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Puppet camp risky for villains

Eileen JoyceParents watch as Shyanne Dustrud (left), Katie Sanders and Kaitlyn Kinsella perform their puppet show, "Two Monkeys and the Big Bad Fox," at Sierra College Thursday.
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No dragons were actually harmed in the making of this production, 11-year-old Zach Dellis promised his audience.

Zach, a Deer Creek Elementary School student, performed “The Jester King” Thursday afternoon with Tim McCartney, a 9 year-old Scotten Elementary School student, for parents and grandparents at Sierra College-Nevada County Campus. The lads were two of 21 students at the college’s four-day puppetry camp.

Under the direction of camp director Sharon Whitlock and Nevada County artist Susan Barry, kids in first through sixth grades made finger and papier mache puppets. They then wrote plays using their puppets.



At the end of the camp’s last day, the students performed their plays.

In Zach’s and Tim’s play, the jester king was kidnapped by a dragon. A knight beheaded the dragon and saved the jester king.




“‘We’ll put his head on display,'” the freed jester king/Zach declared to his subjects/audience.

“And they all lived happily ever after,” Zach and Tim concluded.

The jester king, knight and dragon were finger puppets. The pair ran into production problems with other puppets, so Zach’s SpongeBob SquarePants puppet and Tim’s alien puppet didn’t make their debut at the camp.

Shyanne Dustrud, 11, a Seven Hills Middle School student, worked with Katie Sanders, a 9-year-old Colfax Elementary School student, and sisters Cassidy and Kaitlyn Kinsella, ages 7 and 8, to adapt the fable “The Three Little Pigs” to fit the puppets they made: “Two Little Monkeys and the Big Bad Fox.”

The big, bad fox meets his end as fertilizer.

“We knocked a tree branch down and knock him into a pit of boiling water,” Katie said.

“Monkeys don’t eat meat, so they use him as fertilizer,” Shyanne explained.

Some puppets took on a different shape than planned.

Eight-year-old Blake Wilson, a student at Deer Creek, planned to make a turtle, but when he put the ears on, he decided it was a bunny. He named the bunny “Tartar Sauce” after he heard the term on a “SpongeBob SquarePants” show.

“I’ll put him on the shelf in my closet, and he’ll be safe there,” Blake said.


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