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West Liberty puppet theater celebrates turning 40

West Liberty puppet theater celebrates turning 40

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WEST LIBERTY, Iowa — Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre is 40 years old and Owl Glass Puppetry Center is 20.

There will be a dual celebration of the International Day of Puppetry and Eulenspiegel’s 40th birthday along with the 20th birthday of Owl Glass Puppetry Center from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the center, 319 N. Calhoun. There will be an open house with short performances, cake, beverages, fellowship and films. See puppets, photos, news clippings, posters and some of the many soft sculpted trees featured in Eulenspiegel shows through the years. Support future programming by purchasing a T-shirt, poster or CD.

In the fall of 1974, puppeteer Monica Leo and her first cohort, Deanne Wortman, did their first Eulenspiegel performance. They were joined by Jenean Arnold. In the spring of 1975, Teri Jean Breitbach joined the fray. Breitbach and Leo performed together for more than 30 years in 28 states and four other countries. In 1995, they opened Owl Glass Puppetry Center in West Liberty, where Eulenspiegel presents a performing season, brings guest puppeteers, holds workshops and nurtures developing puppeteers.

After Breitbach’s death, Monica was joined by two more puppeteers, Angela Polowy and Justin Cornett-Olsson.

Outreach Director Cara McFerren joined the company in 2012.

Ron Hillis composes and plays music for Eulenspiegel productions. The last event of the day will be a screening of a documentary produced in 2005, including footage of the West Liberty Children’s Festival, the Muscatine County Fair Parade and Eulenspiegel touring gigs.

The day’s events are free and open to the public and made possible, in part, by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council. For more information, call 319-627-2487 or email owlglass@avalon.net. Check www.puppetspuppets.com for schedules and updates.

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