In normal times, this would be the year for the 24th West Liberty Children’s Festival, sponsored by Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre in West Liberty. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made that impossible, but Eulenspiegel personnel simply can’t let the month pass without some kind of socially distanced community celebration, so the organization is hosting a parade puppet-making extravaganza followed by a drive-in puppet show, Director Monica Leo announced.
The parade puppets, a form called “Bottlehead Bobbers”, have heads made out of plastic bottles or jugs, fabric draped bodies and bobbing arms made of baling wire, all mounted on a four-foot dowel rod. Supplies and instructions for the puppets will be available for pick-up at Owl Glass Puppetry Center through Thursday, Sept. 24 (by appointment).
On Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m., Eulenspiegel will present “Shenanigans: Animals in Charge!” Preceding the show, local residents who made puppets will parade around the Muscatine County Fairgrounds to the site of the show.
“Shenanigans: Animals in Charge!” opens with a parade-size Mother Earth as she introduces the public to the zany antics of animals exploring venues that, under normal circumstances, humans dominate. But, as people around the world suspend their normal activities in the face of a world-wide pandemic, the animals take charge!
The show transitions from large rod puppets in the early evening to shadow puppets as the sun sets. Imagine penguins visiting an art museum! An alligator cruising a shopping mall! Goats gone wild! All of the animals’ activities are based on actual news reports enhanced and embroidered with the puppeteers’ imaginations.
From start to finish, the puppets are accompanied by live piano and guitar music with original music written just for this show. Anyone interested in participating, should call 627-2487 or email