Our Philosophy (by Annerose Schmidt)
We take pleasure in continuing the tradition of live puppet shows in either our traditional Punch or Judy style theatre or with our interactive shows with puppeteers visible.
We like to build community through puppetry. This includes everyone who supports puppetry: the people who book us, our audience, friends in life and on Facebook, people who sew occasionally for us, give us fabric remnants, take pictures of us, people who retired from puppeteering with us, host our trial shows, sponsor us and last but not least our own team.
We adjust the programs we offer to the interests and availability of our troupe members. This way we keep our hobby exciting, challenging and avoid overwhelm.
Puppets Elora – The Power Of Pretence (by Peter Scott for the EAC Communique 2016)
In traditional puppetry the audience watches as if through a transparent ‘fourth wall’; the puppets apparently independent of their manipulators.
Puppets Elora sometimes does away with its fourth wall. For example, in ‘Stone Soup’ the audience is cast as villagers, struggling to stretch their resources to the end of winter. When the little old lady, comes to beg for food the villagers refuse to help her. Later in the drama they contribute their vegetables to make a ‘magic’ soup.
Surprisingly, in this approach the puppeteers, although fully visible to the audience, become as transparent as a fourth wall, their puppet-companions drawing all the attention. The puppets can share the space and the action with the audience.
In another of our plays, two beautiful large butterflies flutter over the audience. One of them settles briefly on a child’s head. The child’s eyes light up. Soon other children are patiently offering their fingers as perches.
Children and adults love sharing direct contact with puppets, occupying the same sphere of action. They may even get to manipulate a puppet or a prop as a part of the show. Our stories take on a life of their own, and we, the puppeteers, frequently learn insights and tricks from these interactions.
Our Philosophy On Money And Value
Sometimes people wonder, since the puppeteers are volunteers, why do we charge for performances? Rent and storage are the main reasons. It takes about 20 afternoons to create a new show. Other costs are insurance, materials, and transportation.
We do not have the volunteers with the knowledge for writing grant applications. We create shows that are fairly priced not to undercut other entertainers.
We cover our membership fee to the Elora Arts Council ( Insurance) for our puppeteers from revenue, therefore we are accessible for all income levels. We believe in upgrading our knowledge by visiting puppet shows and workshops.
Recently we were able to send a donation for materials for their puppet plays with former members who travel to South America and Africa.
Every year we perform some shows free of charge, usually in Elora on Canada Day and for Culture Days. (See: Contact Us)