The Sleeping Beauty at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio

You are probably familiar with the fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty, but if not, here is a refresher: A king and queen make an evil fairy mad. Evil fairy curses the royal princess to die when she pricks her finger. Good fairy changes the curse to sleeping for 100 years. Princess fulfills her destiny and pricks her finger, sleeps for 100 years, and is awakened by a kiss from a handsome prince. Then, they all live happily ever after, of course.

The Sleeping Beauty has been made into plays, ballets, books and movies, and now is your chance to see this classic tale told with marionettes at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio, located on the second floor of the Indiana State Museum. 

Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio’s version of The Sleeping Beauty is based on the original story that was written by Charles Perrault in the 1600s, so you won’t see any dragons in this play like in the Walt Disney version. Instead, you will be delighted by a funny, laugh-out-loud play full of vintage marionettes acting on a miniature stage that are brought to life by human puppeteers in the background.

Before the play, the puppeteers (Peggy Melchoir Pearson and Debbi White, who have collectively been involved in puppeteering for several decades) bring out the marionettes and show the audience how they move. Afterward, they offer to answer any questions kids might have, such as the popular question: How do you make the puppets move without tangling the strings? (Answer: Very carefully!) 

Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
Puppeteers: Peggy Melchoir Pearson and Debbi White

The 30-minute play is just the right amount of time to keep younger audience members enthralled and not antsy, and older audience members wanting more. Everyone who attends the play gets a free bag of popcorn, which is brilliant (and tasty), and really adds to the fun atmosphere.

After the play, for an additional $3, kids can create their own paper puppets during a workshop with the puppeteers. Then, kids are invited onto the Peewinkle’s stage to perform a play with the puppets they created. It’s a great time for the whole family, and a good way to learn a little about the history of puppets and marionettes!

More Info about The Sleeping Beauty at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio:

Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio is located on the second floor of the Indiana State Museum (650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis). The Sleeping Beauty is playing on select days and times through April 14. Tickets are $12 per person, and children 2 and younger are free. For more information, visit

Nicole Sipe is a freelance writer and editor in Indianapolis. A Southern California native, she enjoys exploring Indy with her husband and two sons.

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