World Day of Puppetry 2016 Report

World Puppetry Day at the Center for Puppetry Arts

By Paulette Richards

Sockly, the Center's MascotOn Saturday March 19 Sockly, the mascot for the Center for Puppetry Arts, enthusiastically welcomed patrons to the Center's World Puppetry Day celebration and inspired them to create their own sock puppets.

After selecting a sock, patrons could choose from a wide selection of materials for noses, eyes, hair, and costumes. CPA teaching artists then assisted in the process of assembling the puppets with hot glue guns.

Basket Full of SocksPlastic Eyes, Buttons and MoreHot Glue Guns

For the third year in a row, members of the Atlanta Puppetry Guild came out in force to represent all forms of puppetry. Brenda Harris was one of the first Guild members to arrive. She brought a number of puppets to display such as these Wayang Golek puppets that she purchased at a yard sale.

Orangutan MarionetteBrenda belongs to a clown group that performs for children and in nursing homes so she also entertained patrons with several marionettes including a very lifelike orangutan.

Jamie and Jeremy Ward have developed an array of appealing characters from Sofa, the panda bear whose mother named him after furniture to a pair of hipster twins.

Hipster PuppetsPieter a Space Alien PuppetThe Ward Brothers with Sock Puppets

Jamie and Jeremy are twin brothers who perform at their local library and in puppet ministry at their church. One of their most interesting characters is Pieter, a space alien with a Russian accent. Since Pieter is a live hand puppet, he acquired a sock puppet over the course of the festivities. The twins then created their own sock puppets, incorporating Peepers from the museum shop into the design.

Heidi Carpenter made a splash in a rainbow tie-dyed dress that matched her hair! In addition to her self-portrait puppet with needle-sculpted features, she also brought some large puppets she has created for parades such as this alligator.

Heidi CarpenterLarge Alligator PuppetVirginia Petersen and Crackers Puppet

Virginia Petersen and her husband Wally frequent ventriloquism events as well as puppet events. Although Saint Patrick's Day was earlier in the week, “Crackers,” built by Bev Cipperly, was still wearing the green.

Virginia must have kissed the blarney stone at some point because she and her puppet friends kept up a steady stream of witty puns throughout the afternoon.

Just as there was a range of puppet types, guild and CPA performers also presented a range of puppetry styles. Nancy Riggs, guild president set up a shadow puppet stage before rushing off to perform in an ice skating event.

Shadow Puppet StageQate Bean and Trina Puppet

Qate Bean brought the improvisational skills she has honed through slam puppetry to puppet “Trina’s” interactions with patrons.

Kevin Pittman's Life-Size Roopert Kangaroo PuppetBob and Tricia Barrett with White Bird Parade PuppetKevin Pittman enchanted young and old with a menagerie of ingeniously crafted forest friends that included an Easter Bunny, an opossum, and Roopert, the Kangaroo.

Having studied under a Bread and Puppet puppeteer, Tricia Barrett and her husband Bob involved family groups in operating this impressive parade bird made from bamboo rods and plastic trash bags.

Robot Marionette with #WorldPuppetryDay hashtag SignThe impressive panoply of puppets made me smile and laugh so much my face hurt by the end of the day. Fortunately Beau Brown put his robot marionette to work holding the hash tag sign where you can find more photos that will make you smile for miles!