New film of Cherokee Tales!

Sequoyah holding the Cherokee syllabary
Sequoyah holding the Cherokee syllabary

Piccadilly Puppets has a great new way to bring educational fun to your Social Studies unit on the Cherokee nation. Kara Morrison, a southeastern playwright of Cherokee heritage, has helped us to rewrite our puppet show, Cherokee Tales, and we have filmed a 15-minute version that you can share with your students now!

In this updated virtual puppet show, Sequoyah teaches students about Cherokee culture and history. The storyteller uses tabletop hand and rod puppets to tell Cherokee myths about the creation of Cherokee land and how the brave Spider brought fire to the animals. Then the students learn about the Trail of Tears with the help of shadow puppetry. This 15-minute version is appropriate for grades preK4-2nd.

After your students watch the video, we can join them for a live chat through Zoom or the platform of your choice to demonstrate the puppets and answer questions, if you choose.

Here is a short promotional video:

Cherokee Tales promo

We also have videos of other Piccadilly Puppets favorites: Butterfly Ballad, Imagination Station, Cat and Mouse Tales, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors. These are mostly new recordings of our standard 30-minute shows.

We are still performing in-person as well!

For more information, call (404)636-0022 or Contact Us!

Piccadilly Puppets celebrates Arts in Education Week!

A group of Kindergarten students holing shadow puppets they made in a workshop
Kindergarten students in a shadow puppet workshop

Whether you are a student, educator, parent, or principal, you can find a way to celebrate the arts in education during National Arts in Education Week.

The arts are an essential part of a complete education, no matter if it happens in the home, school, or community. Students of all ages benefit from artistic learning, innovative thinking, and creativity. Celebrating National Arts in Education Week is a way to recognize this impact and share the message with friends, family, and communities.

Right now, many schools are virtual or limited in how they hold classes, and it might be easier to put off arts education “until things get better”. Schools need to spend money on masks and cleaning and maybe running more busses, and money for the arts just might not seem as important, but for some children, the arts are everything!

We salute artists that are stretching themselves creatively to find new ways to give performances for young audiences. We salute teachers who are spending twice as much time developing lessons to give virtually. We encourage schools and other organizations to be open to new ideas for bringing the arts to all of your students.

  • Arts education promotes academic achievement: A 2020 study of over 112,000 students showed that “highly engaged instrumental music students were, on average, academically over one year ahead of their peers.”
  • Arts education advances social and emotional development.
  • Arts education reduces disciplinary infractions: A recent study showed that arts education experiences reduce the proportion of students in school receiving disciplinary infractions by 3.6%.
  • Stay enrolled and graduate: Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.

Every school day needs arts education!

World Water Day March 22 and Earth Day April 22

Piccadilly Puppets has environmentally-themed puppet shows for these special days!

Splish, Splash: Water Stories explores our most precious resource in a fun and educational way! Large hand-puppets are used in the Australian folktale of “Tiddalick the Frog” and the Creek legend “Rabbit Plays Tug-of-War,” which demonstrate that water is important to all cultures. The original shadow puppet piece, “The Adventures of Drip and Drop,” shows the water cycle from the point of view of the raindrops. As the closing song says, “Everybody needs a little water!”

Big green Tiddalick the Frog hand a rod puppet and blue Eel rod puppet posing in front of a lake
Splish, Splash: Water Stories

Developed for the opening of the Callaway Gardens Butterfly Center, Butterfly Ballad traces the metamorphosis of Katy and Kevin Caterpillar from egg to caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly. Join them on their fascinating migration to Mexico and marvel as they return to the United States to lay their eggs, beginning the life cycle all over again. The story, narrated by Mother Nature and performed with hand and rod puppets, culminates in a discussion of what each individual can do to maintain the balance of nature. Students learn a few Spanish words along the way; a bilingual version is available on request.

Mother Nature with Katy Butterfly from Butterfly Ballad
Mother Nature with Katy Butterfly from Butterfly Ballad

Engage your students through the performing arts!

Welcome back to school, all of you educators! We want to help you teach your students by reinforcing your lessons with fun, entertaining puppet shows and workshops! Each show has connections to English Language Arts, Science, or Social Studies, outlined on the show page of the website. Our study guides include vocabulary and suggested activities.

image of the classroom guide for Butterfly Ballad
Study guides provided!

We can do workshops, too!

Piccadilly Puppets Shows

Teacher appreciation week May 5-11

An image of a blackboard that reads Teacher Appreciation Week in chalk with an apple sitting on the blackboard rail.

Piccadilly Puppets would like to thank all of the teachers and educators that bring puppetry and other arts into their schools! We also appreciate our teaching artist-puppeteers: Fracena Byrd Dolan, Nancy Riggs, LeeAnna Lambert Sweatt and Lorie Summers!

Of Monarch butterflies and the benefits of the performing arts

We haven’t been doing too many public performances lately, so we haven’t posted in awhile. We have been doing LOTS of performances of Butterfly Ballad, our show about Monarch butterflies for preschools-3rd grade. There’s good news on the Monarch front this year; their numbers are rising! We encourage you to plant more native milkweed. We also have a bilingual version of this show if you’d like to incorporate some Spanish into your performing arts.

Mother Nature with Katy Butterfly from Butterfly Ballad
Mother Nature with Katy Butterfly from Butterfly Ballad

The results are in! Students who attend multiple arts field trips have higher levels of social-emotional skills, stronger school engagement and higher standardized test scores. The research was done for field trips, but we’re sure that bringing artists in to your camp, school, church or other organization can have many of the same benefits! Click below for the article on the results of the study done by the Woodruff Arts Center.

https://www.mdjonline.com/neighbor_newspapers/northside_sandy_springs/education/woodruff-arts-center-atlanta-public-schools-partner-on-first-field/article_75bf4136-41f4-11e9-a30c-9714eef960a7.html?fbclid=IwAR2D5ml8fVXvnVR13HKqa7MjriEbrEjNXTfqaBofxNdE9B98XkshqAvvrVk

Fostering creativity

Colorful paper puppet bats and butterflies made of construction paper and decorated with stickers, markers, and more paper.

We recently did a paper puppet workshop with a group of refugee children in Clarkston. They were so sweet and worked so diligently to decorate their bats, butterflies and people using stickers, markers, and cutting up construction paper for clothes, accessories, etc. They produced the most creative puppets out of such simple materials that I had to share them!

Back to School!

Kindergarten students show shadow puppets that they made in a workshop.

Piccadilly Puppets has many educational shows and workshops! Bring us to your school this year! We have discounted prices for Title One schools.

Help Spread the Joy of Puppets on Ga Gives Day!

Thursday, November 12 is GA Gives Day!

“You were fantastic…Please come back and do another puppet show!”

That’s what Taylor, a second-grade student at Jackson Elementary wrote us in a letter after our performance of Cherokee Tales. The children had obviously enjoyed the performance, laughing at all of the funny parts, chanting along with Chief Gray Eagle. They might not have even realized how much the show fit into the Native American unit of their curriculum! Thanks to a grant, we were able to perform at that school for a reasonable price. We need support from individuals, too – people like you that see the value of puppets and arts in education.

Ga Gives Day is a chance to highlight the many non-profits working to make our state a better place to live. Georgia is at the bottom of the country in government support of the arts, but YOU can help bridge the gap so that kids of all backgrounds and income levels can experience our shows! Click the link below (any day, not just on Thursday):

https://www.gagivesday.org/c/GGD/a/piccadillypuppets/donate/