Hey, all you Boomer parents and grandparents! Do you want to know a really enchanting place to take your kids and grandkids for a really wonderful time? Well, take them to a show at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio, located in the Indiana State Museum (650 W. Washington St.). Try attending one of their regularly featured performances or better yet, plan a birthday party there. I promise you, it will be an event that you will always fondly remember. Peggy Melchior Peason, Heidi Shackleford, and Debbi White are the performing artists who give life to the puppets and marionettes. They are also their creators. Peewinkle’s Puppets are theater, they are craft, and they are history.
Puppetry is one of the oldest forms of theater, dating back to ancient Greece in the 5th century B.C. Even today, puppetry is one of the most popular forms of theatrical entertainment. Kids of all ages will be entranced by Peggy, Heidi, Debbi, their young puppeteer apprentices, and the puppet and marionette co-stars.
From the Boss: I need to put in my 2¢ about this amazing puppet theater. Over 6 years ago, when our granddaughter (the Ladybug) wasn’t even 2, I was on my way to visit my daughter and her family when they lived downtown, near the stadium. I got stuck in a Colts game traffic jam and turned down Henry Street (alley south of South St.) between Penn and Meridian. I saw all of these dressed up families going into a warehouse building and couldn’t figure out where they were going, until I saw the sign for Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio. I told my daughter about the place and she soon started taking Ladybug and all of her playdate group friends there. Well, 6 1/2 years later, they have gone to lots of shows (my daughter estimates over 40), workshops and even their week long summer camps. Ladybug is quite a good puppet maker and wants to be a puppeteer when she grows up. She even has her own puppet theater (built by family friend John Claeys).
So this year for her 8th birthday party, my daughter bought out the whole theater to have her party. They are now located in the Indiana State Museum (2nd floor). It was amazing — the kids loved it, the parents loved it, and for us giving the party — it was the most fun ever! We rented the theater after the show and had pizza delivered, and served chocolate chip cookie cake and cupcakes.
Peggy, one of the founders and a second generation puppeteer, said her mother made many of the puppets and marionettes that they still use today. She is an artist and so is her daughter Heidi, and now her granddaughters are puppeteers too. They have cases with vintage puppets on display, and they sell puppets.
Their puppets are skillfully made and beautifully costumed and right now they still have a few more days left of their Christmas Variety Show, running through Dec. 28th. There is lots of audience participation (Ladybug’s Dad was in a tutu dancing during “12 Days of Christmas”) along with classic holiday music and even a Diana Ross-like puppet. I personally loved “I want a Hippopotomus for Christmas” (pictured here). Or check out their Valentine’s Day show in February.
Visit them on website www.peewinklespuppets.com or call 317-232-1637.