Art programs are considered to be the frosting on the cake and therefore the first areas to be cut in a struggling economy. The schools, camps and daycares I usually work with have been hit hard with enrollment deficits. Some are barely scraping by and others closed down.
Fortunately, because of my long standing relationship with children's librarians and the wide web they weave, I already have nearly 50 bookings for the summer for interactive theatrical storytelling events! and that is fantastic, because the money from this endeavor is financing the WrapADoodle swaddle baby blanket business.
In 2003 I had the idea to create an interactive theatrical storytelling event around the theme of mermaids........where people of all ages would come together, dress up in costumes, use puppets, play instruments, tell a story together and PLAY! After the show, they'd sit together and make a fun little articulated swinging tail puppet..........And so The Capture and Return of Bald Beatrice the Baby Mermaid came to be. And it just so happens the 2010 summer's library reading theme has to do with making a splash into reading. So, this particular show happens to be in the right place at the right time.
The Capture and Return of Bald Beatrice has happened hundreds of times since it's humble beginnings. It started out with enough materials for 40 participants because that was the number of people the fire dept would allow in the space it began in, for two summers in Cape Cod. It has now become a traveling show and grown to 150 mermaids, fish, octupus, pirates, sharks and more.......!
Since then, a"sea"quel called Admiral Giddyup and the Seahorse Brigade was created. Then along came Hooray 4 Bugs, and a winter tale Going on A Sleigh Ride, and now working on Come Join the Rainbow. All of these shows are based on unity and cooperation, generosity and other virtues. Everybody participates! It's all happiness and fun for all. In fact, at the end of every show, a gigantic sun comes out and the words "And then the sun came out and everyone was so, so happy!".
I have big plastic cartons, colorful bags, boxes and rolling suitcases bursting with beautiful handmade puppets, props, costumes and percusssion instruments. I've got a folding boat called Holy Mackeral, a gigantic sun and a fun sleigh that expands to hold 70 kids! The entire collection gets bigger and bigger. And the shows go on.