LONG LAKE -- The Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Long Lake Public Library hosted a presentation of "The Firebird" produced by the Puppet People from Schenectady Saturday March 15, at Long Lake Town Hall. This cultural event, open to the public and free of charge, followed Puppet Boot Camp, a series of after school puppet building workshops held at the library for elementary school age children. Over 20 children attended each workshop.
Forty adults and children attended this magical puppet show based on a Russian folktale about the enchanted mythical firebird. "The Firebird" was also made into a world famous ballet performed by the Ballet Russe in 1910 in Paris.
The audience here was treated to the musical score by Igor Stravinsky along with beautifully handcrafted marionettes, body puppets, lavish costumes and exquisitely designed sets and backdrops.
One of the show's numerous highlights included the firebird flying through the audience with Ivan, to the delight of children. Another highlight included a huge body puppet of a purple wolf.
Character education themes included cooperation, friendship, courage, self-esteem and responsibility, which were interwoven in the story theme throughout the show. After the presentation, children and adults were invited to craft a rod puppet and shown how to make the puppet move, talk and show expressions through movement.
The Puppet People are husband and wife Michelle Smith Carrigan and Mark Carrigan, who design and create all their masterpiece puppets, marionettes, backdrops, props, dialogue, costumes and lighting. It takes the Carrigans over a year to create a show.
They have traveled to schools and libraries, festivals, churches and community centers and performed with the Bennington Marionettes at the Lincoln Center in Washington, D.C.
The CVW Long Lake Public Library's mission is to support life-long learning and help meet the day-to-day educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs of the people in its service area by assembling and providing print, electronic, media and other materials and encouraging use of the library and its collections, programs and resources.