Thursday, January 5, 2012

Workshop and Play Contest

Now that the holidays are over --- on to the next adventures!

We will host three open marionette-making workshop Saturdays:
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 21, 28 and a February date if needed.
The fee will be $15. I have done this workshop several times as part of the Benton summer enrichment program.
You can start your puppet on the 21st or 28th and come for as many of those hours as you need. Bring a lunch, if you like. There's a refrigerator. And I'll probably make coffee for the grownups.
You can even take it home to work on, if you like.
We will make a simple marionette with a papier mache head, cloth and cardboard body. We'll use lots of toilet paper tubes, so try to bring some. We will provide the wooden control and teach you how to string it.
This is for children ages 9 and older as well as adults who would like to make a puppet. And parents or other adults can come and help.
You should also bring a shoebox or empty ice cream bucket (or whatever) in which to store your project.
To assure enough supplies, please let us know you are coming by calling 608-759-4425 or emailing

Puppet play-writing contest
This year's theme is Conservation Nation. Think wildlife, nature and especially animals of the Mississippi River.
Deadline: Feb. 29
Performance of the winning stories: Saturday, May 19
NEW: Open to all ages: 3-7, 8-12 and 13-adult who live in the Tri-state Area of Southwest Wisconsin, Northwest Illinois and Northeast Iowa.
One author per story.
Title page -- include your name, age, address, phone number, email address.
Stories must be original.
Write neatly, use a computer printer or email to
Or mail to:
Puppet Play-writing contest
c/o 362 E. Main St.
Benton, WI 53803

Submitted plays become the property of the Fever River Puppeteers Inc.
Winners will be asked to submit photos of themselves.

Prizes! Winners will receive a beautiful Folkmanis Puppet and season tickets for a family.

Helpful Hints for Budding Playwrights:

A puppet show, like any other play or story, needs:

Characters: Who? a hero or heroine, and a villain or villains
NEW! This year limit your characters to among these: otter, turtle, heron, catfish, eagle, raccoon, squirrel, owl, rabbit, frog and duck, (you need NOT include all of them!) plus one animal or a human of your choice.
Try to avoid having more than 4 characters on stage at once.

Setting: When and where? A time and a place. Describe or draw.

Plot: What if---? How? Suddenly, something happens! And then the good guy does something.
Don't just make your puppet characters talk. Tell us what they are doing. Make them move.

Ending: How it all turns out. Did the hero triumph? The end!

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