All photos by Qiuting Fang.
The Malden Public Library (MPL) invited the puppeteer, Lindsay Aucella, to bring joy and fun to children and their families on April 18. The program is supported by a grant from the Malden Cultural Council and the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network. The performance lasted an hour, the atmosphere was lively, there was sufficient light on the stage, kept the interaction, and was immersive for the audience.
Aucella constantly simplifies the understanding to make it easier to convey for children and young audiences. This line-up of stories chose the first little pigs, Walter sings and shakes, the singing snake, Meryl sheep saves the day, Betty Bear, etc. Stories suggested positive messaging like Meryl Sheep calling to stand up for people. In performance, she led all singing music, involved children helped stories plots, and presented words meaning in visuals through body movement. This must say it is successful; children are active all the time, and laughing is around the room. And getting easier for her.
In her performances, Aucella tells simplified versions of well-known stories as well as her own original stories. This line-up of stories was: “Little Pigs”, “Walter Sings and Shakes”, “The Singing Snake”, “Meryl Sheep Saves the Day”, and “Betty Bear”. These stories suggested positive messages for the kids. For example, “Meryl Sheep” calls for people to stand up for others.
During her performance, Acuella sang, involved children, and presented words through visuals and body movement. The children were involved for the entire show and laughing filled the room; the show was a great success.
Sometimes it is hard to come up with new material, Aucella would “perform something a few times in front of kids before I can tell if it’s really working or not.” In the past, COVID made it a little difficult for Aucella as she could not interact with the kids, and had to keep her distance.
This year marks the 12th year of puppeteering for Aucella. The majority of her performances have been in preschools, schools, and libraries. She explained that she loves the job and will be doing it for another 30 years. She expressed, “As long as my body will keep calling these puppets around. I'd like to keep doing it. I really enjoy it. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. So more of the same.”
To the youth who tried to go the way they loved, Aucella expressed, “Don't be afraid to be weird. It can be kind of scary to take a path that other people haven't taken. But often that is what works. Like this is something that not many people do.”
Art accompanies people in their lives and plays a good role in the development of ideas and communities. For more knowledge about the MPL events, and the puppeteer Lindsay Aucella, explore maldenpubliclibrary.org, and lindsayspuppetpals.com.