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Spotlight: Penn’s Woods Puppet Theater

Puppet plays with messaging

Our rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk is a good illustration. Is the guy who sold Jack the beans telling the truth? Is this a scam like the warranty he bought for their horse and cart? Who knows, but Jack wants to find out.

Jack gets that the family is strapped for cash; he hears it from Mom. But if Bruno the bean merchant is telling the truth, Mom can pay the bills – that’s the goal anyway, isn’t it? But what if the spoils are way beyond their needs? What would happen to the family then? Jack didn’t think about that, but he’s about to find out. 

Picking up vibes of financial anxiety Jack starts to climb. The mother – with her senior wisdom – calls out a warning. The sister, on the other hand, gives hopeful encouragement. Youthful trust has him scrambling up the beanstalk. He’ll deal with the results when he gets there. (Kids, what’a ya gonna do.)

Once above the clouds, Jack’s first encounter is with a bird. He kindly gives Jack a lift to the castle, but not before warning him what might be within. The flying taxi drops Jack off on the balcony with a bang drawing the attention of Goldie, the play’s heroine.

Peeking through the castle window, what does Jack see? It’s a fretful goose that flies trembling to her nest at the command of an ogre, half man, half beast, pounding up the staircase. Goldie’s once peaceful life of laying golden eggs on a need-for-necessity basis has ended. The monster’s greed – now demanding golden eggs daily – has changed him and Goldie as well – her fruit are eggs of lead. The ogre’s lifestyle is no longer sustainable.

At the realization of his future the ogre remembers Goldie’s words of reason: “It’s friends and family that make you happy, not all this.” Her advice was to go home. But he believes it’s too late, his beanstalk has withered. “No, there are no second chances. I’ll never go back. Never!”

So can the collaboration of a goose and a little boy change all that? The answer is unequivocally YES!

Robin and Susan Tafel – 215-441-4154, https://www.YouTube.com/user/PennsWoodsPuppets.

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