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Crow Kid: Lemony S Puppet theatre performances and puppet-making workshops these school holidays

Published on 04 July 2022
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Two award-winning puppeteers have been based in Croydon and Ringwood over the past three weeks creating a new work Crow Kid for Maroondah’s ArtSpace at Realm over the school holidays.

Crow Kid is a heart-warming tale for children about resilience, connection and the healing power of friendship.

Created by award-winning theatre company Lemony S Puppet Theatre, this newly conceived project brings together performances, workshops and a shadow installation created especially for ArtSpace at Realm during the July school holidays.

The shadow puppet play is created and performed by Jacob Williams and Sarah Kriegler, the artistic directors of Lemony S Puppet Theatre.

The story of Crow Kid is inspired by the true story of a girl’s unlikely but beautiful friendship with crows during lockdown. The girl would feed the crows as a daily ritual in her garden, and they would bring her gifts in return.

“What struck me was that these deeply precious crow gifts were small little bits of broken things and bits of rubbish, but because they were gifted by crows, they became treasure. It is this beautiful story of reciprocal friendship that inspired Crow Kid,” explains Sarah.

Sarah says she hopes visitors to the show will learn how to make their own stories in shadows.

“We also hope the audience reflect on their own friendships across species - whether it’s a pet or a bird they might visit in the park - and see the value in maintaining those friendships,” he says.

One of Australia’s premier puppeteers, Jacob’s fascination with puppets began in childhood after discovering Jim Henson’s The Muppets. He was the head puppeteer in the Tony award-winning musical King Kong on Broadway for which he won both a Helpmann and Green Room award, before taking on the role of Puppetry Director for Bluey’s Big Play, the official Bluey stage show, which will be performed at Madison Square Gardens in New York later this year.

Co-artistic director, Sarah Kriegler is an award-winning director, puppeteer and writer. She is the director of the Melbourne Puppet Festival and her stage adaptation of Charlie’s War Against the Grannies was performed at the Sydney Opera House to great acclaim.

While the shadow play relies on imagery to tell the story, Sarah says there is the opportunity for audience participation.

“Because it is a non-verbal piece, kids in the audience love to chat and narrate the story as it unfolds. We love hearing them respond in that way. After the show, we really are hoping people will go home and give creating a shadow story a go,” Sarah adds.

What is it about puppetry that appeals to both young and older audiences?

“Puppetry taps into a uniquely human quality to attach meaning onto symbols and signs,” says Sarah.

“It is the ultimate suspension of disbelief and in our experience both adults and children let go of their logical mind that tells them the puppet they are watching is made of wood, and fully believe in the life of the creature in front of them. As a result, an audience is somewhat disarmed, their judgement set aside and instead they become fully engaged in the story.”

As well as performing Crow Kid, Sarah and Jacob will run shadow puppet making workshops, giving children the chance to perform their own puppet in ArtSpace at Realm.

Lemony S Puppet Theatre has performed to thousands of children and their families right around the country and will be at ArtSpace at Realm from Wednesday June 29 to Saturday 9 July 2022.

Following its premiere in Ringwood, Crow Kid will tour regional Victoria in 2023.

Performance dates

Each performance runs for 35 minutes:

  • Wednesday 6 July - 11am and 2pm
  • Thursday 7 July - 11am and 2pm
  • Friday 8 July - 11am
  • Saturday 9 July - 11am

You can also visit the shadow installation during Realm opening hours, from now until Sunday 17 July (9am to 8pm weekdays and 10am to 5pm weekends - except at performance times).

Performance details

For children aged 5 to 8 years and their families. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please book a ticket for each child and adult attending. Babes in arms are free.

Book online

Puppet-making workshops

Learn how to make and perform with a shadow puppet!

Award-winning arts company Lemony S Puppet will teach children how to make shadow puppets followed by an opportunity to perform with their puppet in ArtSpace at Realm.

Children will get the most out of their puppet-making experience if they attend a performance of Crow Kid prior to attending a workshop.

For children aged 5 to 8 years and their families. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Dates and times:

  • Wednesday 6 July - 12pm to 1pm
  • Friday 8 July - 12pm to 1pm
  • Saturday 9 July - 12pm to 1pm

Location: ArtSpace at Realm, Ringwood Town Square, 179 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood.
Performance cost: $5
Workshop cost: $5
Make a booking: To register your child for a workshop, please book online

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Sarah Kriegler and Jacob Williams from Lemony S Puppet Theatre in rehearsal.

Further information

For more information, visit Crow Kid at ArtSpace or contact the ArtSpace team on 1300 88 22 33. To keep up to date with all things art in Maroondah, including exhibitions, programs and facilities, subscribe to our free monthly Arts in Maroondah e-newsletter

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