For past 15 years, the library has hosted K-State students taking Prof. Sally Bailey’s Creative Drama class as they become puppeteers. For some of these students, this is the first time they have performed in front of a live audience. They are not theater majors, but in this course that focuses on “play” and the creative process through experiencing different forms of dramatic play, they are put to the task of creating puppets, recording the voices, and then acting out a children’s story in the library auditorium. We have had crowds of as many as 60 preschoolers come to a show.
“Many of the students are Communication Science Disorder majors, Social Work majors, psychology majors, or secondary gerontology majors who will be going into helping professions and need to learn how to relate in a playful manner with their future clients. The puppet shows are a great way for my students — who have been getting in back touch with their own creativity — to share some their reclaimed artistry with children in the Manhattan community,” says Prof. Bailey. “Many young children today (and many of my students) don’t have enough opportunities to experience the joy of puppetry. This opportunity allows students to pass the joy they have discovered when putting their puppets and scripts together with others!”
We invite children to attend the spring semester one-time showing of the K-State Puppet Show this Tuesday, May 6, at 1:30. This semester’s show will feature these great stories: Where the Wild Things Are, Anatole and the Cat, Owen and Mzee, Dark Night and Fiona’s Luck.
A favorite part of the show for most children is getting to meet the puppets and puppeteers afterwards. Children have a chance to talk with or touch a puppet they saw in the show. Some children are a little shy at first, but the KSU students are friendly and help children feel less intimidated about getting up close to a puppet.
Special thanks to Prof. Bailey for creating this opportunity every semester for her students, the library, and the kids of Manhattan!