The Daily Plant : Friday, August 10, 2001
PUPPET THEATRE HITS THE ROAD
The Marionette Theater's newest show is Cinderella. An outdoor puppet production of the famed fairy tale opened in June and hit the road immediately. Like the prince in search of a foot to fit his glass slipper, the puppetmobile travels from park to park in search of the ideal audience. Puppeteers perform in parks, playgrounds, beaches and recreation centers. Wherever they go they turn parks into theaters, proving once again that a public space wears many hats. Sometimes it's dressed as a soccer field, sometimes as a performance space, sometimes it's a classroom, sometimes it's a community center. On Friday, August 3 when Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern and Therese (Ranger) Braddick, Deputy Director of the City Parks Foundation addressed a young audience outside the Swedish Cottage, Commissioner Stern told them, "my job as Parks Commissioner is to make sure our parks play as many roles as possible, and serve as many different interests as they can."
Funds from the City Parks Foundation bring Cinderella and other shows like it to neighborhoods all over New York City. Since Puppets in the Parks was founded four years ago, 255,000 children have enjoyed the plays. And the program seeks to make artists of audience members. Before most shows, children have the chance to make their own puppets. The crowd of kids present at Friday's performance cheered the performers and left with puppets in hand.
SUMMER FUN IN BUSHWICK PLAYGROUND
This summer for the first time Parks is holding a Summer Fun program in Fermi Playground. Since that program began the park has seen more than 100 kids at play every single day. Happily, Summer Fun is combined with a renovation funded by Council Member Victor (Whip) Robles. Council Member Robles allocated $1,034,000 for the improvement of the park. With that money, a Parks team led by Consultant Project Manager Bob Cook worked with Vollmer Associates to design a park that is safer and more fun than it was before.
The new and improved Fermi Playground includes the key design elements that we think make a playground work: play equipment, swings, spray showers, game tables, basketball backstops, and the surfaces for a variety of games to be played. A touch of green refreshes the eye, and safety surfacing, improved pavement, curbs, benches, lights, and fencing keep it safe.
The playground is named for Enrico Fermi one of the great physicists of the 20th century. If kids race through a maze in the park, they'll see lab mice designed in the pavement. If they want to turn on a spray shower, they'll press the periodic table engraved on it. Guests at a ribbon cutting there on Wednesday, August 1, 2001 agreed that the new park is a great place to spend the summer.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Friday, August 12, 2001)
NICKELODEON STAGES DOUBLE DARE COMPETITION
IN CENTRAL PARK TO SALUTE CITY'S SUMMER GAMES
More than 7,000 kids and parents converged on the south end of Central Park's Great Lawn yesterday for a chance to perform an array of wacky stunts for the live television game show, "DOUBLE DARE."
Held in support of Mayor Koch's New York Summer Games Youth Program, "Summertime Central Park DOUBLE DARE," produced by the NICKELODEON cable network, had teams of youngsters from each borough dressed in matching red T-shirts, shorts, and knee pads attempt such stunts as smashing raw eggs with cymbals, bursting balloons filled with shaving cream, and bouncing ping pong balls into a guitar hole.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"The novel is more of a whisper whereas the stage is a shout."
Robert Holman (b. 1936)