Since 1969, elementary school classes have been genuinely enchanted by puppet shows that features timeless stories supported by classical music geared for Kindergarten through third grade students. Approximately 13,000 children see these shows annually.
Each year, on a three-year rotation, a new show is featured. The 2016-2017 feature presentation was Hansel and Gretel. Prior to the twenty-minute performance, schools receive a curriculum kit that includes:
- CD of music and narrative
- Story synopsis
- Finger puppet art work to be copied for students to color and assemble
- Laminated posters of characters
- Instructions for teachers to prepare children
Each year, in addition to featuring a different story, a new musical theme is introduced:
- Peer Gynt (introduces moods and tempos)
- Peter and the Wolf (introduces instruments using a soundtrack produced by Disney and narrated by Sterling Halloway)
- Hansel and Gretel (introduces opera)
Shows are mounted by a dedicated group of six puppeteers on a miniature stage involving sets, props, lighting, and delightful puppet characters.
Performances are presented three times daily on Tuesdays from late September through the second week in March. The show is offered free to Peoria District 150 schools and $50 for one show and $75 for two shows in other school districts.
To schedule a performance for your school or volunteer to join the troupe, email Pat Rice or contact her at 309-685-2483.