Once upon a time, the descriptive line of my blog read, "Songs, stories and puppet shows." I haven't done a puppet show in a long time. However, I am posting a 4:46 minute video of my 5 1/2 year old daughter's marionette puppet show she presented Sunday morning. It may be of interest only to close family members and early childhood educators (especially Waldorf-trained teachers) but who knows-- the rest of you might take away something worthwhile that I didn't anticipate. Here is the video:
The marionette itself is made of silk scarves and wool felt, with two strings arranged as long loops. This puppet is a simple version of the kinds used in Lucia's Waldorf kindergarten, and she is lucky enough to have a teacher who specializes in marionettes. The puppet shows I have watched have had a narrator/sound person separate from the puppeteer. The puppeteer usually doesn't wear a fancy hat-- that is Lucia's addition, thanks to her introduction to the Red Hat Society gathering we saw at Dave's Restaurant* in Milton, Washington before my second gig last Saturday.
After the little preamble, Lucia begins her show with, "From the land of the stars, from the land of the sun, from the land of the moon, here to where we now are." She ends with "Stars, moon and sun, our story is done." I am pretty sure that the story opening and closing with accompanying motions plus what we're calling the "Waldorf mood song" were picked up from her teacher. She draws from other elements of stories and songs picked up along the way. The section about being an orphan comes from the book Owliver by Robert Krauss, where the main character, a little owl, pretends to have no parents, only to be cheerfully scolded by his mother and father, who are told that he is only acting.The "shooting star" theme comes from one of the many stories I told her about how she came to be Bede's and my child.** (She knows her own hospital birth story as we've told it to her, but she also likes to hear the imaginative versions.) The song that plays over the credits is one that she made up for the video.
If you are interested in reading about this kind of puppetry with young children, take a look at the resources list on Suzanne Down's website, Juniper Tree Puppets. As someone who has been interested in storytelling with puppets from an early age, I hope to take a workshop with her someday.
*I ordered the bacon waffle in Adrienne's honor.
**A man and a woman wanted a child. As they looked up into the sky, they saw the first star of the evening., they said, "Oh, how we wish we had a child!" The star heard their wish, and said, "I've been a star for a very long time. I want to be a child now." The star began to travel through the heavens. As the star passed throug the solar system and flew past the planets, it got smaller and smaller until it landed in a strawberry patch on earth. As it rested among the strawberries, it changed into a child with brown hair, brown eyes and rosy cheeks. The man and the woman walked by the strawberry patch and said, "Look--it's our child!" [Lucia follows up with, "I was that child!"]