SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., have announced their slate of activities for the upcoming school vacation week, April 15 to 19.
The week-long program, titled "Puppets Around the World," will feature performances by some of the region's finest puppet ensembles, along with live animal demonstrations, interactive displays, planetarium shows, and hands-on art opportunities. All activities are free with the price of museum admission unless noted otherwise.
Family-friendly performances scheduled in the Davis Auditorium of the D'Amour Museum of Fine Art include:
• April 15 at 1 p.m. – "The Firebird" by The Puppet People. Inspired by the Russian folktale, this magical puppet fantasy features beautifully handcrafted marionettes, lavish costumes, and vivid sets, set to the music of Stravinsky's evocative ballet of "The Firebird."
• April 16 at 1 p.m. – "Shadows Around the World" by Nappy's Puppets. Of the many forms of puppetry, the most magical and cinematic is shadow puppetry. "Shadows Around The World" explores the history of shadow puppetry and its development throughout the world as an art form.
• April 17 at 1 p.m. – "Professor Pennywhistle" by Robert Rogers Puppet Company. Professor Pennywhistle's curiosity and enthusiasm takes him to the most exotic places. The performance is a celebration of diversity and the common things that people share all around the globe.
• April 17 at 1 p.m. – "Anansi: Spiderman of Africa" by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre. A side-splitting selection of famous folktales from Africa starring Anansi the Spider, one of the classic trickster characters in world folklore whose appetite always overrules his intellect.
• April 18 at 1 p.m. – "The Dragon King" by Tanglewood Marionettes. An underwater fantasy based on Chinese folklore, this production tells the tale of a wise grandmother who journeys to the bottom of the sea to seek the Dragon King, and the answers to why he has forsaken the land above.
On April 17 and 19, Teaching Creatures will present Animals from Around the World: A Live Animal Demonstration from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Also on the week's agenda is an appearance by the Watershed on Wheels (WoW) Express, the Conte Fish and Wildlife Refuge's traveling conservation exhibit, scheduled for April 16 and 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rounding out the week's activities will be the following daily events (Monday to Friday only):
• Seymour Planetarium Shows at 11:15 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m., Science Museum;
• Art Activities, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., GWVS Studios or Science Workshop;
• Gallery Science Demonstrations, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Science Museum;
• Art Discovery Center, noon to 3:45 p.m., GWVS Art Museum.
Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, $8 for children 3 to 17, and free for children younger than 3 and museum members. General admission is free for Springfield residents with proof of address.
Free onsite parking is available. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For information, call 263-6800 ext. 488 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org