West Liberty will take center stage Thursday in the world of puppetry.
The Puppeteers of America’s Great Plains Regional Puppet Festival, which has been billed as the Great Plains Puppet Train, will be held Thursday through Sunday.
“It will take place pretty much all over downtown,” said organizer Monica Leo, puppeteer and managing director of Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre.
The regional festival, which is being held for puppeteers from eight states and two Canadian provinces, will include Eulenspiegel’s Annual West Liberty Children’s Festival, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Ron De Voo Park.
“Word has gotten out that this is a nice place to perform,” said Leo, who is a member of the Puppeteers of America’s Great Plains regional board. It was decided at the group’s last meeting, she said, to hold the regional festival in West Liberty.
“It’s because puppeteers who have come here to perform have loved being here,” Leo said.
She said events planned for the long weekend will include:
• 7:30 p.m. at West Liberty United Methodist Church lawn, “Night Dreams,” presented by Calliope Puppets of New Orleans, timeless tales of night from cultures in Iceland, West Africa and the Navaho nation in North America. Tickets are $7.
• 8:30 p.m. at West Liberty UMC, “Roman Reverie,” presented by Little Blue Moon of California. In this original naughty toy or paper theater production, which is not for children, Harold and Eve go to Italy for a vacation, but after having a big fight in a restaurant on their first night, they split up and each go on their own involuntary quest through the Roman Pantheon, until finally they are reunited. Cost is $7.
• 10 a.m. (in Spanish) and 1 p.m. (in English) at New Strand Theatre, “Are You Thirsty?,” presented by In The Heart Of The Beast Puppet Theatre from Minnesota. This performance demonstrates how much of the earth’s water is available for drinking. Tickets are $7.
• 7:30 p.m. at New Strand Theatre, “Monkey Mind Pirates,” presented by Zpuppets Rozenschnoz of Minnesota. This rock musical adventure is made up of basic yoga concepts that help young people navigate the stormy seas of stress. Tickets are $7.
• 9 p.m. at Slip’s Saloon & Eatery, there will be an anything goes puppet slam. It may not be suitable for children. Tickets are $7.
• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ron De Voo Park, Parasol Puppets will present “Punch and Judy;” Calliope Puppets will present “Stories From South of the Border;” Magical Moonshine Theatre will present “Puppylocks”; Open Eye Theatre will present “The Amazing Cow Boat Adventure”; and Dragon Theatre Puppets will present “The Reluctant Dragon.” These performances are free and a must for children to attend.
• 8 p.m. Saturday, West Liberty High School Auditorium, “Mwathirika,” presented by Papermoon Puppet Theatre of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The performance, which organizers say is not for young children, is based on the 1965 attempted coup against Indonesian leader, Sukarno, and the turbulent aftermath when thousands of Indonesians were jailed and murdered. Tickets are $15.
• 10:30 a.m. at New Strand Theatre, “Love Beyond Reach,” presented by Freshwater Pearls Puppetry of Wisconsin. This puppet show for the heart is told in three stories, each driven by seemingly unattainable love. Tickets are $7.
Puppets take the stage in WLBy The Index · Monday, September 24, 2012