Puppet Shows

The following puppet shows are available for libraries, schools, museums, camps, and special events. Read each description to learn more about them.

Insect Tales: Phinni and the Wild Patch

John Lechner and his puppets

This musical, interactive puppet show tells the tale of four insects as they search for a new home. Using table-top puppets, author/illustrator John Lechner tells the story of a hoverfly named Phinni, who shares a meadow with a long-legged fly, a ground beetle, and a butterfly. But when a storm washes away their home, they must search far and wide for a new one, all while avoiding the giant praying mantis!

Designed for all ages, the puppet show weaves together facts about insects and their lives, and helps build empathy and awareness for these small but vital players in our ecosystem. The characters in the show are all inspired by insects found locally, which children might see in their own neighborhood. 

This show can be performed indoors or outdoors, for audiences of any size. Length: 30-40 minutes, plus time for questions. For inquiries, contact John Lechner.

   John Lechner and puppets  John Lechner and puppets

John delighted 50 preschoolers with his engaging insect puppet show! His creative and colorful bug show was perfect for all ages 2-5 and he kept them all entertained for the whole show! We can’t wait to have John return to our summer camp next year!  — Sue Brenner, Summer Explorers at Temple Emanuel

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The Sticky Burr Puppet Show

Sticky Burr Puppet Show by John Lechner

This small-scale show is based on my illustrated comics about Sticky Burr. In the story, Sticky Burr and his friends go off to look for berries but are tricked by the mischievous Scurvy Burr, and luckily all ends well. The paper puppets are controlled from above with sticks, inspired by the tradition of toy theater from the 19th century. Suitable for ages 5 and up, length: 10 minutes. This show works well in combination with:

  • An author/illustrator talk about writing and illustrating books
  • A performance of The Brave Fiddler
  • A performance of The Suitcase Story

The Brave Fiddler by John Lechner

The Brave Fiddler

The Brave Fiddler is a scrolling story created in the tradition of “moving panoramas” or “crankies” from the 19th century.  The entire story is painted on a scroll of paper, which is pulled across the stage by turning a crank. In this original fairy tale, a young girl sets off into the world to seek her fortune and find a cure for her sick mother. She encounters a wolf, a snake, and a terrible ogre, but each time her fiddle saves the day. Original music on the violin helps to tell the story.

Suitable for ages 6 and up, length: 10 minutes. Can be performed in combination with one of the other short pieces on this page.

If you are interested in bringing me to your school, library, camp, or other venue, fill out the form below and I will get back to you. 

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