Monday, July 13, 2020

Some thoughts about reopening

With the virus still lurking everywhere and new developments every day, we are pondering whether the Fever River Puppeteers will have a fall/winter season.

What will the schools be doing? Will they open in some way with masks and social distancing?
If so, we could do something like that at the Hazel Green Opera House. We can ask people to make reservations ahead of time, so that we can limit audience sizes to 25. We can seat people in household groups with distance between the groups. We can ask people — including kids — to wear masks. We can take temperatures, sanitize surfaces in between shows and put up a plexiglas barrier at the ticket booth. We would probably man the ticket booth ourselves and not ask our board members to volunteer, as they usually have done.

Our first fall show is usually timed to coincide with the Benton Labor Day weekend celebration. 
This year, the village fire department is NOT having a celebration. 

So, we could:

  • Offer shows all 3 days of Labor Day weekend.
  • Or, we could skip that weekend.  
  • We could offer our show, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” all through September or part of September, then take the rest of the year off and wait for a vaccine.
  • Or we could see how things are going and try to have a Halloween show and maybe even a Christmas show, again, only taking reservations and limiting our audiences. Unless things are much worse....

We could also offer our shows online, on a private YouTube channel, with families voluntarily sending us a “subscription” fee, of perhaps $10 per family per show. 

Would you do that? 

We made our Easter show available for free. And we made our summer show as well as the pattern and instruction for making a puppet available to libraries for a fee. We have had zero response to either one, although our YouTube host tells us that people are visiting the site. 

Your thoughts?

Email us at

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Watch our show online

Dear Friends,

Since we cannot perform our spring show for you at the Hazel Green Opera House this year, our friend, Laurie Kutil of Madison, has graciously uploaded a video of a previous rehearsal to this YouTube Channel. It includes a voiceover from last year’s show (“Tales of Bunny Cotton-Tail) at the beginning. We hope you enjoy “More Tales of Bunny Cotton-Tail” until we can see you again in person some day. Stay safe.

Sandye and Chuck
Fever River Puppeteers


Monday, March 30, 2020

How to Make a Toilet Paper Roll Puppet

Hi! Unfortunately, we can't be together for now. But I've been trying to think of some puppet-making projects for you using things you probably have at home. (Unlike me, you probably don't have a stock of Styrofoam balls, brads and dowel rods.) I thought it would be fun and kind of obvious to use toilet paper rolls -- empty ones! -- since we all seem to have a lot of them.

For this project, you need 2 empty rolls, scissors, tape, glue (optional), markers or crayons or paint and colored paper or yarn or other stuff to embellish:

Start with 2 empty TP rolls. (Don't waste the toilet paper!!!)

Cut one roll in half length-wise.

Tape it together so that it fits snugly inside the other roll.

With a piece of tape, make a tab on the top of the taped roll. This will be your handle or control.

With one tube inside the other and a couple inches sticking out, draw your face with a pencil. The mouth is closed and the lower lips are on the outside tube.

Now, open lift the inserted tube up more and draw a bigger mouth.

Now, have fun coloring the face with markers, crayon or paint.

Cut and glue or tape some hair to the top. You can cut a fringe out of construction or other paper. Or you could use strips of cloth or yarn. Be patient about glueing the yarn. You might have to glue one strand at a time.

Then, you can draw on a body -- add whatever you want to give it more personality.

Did you make a puppet? Send me a picture or a video (because these guys can sing!) or find Sandye Voight or the Hazel Green Opera House on Facebook.
I will try to find some more puppets you can make at home. 
Meanwhile, stay safe. Wash your hands and do something fun.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Stay safe!

Bunny Cotton-Tail says:

Stay safe
Stay healthy
Stay home
Wash your hands (or paws)

We will let you know when the Hazel Green Opera House reopens.

Until then, we miss you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Mandated Closings

Dear Friends,

Sadly, we will be postponing our spring puppet show, “More Tales of Bunny Cotton-Tail,” until this coronavirus crisis eases and the mandated closures are lifted. 

The show was scheduled for April 4-5 and 11. If things are better by Easter, we will open that Saturday and run the next weekend. Or we will wait and run the next two weekends. Or, whatever. We’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, stay healthy! Make a puppet with your kids. We will be using the “extra” time to work on future shows.

Sandye and Chuck

The Fever River Puppeteers

Friday, January 10, 2020


Happy January, indeed! Our performance of "Little Red Space Helmet Girl" tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 11) at the Dubuque Museum of Art, has been postponed due to an imminent ice and snow double whammy. It has been rescheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Hope to see you there. (It's free!)

Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy New Year!

We had a whopping 89 people in the seats for our last show of "Elf Jingle," which was also our last show for 2019. It was also wonderful to host school groups from Benton, Wis., and Scales Mound, Ill., on the Friday before Christmas.
Although our public shows are generally on weekends, it is possible for us to host school classes and other groups during the week. We do have a handicap-access ramp at the side of the building. Please contact us for further information,, 608-732-7129.

You will find a calendar of events for 2020 on this page.

We will be performing

"Little Red Space Helmet Girl"

at the Dubuque Museum of Art at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.

This is a free performance that is part of the museum's Saturday matinee series.
We love performing here and always have a wonderful, welcoming audience!
"Little Red" is the 30-minute show that we did this past summer as part of the summer library reading series. The theme was outer space.

We are thinking of keeping this smaller stage up in the opera house and doing this show as a "pop-up" if there is decent traveling weather this winter. So, watch this space, check your emails (ask to be on our email list) and check out the Hazel Green Opera House facebook page.

Our next regularly scheduled performances will be "More Tales of Bunny Cotton-Tail," during the Easter season.

At this point, we are still not sure about Pupafooglee. That is our annual free day of puppet shows and puppet making. IF we have it (the IF is because of some unrelated plans for the opera house the following weekend), it would be on the Saturday before Father's Day, June 20.
Stay tuned!

Thanks for a wonderful 15 years at the Hazel Green Opera House!