CCAC Hosts Puppet Show

Thursday, May 4, 2017
A scene from last week's giant puppet production of Alice and Wonderland, presented at the Rector Community Center by the Clay County Arts Council and a variety of local sponsors.(TD photo/Jane Gatewood)

It took a tumble down a rabbit hole, and encounters with some nonsensical characters, for Alice to learn about herself and the ideal combination of a scholarly path and a whimsical, imaginary one. The Clay County Arts Council hosted both a morning, and an afternoon performance, of Alice in Wonderland by the Bits ‘N Pieces Theater on Tuesday, April 25. Thanks to their efforts, a large number of students from Rector and Piggott Elementary Schools will be talking about Giant Puppets, songs, dances and digital animation on the large screen backdrop.

Holli Ruben and Jerry Bickel are the husband and wife team who create the puppets--along with the dialogue, songs, animation and story. The couple then brings the show to audiences around the world.

Students from Rector Elementary and Piggott Elementary learned that “Any road will do if you don’t know where you are going.” Puppets entertained and taught lessons about learning new things, imagining impossible things and how a little bit of both can make the world a wonderland.

Luckily, Alice was able to escape with her head intact when she realized how playing by the rules was more important than the nonsense of the Queen of Hearts who demanded that she “always must win.” Finally, Alice realized her imagination had taken her not only to wonderland but to a new understanding and appreciation for doing her work, studying in school and saving time for a trip to the library where she can be entertained by a healthy combination of both fiction and non-fiction.

Following each of the performances Holli and Jerry emerged from behind the curtain to speak with the students. The couple showed the appreciative audiences how the giant puppets were created, and told them, “you have to be in really good shape to be inside a giant puppet, making it talk and dance and sing, because many of them are nine feet tall—and can weight 40 to 80 pounds each.

“We look forward to seeing our old friends here and always want to meet new ones,” Holli and Jerry told those on hand. “Come see us again next year and we’ll show you a jazzy dinosaur and an industrious ant who sing and dance and share lessons they’ve learned.”

The production was presented by the CCAC with support of several corporate partners, allowing all children the opportunity to see the show. Those wanting additional information on the Bits 'N Pieces Puppet Theater Troupe may visit them online at

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