We recently had a request to perform at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Bellevue, Iowa. The school had a day of fun events and wanted us to do an activity explaining marionettes and how they work -- three times for different groups of kids.
We occasionally get requests to do marionette shows "on the road." Since moving to the opera house 4 1/2 years ago, we've only moved the stage once. It's about a 3-hour job to take it down, load the trailer and another 3-hour job to set up the stage, then another 3 to take it down --- well, you get the picture. We usually try to pitch our Punch & Judy handpuppet show as the travelin' one. But the folks in Bellevue were looking for a way for us to show kids how the marionettes work. So we thought, how about a simple version of our stage? We puppeteers would be in full view of the audience (something we used to do with our nativity show) and the puppets would explain themselves through a little variety show.
Ta da! Enter Witch Hazel Green and the Marionette All-Stars. We came up with a half-hour show featuring a dozen puppets. Hazel tries to answer most of the questions that kids (and grownups) ask during our meet-and-greet time after each show.
We hope it will bring more people to Hazel Green to see the real deal.
If you are interested in having us perform it for small groups, please ask.
Punch & Judy are still available, too. We're also working on a brand new and improved handpuppet stage that we will unveil this year during our Easter show. More about that in a future blog.