Open the 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month 1- 4 pm.
Here is a fun hands on place for "kids" of all ages to learn about world culture and enjoy puppets. We have everything from hand and sock puppets to marionettes. See authentic Indonesian shadow and rod puppets. See hand carved log masks from Africa, and marionettes from Burma and India, our own Sound of Music specials, and much, much more. Open Museum time includes demonstrations, a Punch and Judy show at 2 pm, free puppet making activities, and puppet story time. Puppet tours and workshops are also available by appointment.
The World of Puppetry Museum was opened in 2000 and has continued to grow with new exhibits on the art and history of puppetry. People have been making puppets since we have had written history, notes Susan Neidert, Fine Arts Center director. In a world where most people were not literate, puppets were used to convey religious and public messages as well as to entertain. In China puppets preceded live theater, so later actors wore elaborate masks to appear as puppets. Shadow puppets may have been among the first example of puppets. The World of Puppetry Museum has a variety of puppets, old and new, domestic and foreign. Different kinds of puppets are made all over the world, and examples of puppets and marionettes from Indonesia, Burma, Africa, India, Czechoslovakia, Nepal and a Chinese silk hand puppet join the familiar Kermit and Lamb Chop in the museum. A 1930s marionette and a 1940-50 Howdy Doody puppet set are found in the show cases, along with variations on the old Punch and Judy shows popular in England. Both adults and children alike will recognize characters from The Sound of Music and fairy tales.
Puppets are great story tellers. They can also tell us alot about ourselves, how we feel, or entertain us with music and dance. Hands on exhibits at the World of Puppetry Museum include a barrel full of loveable hand puppets and a large mirror to perform in front of, a few boxes of marionettes where you can pull the strings, and a shadow stage complete with instructions on hand shaped shadows and a couple sets of stories like the three bears or the three little pigs. Or you can try your hand at making your own puppet craft. All craft activities are free, but donations are welcome. Periodic special puppet shows suggest a small admission fee, average $2 per person or $5 per family.
Special thanks to The (Utah) Office of Museum Services who through funding awarded by the state legislature are now offer small grants to museums like ours to further develop exhibits. We also thank the Neidert Family, Carolyn Frank, Alida and Dr. Tom Hannum, The Randy Jones family, Jill Rasmussen, Trevor Wilkerson, Karen Everton, Dona Price, Rosemarie Howard, Kenway Miller, DeeAnn Nichols and Arlene Heck for puppet donations.
Want to see more on puppets and puppet resources? We are members of Puppeteers of America- see www.puppeteers.org