Peewinkle’s opens “The Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio”

Gertrude the Wacky Witch is busy preparing for the witches’ pitch in, but little does she know that a room full of {gasp} stinky children are watching her intently. She asks the children of the audience what ingredients she should use for her stew. “Eyeballs,” “spiders,” “witch hair,” the children call out in glee.

And much to the kiddos delight, Peewinkle’s “Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio” show has kicked off. 

Gertrude winces at the last suggestion and continues to engage the children with a story – a brief history of Halloween – and then a delightfully spooky {not scary} parade of puppets that awed children and adults alike.

Peewinkles Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio _ Indy's Child

Peewinkles Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio _ Indy's Child
Gertrude the Wacky Witch talks with the audience about potential Witch stew ingredients.

This Halloween-themed show is the studio’s second in its new space inside the Indiana State Museum. Families are welcomed into the studio with complimentary popcorn – which is simply genius – and invited to browse around the studio which doubles as a museum of puppetry and a gift shop before the show.

Peewinkles Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio _ Indy's Child

The show, which averages 40-45 minutes based on the level of audience participation, is introduced by partner {and today lighting tech!} Debbi White who has been involved with the puppetry arts for 40 years. Debbi and her vampire puppet welcome the children in an attempt to reassure any little audience members who might be slightly scared of the slightly haunted show.

Peewinkles Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio _ Indy's Child

Peewinkles Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio _ Indy's Child

Cue Gertrude the Wacky Witch {played by Heidi Shackleford} and her menagerie of puppet friends. Gertrude is the perfect mix of slightly spooky and goofy, and her puppeteering skills are out of this world, which is not surprising considering Heidi has grown up with puppets.

MUST READ: Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio announces move to Indiana State Museum

Heidi is a third generation puppeteer, and when her daughters participate, Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio is the only four generation puppet troop in the United States. This is Heidi’s nineteenth year performing the Halloween Show, and the experience and expertise shows. Heidi, who also works as an arts teacher at Center Grove High School, says she loves watching the audience and hearing the interaction with the children, even after thirty years in the industry.

Peewinkles Slightly Haunted Puppet Studio _ Indy's Child

MORE INFO: “The slightly Haunted Puppet Studio” runs October 8-29, 2016 in the new studio located inside The Indiana State Museum. The new space holds about 65 people and features a stage, intimate seating, a gift shop, and museum displays of puppeteering artifacts. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online. Children under 2 are free. Workshop tickets are available after the show for $3 and allow children to make their own puppet craft and “perform” on stage. Pro tip: if you park in the underground parking lot, take your puppet show ticket to the museum’s information desk to receive a discounted parking voucher. For more information about the Halloween show and the upcoming Christmas show, visit the Peewinkles website.


Related Articles



From our Sponsors