"It was great-creative, artistic, meaningful, engaging, thought provoking...and a little humor to boot. The time he spent preparing and organizing it showed" 4th Grade Teacher-- Gilman School, Baltimore MD
"Our students have never seen anything like the theatre production performed by Michael Gunst! They were engaged and learning throughout the entire production. The Four Wishes went perfectly with our curriculum. Students could not stop talking about how "cool" the show was! Thank you so much. We all enjoyed it." -Janie Holtz- Teacher, Beaumont, TX
"His performances are one of the best I've seen in the 30+ years I have been hiring performers. He presents such a rich artistic and creative performance which is highlighted through his awesome stage settings and professional storytelling.
In 2016, the elementary school age audience was so invloved in the story, Four Wishes, they were shouting to the puppets to follow the directions so their wish would come true." --Kathy Klatt, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library, CO--Assistant Children's Librarian Program Coordinator/ Outreach Specialist
***** 4 1/2 Stars Winnipeg Free Press
"Adapted from a Wabinaki tale written by Joseph Bruchac, Four Wishes is the story of four Abenaki men who yearn for more. The traditional teaching tale is unfolded with an elegant and eye-catching collection of puppets, masks, props and an engaging narrative. The entire production is performed by buckskin-clad Michael Gunst, who slips naturally from one character to another. One man is greedy for many worldly possessions, the second for stature so he can be taller than anyone, the third seeks immortality, while the last wishes to be a better hunter so he can provide for his people. They journey by canoe to visit Gluskabe, a great creator who will grant such wishes. But what happens if they open their medicine pouches to soon?
This graceful, well-crafted production out of Boulder Colo., is well-deserving of a broad audience."
-- Wendy Burke Winnipeg Free Press
CBC Radio**** 4 Stars Colorado performer Michael Gunst puts on a visually impressive show filled with well-crafted and awell-loved traditional puppets and masks in this 60-minute retelling of the Abenaki tale written by Native American children's author Joseph Bruchac.
Four men embark on a long journey by canoe (depicted through shadow puppetry) to visit Gluskabe, the Great Spirit's helper. Upon their arrival, the men are each granted a wish. Their wishes, mostly self-serving, are safely stowed in tiny pelt pouches that the elder puts around the travelers' necks for safekeeping. The pouches are said to contain their "heart's desire" and while the eager men are carefully warned to wait until they reach home before opening them, only the selfless hunter, and hero of this tale, is able to fulfill his promise. Educational and fun, this easy to follow fable reinforces the old adage 'good things come to those who wait.' Only one brief note here for parents. This is not the interactive theatre experience generally expexted of puppet theatre at Kids Fringe. Gunst's show is deep and meaningful and is geared towards audience members who are at least five years old.
--- Demetra Hajidiacos CBC Radio
Four Wishes is a smart well-acted show... Jonathan Ball --Uptown Magazine
"I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed Gunstwork's Puppet Mask performances. I was very impressed with the total experience from the script, special effects, mask, puppets and staging. It was rich in detail and language and visually very exciting...this was a great choice for the students of Nogales" -Susan Corl YASCC Artist, Nogales, AZ
"I'm 11. I thought this show was incredible. I didn't know anyone could do that. --Micah 5 Stars!
" This is an incredibly strong and entertaining show that features a wonderful mix of master story-telling, script-writing, staging, and acting. Gunst's energy and dynamism makes for a wonderful program. Many Kudos." --David Rothstein, 5 Stars!