Keeping Puppetry Alive

By: Lauren McKay
By: Lauren McKay

Many of the arts so popular in the past are fading away because of today's technology, but two visitors in the Valley who practice a very specialized trade are doing their part to keep puppeteering alive.

Dave Privett says there's nothing like a live experience. When he started puppetry he says there were no pre-recorded scripts or teaching tapes. Now there are many puppetry teaching tools and the University of Connecticut even has an undergraduate degree in puppetry.

Privett became interested in puppets when he was 7-years-old. His mom read about puppetry in a missions magazine and decided to make a few. "So we actually had a few puppets made out of old towels, happy, and smiley the worm," says Dave Privett. "And they were pathetic," says Milo the puppet.

Privett remembers their first puppet stage that he says was very basic. "It was a piece of cardboard with a hole cut out in the middle and they shoved their arm through the hole and did the puppets," says Privett.

Privett says he's not really concerned about technology and video games taking away from the art. "There's nothing to replace a live experience where you're there with the kids, and performing for them, and having your characters talk to them and tell them stories," says Privett.

Including Dave's special friend. "And me, me, cause I'm so beautiful," says Milo. Milo says people can't take their eyes off her. "And we communicate and when we talk, you never look at the person because we're so wonderful looking and the people are not as wonderful looking, especially Mr. Dave," says Milo.

Privett has been teaching classes and performing all week at Eastern Mennonite University.

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