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Music, Lyrics and Play by B. Wolf
Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts

Dallas Children's Theater

Director: Douglass Burks
Scenery & Lighting: Sally Fiorello
Sound: B. Wolf
Puppets & Properties: Kathy Burks and Sally Fiorello
Costumes: Audry Lambinus and Patricia Long

Frog: Douglass Burks
Witch: B. Wolf
Princess: Sally Fiorello
King: Douglass Burks
Prince: Douglass Burks

Frog: Patricia Long
Witch: Sally Fiorello
Princess: Sally Fiorello
King: Douglass Burks and Becky Burks Keenan
Prince: Douglass Burks and Becky Burks Keenan
Woodland Creatures: Kathy Burks, Douglass Burks and Becky Burks Keenan

Reviewed Performance: 3/13/2011

Reviewed by Ashlea Palladino, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

There is a first time for everything, and today, this lovely pre-Spring Sunday afternoon, I attended my first professional puppet show. A story well-known to most, The Frog Prince was a good selection for my indoctrination into this fanciful world. Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts was listed in the playbill as the "oldest professional resident puppet theatre in the southwest," and the experience of these artists was obvious.

As I learned in a short question and answer session after the performance, the type of puppetry showcased in The Frog Prince is known as Black Theatre Puppetry, because of the black velveteen fabric used to surround the set pieces and the puppeteers. There were two vignettes designed for this production: first, a garden pond area with a water well, and also a dining area inside the Princess's castle. Both vignettes were perfectly to scale and well-suited to the story. The puppets' costumes, designed by Audry Lambinus and Patricia Long, were colorful and detailed, especially the costume worn by the King. The puppeteers also provided the pre-recorded voices of the characters, which showcased their musical talents as well as their talent for storytelling.

Interestingly, this production of The Frog Prince offered two alternate endings. The puppeteers allowed the audience to determine, by a round of applause, whether the Prince should ask the Princess to marry him after he transforms from the Frog, or whether he should ditch the Princess and move on to greener pastures since the Princess hadn't been terribly kind to him while he was a Frog. As part of the question and answer session after the show, however, the puppeteers also performed the alternate ending in full view of the audience, with the lights up a bit and without their black masks. This was such a fun way to let the audience in on the secrets of their trade.

Presented without an intermission, the show was only about forty minutes in length, which was just about perfect for the attention span of this show's target audience. Thanks to Dallas Children's Theater for offering such variety in their season, and thanks to Kathy Burks and her multi-talented puppeteers for an enlightening and charming afternoon.

Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts
The Studio Theater at Rosewood Center
Dallas Children's Theater, 5938 Skillman, Dallas, TX 75231
Through April 3, 2011

Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 1:30pm & 4:30pm, Sundays at 1:30pm and 4:30pm

Ticket prices range from $6 to $25 depending on age and performance time. Visit website for specific ticket information: or call 214-740-0051.