Meridian Star

February 15, 2013

Renowned puppeteers to perform locally

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     West Lauderdale Elementary School presents Puppet Arts Theatre production of The Carnival of the Animals.        Made possible in part by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, two performances will be presented at the school on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 12 p.m. and 1:30 PM.  For more information call the school at (601) 737-2279.

    Carnival of the Animals is, in the words of the French composer, Camille Saint-Saens, a grand zoological fantasy for orchestra.  Puppet Arts Theatre, inspired by this famous musical score, set the show in a circus. It is a hilarious romp through animal, clown and other creature acts. Chickens on a seesaw, an elephant, and tortoise and the hare recreate their famous race.  

    Rabbits on a trampoline and a 6-foot-tall bird are featured in this show designed to entertain. Children from the audience join the professional cast on stage and perform with the puppets made by the company.    

    Puppet Arts Theatre is a professional touring company under the direction of Peter Zapletal, an award-winning puppetry producer. His television specials, produced for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, have been seen nationwide on PBS.  Mr. Zapletal received a Master of Arts degree in puppetry from the Academy for Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic.  

    He will be joined on stage by Erica Flannes and Lesley Raybon.  Jarmila Zapletal, a professional puppet maker and designer, shared in the creation of the puppets and the sets for the production.

    Puppet Arts Theatre is devoted to bringing exciting and memorable performances to its audiences.  Since 1968 this theater has thrilled children of all ages from Boston to Tampa, Fla. and throughout the Southeast with magical and exciting theatrical experiences.  Puppet Arts Theatre is on the Performing Arts Touring Program of the Mississippi Arts Commission.