Greenpoint Gazette
Spider Puppet Designed and Built by Kevin Ray

Newtown Creek Puppet Parade and Pageant this Thursday

BY Jeff Mann

Over the past nine days, 70 neighborhood kids have worked with theater and visual artists Heather Nielsen, Kevin Ray and Sherry Teitelbaum of Everybody Act! on an original performance about Newtown Creek. On Thursday, August 23rd, the community will get to see the result.

The performance will take place near the Driggs Avenue side of McGolrick Park and feature the kids from North Brooklyn Development Corporation’s (NBDC) summer day camp acting out the story of the creek, its past, the impact on it from pollution and what a clean creek could offer the community. Prior to the performance, the campers will take part in a parade, starting at JHS 126 (424 Leonard Street) moving across Engert Street and up to McGolrick on North Henry Street (construction detours notwithstanding).

While preparing with Everybody Act!, the kids built nearly 100 large, processional style puppets and masks, including three huge faces representing the spirit of the creek at different stages. Keeping with the program’s goals of raising young people’s awareness of environmental issues, the puppets and costumes were built from recycled materials like discarded cardboard boxes and old newspapers, and contributions received from Materials for the Arts (MFTA). (MFTA obtains materials that are no longer needed and donates them to artists and educators through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.) The residents of NBDC’s Dupont Senior Housing also got in on the action by helping the third and fourth graders with their costumes.

This event is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, both administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). In addition to grants received from BAC, Everybody Act! raised over $2,000 in individual donations.

Everybody Act! Theater in Education & Communities, in partnership with North Brooklyn Development Corporation’s Summer Day Camp will take place on Thursday, August 23rd, from 3:30PM to 4:15PM. It is free and open to the public.

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