Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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Master puppeteers bring life to Greek and Roman myths through constellation storytelling

COURTESY PHOTO - Pegasus Puppet Theatre aims to teach children in the Summer Reading Program all about the stories behind the universe's constellations.Don't let the waterworks fool you, they're just tears of joy.

Forest Grove City Library will welcome puppeteers from the Portland-based Pegasus Puppet Theatre, formerly Tears of Joy Theatre, for a day of laughs and learning on Tuesday, July 23 at 11 a.m. Adding to an outer space-themed summer reading program, puppeteers will be illuminating the stories behind constellations through "Pegasus and the Stories of the Stars."

"Pegasus Puppet Theatre was a group us librarians were able to watch at a convention in Salem this past year," said Nathan Jones, Youth Services Librarian. "They were a lot of fun and definitely something we thought families in the area would enjoy."

The theatre group has been around for almost 50 years and recently underwent an update as Emily Alexander — daughter of the founders of Tears of Joy Theatre, Reg and Janet Bradley — resumed leadership alongside her son Wolf Alexander, a third generation puppeteer.

"We bring the same craftsmanship and fun as Tears of Joy, just under a new, refreshed vision," Emily Alexander said.

Lucky for the touring, puppeteering family, the library is experiencing great success with its summer reading program this year, according to Jones.

"Normally we've had about 90 to 100 audience members at our performances," Jones said. "But this summer we've seen a really great turnout, averaging closer to 160 visitors for each show."

PPT blends traditional theatre, intricate puppeteering and educational storytelling to explain Greek and Roman mythology.

"I think my favorite part of this show is actually the puppets themselves, especially Pegasus," Emily Alexander said. "Each show feels like we're sort of recreating the wheel and this one turned out to be a real romp. I think the kids are going to have a lot of fun watching and interacting with our show."

The mother-son puppeteering duo has transformed wild mythological stories into a family-friendly performance, clocking in at around 45 minutes, complete with handcrafted puppets. Pegasus, the theatre's namesake of sorts, will serve as the show's through line.

Jones says he's looking forward to this library performance as well as entertainment still to come, including a DIY Spa (registration required) for tweens, a Cyanotype photography demonstration for teens, The Reptile Man and a visit from the University of Oregon Museum of Natural History.

To find out more about the programs and to register for more limited events, those interested can visit forestgrove-or.gov/library. More on PPT can be found on online at pegasuspuppets.com.

Who: Forest Grove City Library & Pegasus Puppet Theatre

What: "Pegasus and the Stories of the Stars" - Summer Reading Program

When: Tuesday, July 23 at 11 a.m.

Where: Forest Grove City Library - 2114 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove


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