Come one, come all to the most WIENERFUL show on earth! The Midwest Trust Center joyfully welcomes back What If Puppets (formerly Paul Mesner Puppets) as their Arts Education Artists-in-Residence for the 2022-2023 season. As part of their residency, the puppetry-focused organization will perform “Cirque du Wiener Dog” December 7-10, 2022, in Polsky Theatre. Daytime school shows will be presented December 7-9 with public performances December 9-10.
Join a cast of daring dachshunds as they attempt to put on a circus variety show, with amazing acrobatics, trapeze swinging and a rousing tightrope finale! The show, however, is constantly interrupted by Li’l Dumpling, the Littlest Dachshund in the World, who desperately wants to get in on each act. Will Li’l Dumpling get to be the HOT DOG, or will everything turn out for the WURST? Find out in Cirque du Wiener Dog! You never SAUSAGE a ridiculous show!
Inspired by traditional trick marionette variety acts, this Mike Horner production features glove puppet, marionette and rod puppet dachshunds performing classic circus routines to a soundtrack of raucous polka tunes.
Over the past three decades, the company has captivated nearly 2 million people through its award-winning productions and acclaimed educational programming. As What If Puppets the company will continue to mesmerize audiences as the work to fulfill their mission of “inspiring play and cultivating connections through puppetry.”
When asked about the inspiration around the new name, Executive Artistic Director, Meghann Henry, stated: “Everything we do begins with someone saying ‘What if…’ It’s how we discover what materials to use, how we invite students and teachers into creative play, and how to devise new programs with partners and clients. Our core values are about collaboration and play and ‘What If’ encapsulates this spirit.”
Since Henry joined the organization in 2020, the company has developed a new vision: “A Kansas City community that celebrates the arts as essential for early childhood development through a company that is nationally recognized as a leader in puppetry and arts integration.”
Energized by the company’s vision, they now move forward to fulfill their mission as “What If Puppets,” inviting you to play with them and discover how puppetry and the arts contribute to the community.
In addition to performances, they will continue to offer their innovative early childhood arts integration residencies that serve more than 145 classrooms in the greater Kansas City area, and their free Educator Resource, “In the Workshop,” developed in partnership with Midwest Trust Center’s Arts Education program. “In the Workshop” features webisodes for students, arts integrated lesson plans for educators, and a live workshop with the goal of empowering educators to cultivate social-emotional skills through art, storytelling, and puppetry.