Literature Live! is already in the holiday spirit and The Nutcracker puppet show is in full swing. We thought it would be fun to give you a bit of the backstory of this particular Austin Public Library puppet show. The charming script was written by APL Children’s Librarian, Grace Schmitt, in the early 1980s and the original puppets were created out of stockings, stuffing, fabric and paint. Suzan Nyfeler, Children’s Librarian, has fond memories of the little girl “swishing her skirt” as she danced with the Prince, and hearing the beautiful music by Tchaikovsky, deepening the magic in a darkened room.
We decided to reconstruct the show with a few updates in 2008, this time with new puppets made from polymer clay and assorted fabrics and materials. Both shows have a shadow element, when Clara and the Prince travel to the Land of Sweets. The Sugar Plum Fairy welcomes them with a graceful dance, and a clown, butterflies, and magical candy canes join in the fun. One of our audience members recently commented, “You told the whole story in under 30 minutes – quite an accomplishment!” Another offers feedback –“the best yet and we have been coming to your puppet shows for 5 years, thanks.”
Literature Live! has added a nutcracker pattern to our Printable Puppets Series that you can print out, color, and glue to a humble toilet paper tube. Making puppets out of recycled materials in not only fun, it keeps trash out of the landfill!
Please make a point to attend one of the performances of The Nutcracker, now through December 15 at Austin Public Library branch locations. All audience members will receive a nutcracker finger puppet to take home. See you in the Land of Sweets!