WOOD-RIDGE, NJ -- The children's fairy tale "Sleeping Beauty" came to life through the magic of the Tanglewood Marionettes, presented by the Wood-Ridge Memorial Library at Wood-Ridge Intermediate School on Friday night. The program was the summer finale of the Library's Friday Family Fun Night series. It was the first time the marionette troupe has presented a show for the Library.
Margaret Mellett, Library Director, greeted the almost 100 children and parents for attending. She thanked the Friends of the Wood-Ridge Memorial whose efforts in fundraising helped make the show possible.
The show opened with solo performer Peter Schaefer giving the audience a brief comedic introduction to puppetry, demonstrating a simple hand puppet and mouth puppet. He explained that their show was different as they allow the audience to see him working and manipulating the puppets throughout the performance.
The performance included the retelling of the story of Princess Aurora, from her birth to her sleep from sticking her finger on a spinning wheel to her awakening from kiss by a shepherd boy. Schaefer manipulated all the puppets, including the King and Queen, the three good fairies, the evil fairy, Aurora's maid, and the shepherd boy. The backdrop was fashioned as a large children's book, and each page depicted a different background in the story.
After the show, children and parents were invited to see the marionettes up close and talk with Schaefer about his craft.
Founded in 1993, Tanglewood Marionettes is a nationally touring marionette theater troupe based in New England. Large, hand-crafted marionettes, colorful sets, and integrated lighting and sound create a fully immersive theatrical experience, according to the group's website. It is a two-time recipient of the UNIMA award, the highest award in puppetry.
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