Theater Brings Puppets to Community

By Denise Benson
Denise Benson
Denise Benson
June 19, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015
GIVING TO THE CITY: Kym Hampton, unnamed feline and Tim Young. (Denise Benson/The Epoch Times)
GIVING TO THE CITY: Kym Hampton, unnamed feline and Tim Young. (Denise Benson/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—Community meets puppets at Puppetry Art Theatre, a non-profit organization that develops educational programs and theater productions that feature puppets.

I think Puppetry Arts has inspired the children of the community more than anything else, said Leslie Huthes, who has performed with the theater since 2005. There is nothing more special than when a child hugs the puppet.

The Theatres puppets are created by Tim Young in his tiny Park Slope apartment, which doubles as a rehearsal space.

He said Puppetry Arts Theatre is about community.

Keeping the community involved, reaching out to volunteers from different schools, communities, general pubic population, involving local business, showing that they are giving to the community that helps neighborhood(s) interact with each other.

Puppetry Arts attends neighborhood events and hosts free puppet making booths and showcases musical performances. These events include street fairs, volunteer rallies, movie theater promos, school programs, and citywide art festivals.

This Saturday, June 20, the group will offer arts and crafts at the Regal Cinema in Brooklyn. New Yorkers can enjoy puppet-making workshops all summer at Grand Street Settlement, in partnership with Arts for All.

Puppetry Arts has become a significant source of visual and performing arts for low income communities and at-risk families. The theater gives arts and crafts and meet and greet programs at hospitals, shelters, and foster care programs in New York.

The group provides a unique and diverse outreach of visual and performing arts by professional instructors and performers, with support from corporate, student and senior citizen volunteers.

The performances are aimed audience members of all ages.

I am not going to say they benefited from a good theater show; they benefited from having the opportunity for exposure to a theater show, said the humble young.

Young prolifically creates characters and plays. He says he needs to have a structure in order to get sponsorships and funding for his creations. He divides his work into three categories: Arts in Education, Puppetry Theatre, and Community Outreach.

My characters filter all stories, all the good stuff in the community comes through these characters, said Young.

Puppetry Arts organizes three annual events open to everyone. Spring is host to the Earth Day Carnival featuring homemade and recyclable puppet making. October is the Haunted Halloween Carnival with spooky crafts and a haunted house, and December is the Puppetry Arts & Crafts Fair at Regal Cinemas. Movie-goers get to experience hands on puppetry crafts. Each of these events provides games, snacks, and visits from partner organizations such as the WNBA, Brooklyn Cyclones, and Star Wars costume volunteers.

Former New York Liberty WNBA, Kym Hampton said Puppets basically draw kids and makes kids fascinated and thats wonderful.