live shows

Mr. Ooba’s TEAM! (Together, Everyone Achieves More!) by Jordan Schwartz

Jordan Schwartz is one heck of an achiever. At 10 in 2003, she founded The Children’s Bilingual Theater. Jordan started with raising $3,000 in donations and encouraging schools to host the shows. CBT not only brought students together, but brought community volunteers to help make the shows a reality. Jordan’s project explores Hispanic language, culture and history and engages the diversity of our community. She has produced 4 bilingual musicals and 4 storytelling and literacy events leading 200 volunteers.

At age 11, Jordan became a disability rights advocate. In 2008 in an unprecedented move in selecting a 14 year old, the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities Organizing Institute chose Jordan as one of 5 participants trained in organizing skills to return to their communities to promote systems change around issues that affect people with disabilities. Jordan wrote a bilingual play.

Mr. Ooba’s TEAM is an anti-bullying puppet show produced by Puppatoons & The Childern’s Bilingual Theater . The show was written by Jordan Schwartz. This production addresses the issues of bullying of developmentally disabled & medically fragile children & diversity in the classroom. Mr. Ooba is an owl, presiding over a class of forest animal children.  When one of the kids gets out of hand bullying some of the others about having  a disability or nonconformity due to illness, Mr. Ooba steps in to warn the children of the harm of “just making fun”, and to help the kids understand the value of working together.
CBT is a 501c(3) non-profit corp. Sponsorships are available & are tax deductible. For information contact: 678-485-1986

A Tour of Southern Ghosts!

I’ve been working very hard this Halloween season, hence my sad, sad little Halloween countdown. And my Mummycorn scarecrow did NOT win a prize at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens(getting a little bit tired of all the work, effort and money going into something that gets completely destroyed, truthfully).

But, work is good, and boy have I been workin’. In the latter half of every week, I work The 25th Annual A Tour of Southern Ghosts at Stone Mountain Park.

They are trying something radically new, using me this year. After hearing the tales told by the six different storytellers around the antebellum plantation buildings, guests finally arrive at the end of the tour and gift shop. There, a more humorous presentation is given, usually told by a sort of carnival barker-type person(my new coworker Jon!) who pretty much gives a commercial for the Tour’s creators, ART Station. ATOSG is really a fundraiser for ART Station, and we also must mention the sponsors, talk about the items to be found in the Ghostly Gift Shop and so forth. But the main part of the spiel contains very corny ghost jokes and puns, and I thought that this might be a perfect vehicle for one of my ghost puppets. I inquired about it to ART Station, and to my great surprise, they were interested. Long story short, I auditioned for them and brought Vapor, although I ended up using Misty, a new female ghost puppet created from my ghost called Phantz.

Here’s Misty and me by lantern light. Boo, y’all!

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Gwinkul and OhNose!

These two have been hanging around in my brain for a while.I’ve been trying to get a cute, simple show with fun little characters for a live show for schools and libraries—-something that doesn’t require a lot of setup time like The Peasant and the Dragon, which is an involved, dramatic show. No,I need something that can be three or four short mini-plays and we follow up with a workshop afterward. (Heck,I’d want to do that myself if I were a kid!) Anyway, good ol’ Dinky Donkey will appear in one skit, and will draw as a story is narrated. Then, these two, Gwinkul and OhNose, will have their turn. They will basically act out a common problem or dilemma faced by kids or teach short lessons–peer pressure,eating right,respecting yourself, safety,etc–all kinds of subjects can fit here. Essentially OhNose is the straight man who knows the right thing to do(after frantically squeaking “Oh Noes!”), and Gwinkul is the one who’s always doing something wrong, usually because he simply doesn’t know any better. Now, a third skit is in the making, and Steve and I were talking about having Bleach be a reporter and interview a couple of kids. This is a good idea, but I think I might want to keep Bleach as a web-show only puppet. I don’t know..I like the idea an awful lot. 🙂

Then, we follow up with one of my workshops! Good times for all!