Leading by example, summer deck show “thinks big” and encourages others to do the same.
“Think Big,” one of two deck shows featured daily at the Aquarium during summer, features clever puppets to tell the story of various sea creatures – a sea turtle, a Laysan albatross and a mighty sardine – who learn to work together to solve a common problem. These are no ordinary puppets, however; they are made entirely of recycled and repurposed materials.
The sea turtle swims with fins made of woven baskets and loofas. A personal favorite of Cat Chiappa, coordinator of theatrical interpretation, the sea turtle has a sombrero neck and an umbrella shell covered by recycled paper that was made by women in Nepal. Recycled sardine cans, paintbrush fins, and soda tab eyes make up the body of the featured sardine and his shimmering school buddies.
The albatross – with a body of knitted plastic bags and wings made of felt – reveals the dangers of ocean pollution through its very materials – the petri dishes that comprise its neck are filled with pieces of plastic actually ingested by albatrosses in the wild.
After the show, audience members are encouraged to interact with the puppets and talk with the actors. When asked to draw the show after watching it, many children drew the puppets without the puppeteers, revealing that this musical show is an effective way to communicate our conservation message to all ages.
Chris Green of Chris Green Kinetics in New York City made the puppets, and Rick Merino wrote and composed the show. “Think Big” is in its third summer and occurs daily at 12:45 and 2:15pm on the Great Tide Pool Deck.
By Emily Long. Photos by Tyson V. Rininger.
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