Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rajasthani Puppet Theater

by HouseBoy

I'm always amazed how kids can create something new and fun out of almost anything...

After the AES Science Fair, we were left with two large cardboard tri-fold displays...  Being a parent who is gearing up to move back from India to the US, I keep scrambling for ways to give things away. Recycling is something that is fortunately really easy to do in India... just about anything is adapted for a second, third or even forth use. When Audrey saw me trying to slip the cardboard displays out the front door, she would have none of it. I asked the typical parent question: "So these giant tri-folds are going to sit in the corner collecting dust until we move?" Audrey was not phased by my resistance to hanging on to yet another piece of school memorabilia.
"Don't worry," Audrey reassured me. "I have an idea."  Against my better judgement I let the subject drop, and Audrey held on to her beloved tri-fold displays.

This past weekend, Audrey and Evan began construction of a large structure in our living room. It was hot outside, so I let them go for it... not really knowing what the result might be. "It's a surprise, Dad," Evan told me.  Blankets, pillows, chairs were all placed in the center of the room. Held in place with string, yarn and beach blankets. Buried in the center, unmistakeably, were the two cardboard tri-fold display boards.

Voice recordings were made, music was practiced on a keyboard hidden behind the structure.. Lesa and I were shooed out of the living room on several occasions. Then finally the big announcement was made: "7pm Show time" exclaimed Audrey. " Right at the prescribed hour we were treated to a Rajasthani Puppet Show, with sound effects, incidental music, puppeteering (the kids dusted off their small collection of puppets from Rajasthan) and a very wacky, but original story.
The puppet stage looked great - complete with fringe, curtain and of course, the tri-fold cardboard displays! Couldn't have been a more perfect way for our kids to create some fun indoors on a hot Delhi Saturday.

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