I need help!!! Posted by squirrely on Jul 07, 2015
I got promoted to a Bookfest and do a 30 minute puppet show.  This Sunday! July 12.  I've never done this before!  What is a good puppet show to do at a bookfest on stage?  Any help possible.     
Re: I need help!!! Posted by Chris Arveson on Jul 07, 2015
I'm not sure what a bookfest is, but I'm presuming it has something it has something to do with promoting reading. I also don't know what puppets are available to you, or what experience you have in creating and performing puppet shows, or what resources you have available in terms of staging, props and co-performers. All that makes it very difficult to make very specific recommendations.

Coming up with a new, entertaining script at such short notice would be might nigh impossible for me. Were I in a similar situation (which I would try to avoid mightily) I would try to adapt something.

I'm also assuming that the intended audience is children. Most importantly, don't bore them. Thirty minutes is a LONG time, especially for younger kids with short attention spans. Mix things up. Better to tell three short stories than one long one that may be beyond their time endurance limits. Break up the show. Use music. Use the kids themselves if possible, that is, interact with them. Talk to them, ask them questions, let them answer the questions.

A possibility: visit the library and find a book or three to use as your show's basis. Don't think everything has to happen behind a curtain. For example, you could have a non-puppeteer assistant sit between the puppets and the audience to read the book to the kids, as a narrator. The reader can break after a sentence or two, and let the puppets act out those sentences. That will help make the connection that this story came from a book. (Again, I am assuming that promoting reading is the purpose of a bookfest.)

You could do a very brief skit to open with one chatacter struggling with writing a book...pacing around saying something like "Come on brain, think, think, think!" throwing wadded up balls of paper in exasperation, "No, that's no good."  A second character comes in and asks what's going on, and the first complains about how hard it is to write a book. The second puppet can then recommend that the first simply reads a book instead. Something like that could serve as the introduction and then segue into the story.

When it's done, the puppets could ask the kids what are some of their favorite books.

If you have any kind of portable amplification, use bright fun music to open and close. Over the music give your show an introduction like "and now, presenting the blah, blah, blah puppets!" this isn't just a matter of filling time, but creating excitement and positive expectation in your audience. There is a lot of royalty free music available at  http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/.

I hope some of this is helpful, and the best of luck to you!
Re: I need help!!! Posted by Russell2005 on Jul 09, 2015
One thing I've learned is if you don't have the material just say no.  3o min will seem like forever if you're not prepared. Having said that I do have some suggestions that might help. Pick a character from a book you cherished as a child (or one from the selections at the Bookfest) and make that character come alive for them. You can talk about puppetry and how it relates to reading/storytelling. Come up with something simple and do it quickly so you can spend the majority of your time between now and then rehearsing.
Re: I need help!!! Posted by Chris Arveson on Jul 15, 2015
I'm curious...did you do the show? What did you do, and how did it go?

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