Shadow Puppets

Clearly the creative genes run deep. My great-grandmother crocheted. My grandmother crocheted. My father is a musician. My mother sews and knits. My brother is a musician. I’m still trying to find my niche, but I have a lot of sticky fingers. Now Sophie and Owen are starting to explore their inner artist.

Sophie’s first grade class attended Puss in Boots, the Creole Cat at the Northwest Puppet Center on Wednesday. The Oregon Shadow Theater produced a fantastic show based on Puss ‘n Boots using black cut-out puppets held behind a translucent screen. Percussion, music, sound effects and character voices were done onstage by Mick Doherty, while Deb Chase¬†changed the scenery and manipulated the puppets (check out the puppets on their site).

We were spellbound and giddy at the same time. The music was captivating. After the show, my wagon full of six-year old girls chanted “Boots, don’t FAIL ME NOW. Boots don’t fail me NOW.” (There are four shows this weekend – catch it now before the Puss leaves town!)

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The next day, Sophie came home from school with two shadow puppets she made imitating the technique used by the Oregon company. Her imagination still bursting with ideas, she gathered the supplies and sat down at the table to make another dozen. We didn’t have any popsicle sticks, so we substituted straws with an articulated tip, which helped the puppets dance. Sophie and Owen gave a command performance which tickled me down to my toes.

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