Tangled Web Theatre
Handle With Care
written by Bonnie Thomson
On a warm summer day three friends discover a mysterious box in the forest.
“I have an idea,” says Tyler.
“Uh oh,” says Helen.
“Oh no!” says Bonnie.
“Let’s open it!” says Tyler.
“It might be dangerous.”
“We could get in trouble.”
Tyler opens it anyway.
Inside they find some unusual puppets and a strange set of instructions…and the stories begin.
Handle With Care provides a positive take on environmental education and uses humour, play and puppets to create a fun theatre experience for the whole family.
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About the Show
Three friends discover a mysterious box hidden in the forest. Inside they find some unusual puppets and a strange set of instructions, that help them perform five short environmentally-themed scenes:
- A forest Troll and a conscientious Contractor negotiate over the fate of the woods and the human community that needs to grow.
- The audience dives into a river with shadow puppets for a fish-eye-view look at water pollution.
- A boy gets a surprising lesson in responsible consumerism when he casually throws away a water bottle, accidentally unleashing a bottle cap monster.
- Discarded newspapers blowing in the wind transform into beautiful images and lively characters.
- A grandmother and a little girl watch the sun go down, each sharing a story about the sunset – one based in folklore and one from a textbook.
Once the stories are done, the three friends head back home, carefully packing the box away and leaving it for the next explorers to discover.
The seed for Handle With Care was planted when Bonnie Thomson and Tyler Seguin were leading a Grade 3 puppetry workshop. They noticed that the students had created some pretty grim environmentally-themed posters. Tangled Web Theatre started talking about whether it was possible to teach a more positive view of how we can interact with our environment, and include humour and a sense of playfulness, as well as cautionary messages. Handle With Care incorporates a variety of puppetry styles, including tabletop, rod, shadow, and object manipulation as well as using different and unusual materials, such as recycled/upcycled and found objects.