Giant Puppets Return to Rector

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Jerry Bickel and Holli Ruben, as the Dinosaur and the Ant, bring the story to life during Friday's performance at the Rector Community Center.
TD photo/Tim Blair

Kids from across the area enjoyed what has become a spring tradition Friday at the Rector Community Center, with the return of the giant puppets of the Bits 'N Pieces Puppet Theatre. Thanks to the Clay County Arts Council, and several local sponsors, students from kindergarten through sixth grade from Piggott and Rector attended one of the two performances.

“A huge thank you from the CCAC and the Bits 'N Pieces Puppet Theatre to the sponsors of Friday's giant puppet show,” a spokesperson noted. “Thanks to Glen Sain Motors, Piggott State Bank, Grave's Gin, McComb's Clayridge Emergency Staffing, Rector Downtown Drug and Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home.”

The sponsors underwrite the cost of the traveling puppet show, and this year the parents and grandparents of pre-school children were invited to bring them along and attend, along with the public. “This year there were more walk-in audience members who attended than in several years,” the spokesperson added.

“The children seemed to love the dinosaurs. The little fellow who told us what dinosaurs sound like was precious,” CCAC president Tracy Cole said of the performance.

During both the morning show, for kindergarten through third grade, and early-afternoon performance for grades four through six, the house was filled with over 300 attending each performance.

Holly Rubin and Jerry Bickel, the husband-and-wife team which are the puppet creators, builders and performers also remarked how appreciative the audiences are for the Rector performances.

“These are the best kids. Gail (Burns) really knows how to work with them prior to the show, showing them how to respond to humor and how to applaud after songs and dances,” Rubin offered. “She's magic with the children.”

As the students and their teachers exited the building to board busses, eyes bright and wide with big smiles, one remarked-”thank you, that was fun, the dinosaur was huge!”

The CCAC also offered their thanks to both the Rector and Piggott school districts for their cooperation in the effort during this very busy time of the school year.

Those wanting additional information on the puppet theatre group may visit them online at

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