Puppets to appear at Performing Arts Center
A puppet show about the Underground Railroad in northern Missouri and southeastern Iowa will be performed in Washington next week.
The Eulenspiegel Puppet Theater will perform Freedom Star: Gertie’s Journey on the Underground Railroad at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Washington Performing Arts and Events Center.
“We thought this would be a perfect tie-in since February is Black History Month and it’s the fictional story of a young slave girl who escapes from a farm in Missouri and comes into Iowa looking for freedom,” said Washington Performing Arts and Events Center committee member Gary McCurdy. “
Puppeteer Monica Leo will perform the play with input from Iowa poet laureate Mary Swander and historian Floyd Pearce.
“Even though it’s a fictionalized story it’s very factual and I’m sure could have happened or did happen many times that the Underground Railroad was in operation,” McCurdy said. “Actually there are many local ties because Washington County was a key part of the Underground Railroad. There was a house in the south part of town that was a part of the Underground Railroad.”
This show is part of the six professional show presentations the committee needed to have at the Washington Performing Arts and Events Center to satisfy one of the grant requirements from Vision Iowa, he added. McCurdy also saw another performance by the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theater and thought it would be something good to bring to Washington.
“I personally feel it will have appeal for just every age group,” McCurdy said. “I think the younger folks will be fascinated with the puppets and will learn a lot from the storyline. I think the adults as well will be fascinated with the puppets and I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot about regional history and a part it played in so many lives during that period in the 1800s.”
Tickets may be purchased online on the Washington Area Performing Arts and Events Center website or purchased at the door the evening of the performance.