Pre-fest Puppet Slam, workshops set Friday in West Liberty

Fun for all ages!


This Friday, Sept.10, the day before the West Liberty Children’s Festival, Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre will sponsor several events for adults and teens as well as another for school age children and above.

Guest puppeteers in West Liberty for the next day’s festival will teach workshops and perform in an evening Puppet Slam for adults and teens.

The Slam will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Ron-de-Voo Park in downtown West Liberty, in coordination with the Chamber’s 5-8 p.m. “Downtown Wine Walk.” Adult participants will have an opportunity to sip wine and then watch short experimental and sometimes outrageous puppet vignettes that are geared toward teen and adult audiences.

“Puppet Slams are frequently unpredictable, and members of the public are welcome to participate,” Monica Leo, director of Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre. Any amateur or professional puppeteer interested in performing should call 627-2487. “If not, come and watch our guest puppeteers who have generously agreed to bring a piece for the Slam,” Leo said.

Earlier in the day, those interested in puppets can learn new skills by attending one or all of three different workshops Friday afternoon.

The first workshop, to be held at shelter one in Kimberly Park, is from 1:30-2:45 p.m. and is a Hands-on Introduction to Marionettes. Marionette wizard Kurt Hunter of Minneapolis will bring many of his impressive collection of marionettes, including scarf marionettes and more traditional marionettes. Kurt will demonstrate how the marionettes function and participants are welcome to “practice and play to their hearts’ content,” Leo said.

From 3-4:15 p.m., instruction on creating Needle Felting hand puppets will be conducted at shelter one in Kimberly Park. “You’ve seen Pam Corcoran’s charming needle-felted hand puppets and rod marionettes at Children’s Festival and Owl Glass Puppetry Center,” said Leo of the Stevens Point Wisconsin native.

Corcoran will teach how to make your own puppets and animals using wool in many different colors. “Learn this relaxing art form participants can practice while conversing with your friends, listening to your favorite podcast, or daydreaming,” Leo said.

From 4:30-5:45 p.m. on Friday, there will be a course on how to Make a Wooden Spoon Puppet and Do a Show outside of the West Liberty Public Library. Join Minneapolis puppeteer Kallie Melvin in creating a character using accessible materials, creativity, and personal inspiration! Leo said participants will be invited to create a community super hero, a character from a favorite story, or a self-portrait as a super hero. “Explore materials, create puppets and animate them,” Leo encouraged. “Tell your story!”

There is a charge for the workshops, with a discount for getting involved in all three. The third workshop is free to West Liberty Community School District children. Participants can make reservations for the workshops or simply show up and participate.

For more information, contact the Owl Glass Puppetry Center inside the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, 319 N. Calhoun Street, at 319-627-2487 or email .