Open Eye Figure Theater captures attention and imaginations

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John Lucking, Arcadia German, Emily Rose Duea and Mike Thurston put on a performance of Ms. Marvel’s Sandbox Circus on June 26. (Mandy Hathaway / The Metropolitan)


Open Eye Figure Theater had fantastic weather for their performance of Ms. Marvel’s Sandbox Circus on the evening of Wednesday, June 26. 

This show is one of three currently running in Open Eye’s 17th annual Driveway Tour. The tour’s summer-long performances bring the magic of puppetry to neighborhoods and parks around the Twin Cities. 

Open Eye has held family-friendly puppet shows for the past five summers in the David Barton Community Labyrinth and Reflective Garden. This outdoor space is part of the grounds around Metro State’s Library and Learning Center and the St. Paul Public Library’s Dayton’s Bluff branch. 

“One of the unique benefits of sharing our space like this with the Dayton’s Bluff Library is it allows us to do really special and unique events like this with the community,” said Metro State librarian Michelle Filkins.

The free event was hosted by Metro State’s Library and Learning Center, the St. Paul Public Library and Open Eye Figure Theater. It attracted community members of all ages and provided a meal, face-painting and yard games in addition to the show. 

The puppet stage was set up in the labyrinth where the young and young at heart took seats in the grass and on surrounding benches. 

The characters really came alive in the hands of talented puppeteers, and their bright colors stood out boldly in the green park. Creative sound effects, playful voices, and effervescent energy brought the show to life and kept the audience rapt through the entire performance. “Even after the show when the kids come up to meet the puppets, they don’t look at us, they look at the puppets,” said Emily Rose Duea, one of the puppeteers.

The Driveway Tour brings performances to Twin Cities neighborhoods all summer long. Visit Open Eye’s website for remaining dates and locations.