Outreach: Community Shows

After 9/11, we got together with some other community members and thought about ways to respond to the tragedy. Working on a peace oriented community puppet show seemed like a good idea and, with the help of an American Spirit Grant from the Iowa Arts Council. Puppets and People For Peace was born. A group of ten adults from West Liberty, Atalissa, Nichols, Stumptown, and Iowa City rehearsed with us (and puppeteer friend Bob Aiken) for a week and performed two shows at the New Strand. Audience and puppeteers loved it, and the group has continued to craft and rehearse a new show each year. We build some of the puppets during Open Studios, lots of people get involved in the planning, the group keeps getting larger, and the results are charming, chaotic, and energetic! This year’s show, Portraits of the Prairie, our biggest production to date, involved school classes, after school programs, artists, musicians, even a park ranger.
Rehearsing PUPPET GUMBO Bob Aiken and Lauren Haldeman The Emporer's Nightingale
Impromptu parade before show Pushing Up the Sky Rehearsing PORTRAITS OF THE PRAIRIE
painting the prairie Post Show Parade Rehearsing CIRCLE OF CREATION