Forty first grade students at the Clermont Northeastern Primary School were treated to an entertaining puppet show performed by the CNE High school drama students Jan. 4.
Calling themselves the Imagination Station Puppeteers, the high school drama students created and conceived the puppet show as a way to teach parables and life lessons through various short puppet vignettes.
Drama student T.J. O’Connell, who played a puppet dragon and helped decorate the theater, said that the drama troop really enjoyed the presentation and hopes that their performances are an effective way to educate the first-graders.
“We love performing our skits for them,” he said. “It is light, amusing, fun, and most importantly, an educational experience for students at a very young age.”
"The students designed the puppet show as a way to teach life lessons through entertainment," she said. "The drama students did all of the work; the performances were all original creations. They are all truly amazing puppeteers."
The drama students designed, constructed, and decorated the puppet theater. They created and hand-made all of the puppets (including one of Bigfoot), came up with original ideas, decided which life lessons to teach, and then, finally, wrote the scripts.
Through the several short stories, the puppeteers taught valuable lessons about stealing, lying, sharing, bullying, getting along with others, never judging people, family appreciation and loyalty, acceptance and tolerance for the diversity in others (especially those with disabilities), and unconditional love.
The vignettes were "Don't Steal," by Angel Barker, Ryan Hunt, and Ashley Wilson, "Sharing," by Marie Justice and Brittany White, "Bigfoot," by Caren Collins, Mike Fleischmann, and Ben Imbus, "The Bully and the Cat," by Chris Hodge, Sam Koch, and Tealla Young, "The Critterville Chorus," by Tiffany Baker, Shannon Hill, and Kelsey Humbert, and "Little Sister Saves the Day," by Kelsey Baum, Erric Cummins, and Thomas (T.J.) O'Connell.
The show concluded with each actor introducing their puppets, a sing-along, and a question and answer period in which the first grade students were most interested in the puppet concept and design.
"The actors here today love what they are doing," said Kessler. "They really enjoy performing for younger students in our school district. They are a talented group of kids who realize the importance of teaching lessons through artistic expression."