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A World of Puppets

Open Hand Theater's "A World of Puppets" Saturday morning performance series is a favorite for parents with children, grandparents with grandchildren, and everyone in between. For 10 seasons, puppeteers from all over the country have come to perform their magic before delighted audiences of all ages.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, April 5, The Reluctant Dragons by Nancy Sanders of 'Puppets with Pizazz' will be presented at the Open Hand Theater Castle, North Salina Street, 518 Prospect Ave., Syracuse.

Sanders will present this hilarious fairy tale, with dragons galore and a few princesses to save. No more is there the rather prissy tea-sipping dragon of yesteryear, but Dragonia, a female poetry dragon Rory, her all-boy son, and Saint George, now up in his nineties and he can't quite remember what he's been sent to the mountain to accomplish. You will laugh straight into next week!

Sanders has been awarded The Martin Stevens Award of puppetry excellence. This award, under the auspices of the Puppeteers of America's Great Lakes Region, recognizes excellence in puppetry and puppet productions.

The following weekend, favorite Songster Puppeteer Tom Knight will present The Singin' Solar System at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 12. Knight has some brand new songs, some fancy puppets, and a lot of tricks up his sleeve. He always gets the audience singing, laughing and moving along. This performance will close Open Hand's 2007-2008 season of Saturday morning family puppetry performances.

Entering the Castle on North Salina Street is an experience unto itself. Inside this warm and welcoming 1890's mansion is a gallery and a gift shop to browse. Bright puppets from India and fascinating masks from Indonesia adorn the walls. A gracious stairway winds past a huge stained glass fairyland window, beckoning guests to the upstairs performance hall where unbelievable stories will unfold.

Average performance running times are 45 minutes to one hour. Doors open at 10:30 am and seating is on a first come, first seated basis. Tickets are $6 for children; $8. for adults. Reserved tickets will be held until 10 minutes before each performance. Open Hand Theater Box Office hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VISA or Master Card payments are welcome. For further information, call 476-0466 or visit OpenHandTheater.org.

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