There is something so hypnotic about watching a puppet show. The simplicity and artistry combined, as an avenue for storytelling, is timeless. The variety of puppets seem to be endless from shadow or hand to a more complex marionette. I enjoy how the stage designs spark the imagination where a scrap of fabric becomes a dress, body of water or backdrop. It is all about where your mind can take you. Around our house a simple sock with some buttons sewn on provided hours of entertainment when my children were young. Now, of course, more complex puppets are in the works.
For the second time Long Lake Public Library is bringing the talents of Schenectady’s The Puppet People to the area. This year’s March 15th performance of The Firebird is free and open to the public, though registration is requested.
The Firebird is based on the classic Russian fairytale of the same name. The performance focuses on the story’s elements of friendship, teamwork, responsibility and courage. The Puppet People incorporates different types of puppets into each show. The Firebird will use rod puppets, marionettes and body puppets.
According to Long Lake Public Library Program Coordinator Christine LaRocque the library has grown to be more program oriented. Libraries are for reading and much more. She wants to help demonstrate through these performances that libraries are for everyone.
“In a rural mountain community we want everyone to know that the library is fun and accessible,” says LaRocque. “In the summer we will also have The Seagle Colony performing an opera based on the story of Hansel and Gretel. Both these performances are based on folk tales. Through them we are able to open a door to the arts through literature.”
My family has already registered for the event. We are looking forward to the 10:00 am performance and participating in the free rod-puppet workshop. I can’t say what puppets my children will create, but knowing my kids the script will be written on the ride home with a performance to follow. Perhaps a few button-eyed socks will make a cameo, for old times’ sake. To register, please call the Long Lake Public Library at 518-624-3825.
photo of The Firebird used with the permission of The Puppet People