer on the television projects “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars” (which he also directed) and “Jim Henson’s Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story” (which he also co-wrote and directed). He directed “Battleground,” an Emmy Award-winning episode of the “Nightmares & Dreamscapes” anthology for TBS. Previous television projects that Henson produced include “Farscape,” “Gulliver’s Travels,” “Muppets Tonight” and “Dinosaurs.” Henson’s film directing credits include The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. Most recently, Henson has served as an executive producer of the Emmy-nominated science-readiness pre-school series “Sid the Science Kid,” airing daily on PBS KIDS®. The series features his groundbreaking work at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, one of Hollywood’s pre-eminent character building, digital and physical visual effects facilities. Henson was part of the team that first created and utilized the Henson Performance Control System, a powerful custom-based interface for puppeteers, which won an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science Scientific and Engineering Award in 1992. He also led the Shop’s work with its revolutionary digital puppeteering technology, the 2009 Emmy® Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio that is featured in STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG as well as “Sid the Science Kid” and “Wilson & Ditch: Digging America.”

STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG Director and Host Patrick Bristow is best known for his numerous television appearances most notably as “Peter” on the groundbreaking ABC series “Ellen.” Other television credits include “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” “Mad About You,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and others. Film credits include The Longest Yard, as well as the first Austin Powers, So I Married An Axe Murderer, Twilight of the Golds, and the accidental comedy Showgirls. He is an alum of The Groundlings (Main Company) where he continues to teach and direct improv and sketch comedy. His direction credits include Groundlings: City of the Future, Beyond the Valley of the Deviants, Deviant Shores, Battle of the Deviants, the weekly Groundlings Theatre all improv show Cooking With Gas, and the 2004 L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards Show. Bristow is currently writing a pilot for FOX with Heather Morgan (“The Comeback”) and most recently appeared in the hit musical The Break-up Notebook at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Hollywood.

SHN, the pre-eminent theatrical entertainment company in San Francisco, fosters new works and spearheads world-class productions—honoring the past, leading the present, and envisioning the future. SHN, a joint venture between commercial producers Carole Shorenstein Hays and Robert Nederlander, owns and operates the Curran, Orpheum and Golden Gate Theatres—San Francisco’s premier theatrical venues. In keeping with her vision as Artistic Director for SHN, Carole Shorenstein Hays’ passion is nurturing the voices of playwrights, in both classical and new plays. Of the many playwrights whose work Carole has cultivated, four of them have won their first Pulitzer Prize for plays she produced. Carole Shorenstein Hays, winner of six Tony Awards, leads SHN in its commitment to present Bay Area audiences with pre-Broadway world premieres, original Broadway cast productions, the launch of national tours, award-winning plays and current hits fresh from Broadway. For more information on SHN, please visit

SF Sketchfest, co-founded and directed by David Owen, Cole Stratton and Janet Varney, produces the eclectic San Francisco Comedy Festival, an internationally-recognized and critically-acclaimed event that mixes major comedy stars and the best up-and-coming comedians from around the world for three weeks of sketch, improv, stand-up, alternative comedy, films, tributes and panel discussions. In past years, SF Sketchfest has featured renowned comedy artists such as: Aziz Ansari, Fred Armisen, Dan Aykroyd, Dana Carvey, Margaret Cho, Zach Galifianakis, Monty Python’s Terry Jones, Conan O’Brien, Amy Poehler, Paul Reubens, Amy Sedaris, Garry Shandling, Robin Williams and “Weird Al” Yankovic. The festival has also hosted film and television stars: Will Arnett, Candice Bergen, Dick Cavett, Bud Cort, Danny DeVito, Jon Hamm, Neil Patrick Harris, Cloris Leachman, Jason Segel and Gene Wilder; ensemble comedy groups Kids in the Hall, Mr. Show, Mystery Science Theater 3000, The State and the Upright Citizens Brigade; and musical guests David Byrne, Gordon Gano, Aimee Mann and Michael Penn. SF Sketchfest offers its audiences the rare opportunity to see their favorite performers in intimate live performances and discussions. The upcoming eleventh annual SF Sketchfest runs January-February, 2012. For more information on SF Sketchfest please visit

WestBeth Entertainment, Arnold Engelman – President, is a producing/promoting organization that has successfully and consistently produced critically acclaimed, financially successful, groundbreaking entertainment for 30 years. From Eddie Izzard to Billy Connolly, Mike Myers to Lewis Black, Wigfield to Hedwig, and The Family Guy to Tenacious D, WestBeth has been the creative catalyst, partner and producer of some of the most innovative productions across the nation. WestBeth is presently represented on Broadway with John Leguizamo’s GHETTO KLOWN at the Lyceum Theatre. WestBeth will also be promoting Eddie Izzard’s STRIPPED TO THE SHORE at Shoreline in San Jose and STRIPPED TO THE BOWL at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Recent productions include Eddie Izzard’s January 2010 US Arena Tour – THE BIG INTIMACY TOUR, AN EVENING WITHOUT MONTY PYTHON directed by Eric Idle and BT McNicholl, Eddie Izzard’s sold out 34 city 2008 American Tour STRIPPED, as well as Billy Connolly’s TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG (North American Tour); and Lewis Black’s NOTHING SACRED (Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall), and the four month Off-Broadway run of STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG in New York City. For more information on WestBeth Entertainment please visit

Henson Alternative is The Jim Henson Company’s label for content created specifically and exclusively for adult audiences. Previous credits include “Tinseltown” for Logo, “Puppet Up! – Uncensored” for TBS and the upcoming feature film Happytime Murders currently in development.