Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Puppet Magic

We just got back from The Center For Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, where we watched The Emperor's New Clothes with two other homeschool families. It was awesome! This is one of those places that I actually enjoy taking the kids, because they can be total kids, instead of me trying to get them to be miniature grown-ups. I can relax and enjoy watching them be entertained and mesmerized and enchanted.

The show itself was fabulous. It was a "one man show" put on by Drew Allison from Grey Seal Puppets of Charlotte, NC. Or, it would have been a one man show, except he brought five members of the audience - all kids, of course - up on stage to play characters in the production. To his sheer delight, T-Bear was chosen as one of the five, and played the Elephant Baker. Mr. Allison was wonderful, performing most of the puppetry right out front and acting as the storyteller/narrator, as well as animating the puppets. He is very talented and engaged the kids (and most of the adults, too) from moment one.

We then spent some time viewing the exhibits, the vast majority of which feature Jim Henson's projects and creature creations. What a gift that man was to all of us. Then, of course, we wandered into the gift shop to pick up a few new friends.

The King, T-Bear, Monster, Angel Bear, Zach-Arach, and Brother Bear

I think my favorite of our new friends has to be the Make Your Own Monster Puppet. It comes with dozens of pieces you can stick onto the main body with velcro, designing and re-designing your puppet in hundreds of different ways. It even has suction-cup hands to he can stick to window. How cool is that?

As a small aside, I only lost one child (temporarily) on this particular outing. Our friends met us in the lobby, and between the three moms there were eight kids, all wiggling around and saying "hi" and darting to and fro. We sort of herded them all together down the stairs, down the hall, around the corner, around another corner, etc., and into the theater. We'd all been seated when G turned to me and said "Where's T-Bear?". I replied, "He's sitting down there on the end.". Uh, nope, that wasn't him. Hey, it was dark, okay? Shoot. Make my way down the dark steps, out the theater door, down the hall, down another hall, yet another hall, etc., up the steps, out to the lobby and informed the nice people I've lost my child. "What does the child look like?". Um, he looks like my son. I pulled out my emergency forms (always carry them on me) and handed the nice gentlemen T-Bear's stat sheet, including photograph, and said "he looks like this". Handy, that. We did find him very quickly, wandering around the exhibits, completely entranced by the video presentations and the Big Bird costume (full size!). He didn't even realize he was lost. Another think I like about this place is they've got lots of staff on hand, and they're all in radio contact. They're used to lost kids.
Note to self: update emergency forms with newer photos, and add T-Bear's T1 in big red letters.


  1. It was fun, wasn't it?
    T Bear is a natural on the stage (I think Ella was a little jealous - she really wanted to go up there.)
    Love the puppets you guys got.

  2. We sure had fun!! I'm so glad T Bear was happily immersed in the exhibits- I hated to think he might be lost and upset. Wow, you remind me: I need to be carrying recent photos of all my kids in my wallet, too! My cell phone can't take pictures now, so that's no longer an option. Besides, can't hurt to have a backup.

    Grace is right: T Bear was a regular ham! He was hilarious! He did such a great job. And those puppets DO look like fun. :)