Grades PreK - 3
If you enjoy Todd Parr books or are just an awesome human being, there’s no way to not love It’s Okay to be Different! With its mesmerizing, UV-lit and larger-than-life, two-dimensional puppet magic and beautiful original score, this captivating, book-based show from Mermaid Theater Nova Scotia brought visual art and a powerfully positive message to early elementary students from across Northern Michigan! Narration was brilliantly recorded by an indigenous reader and elementary school children, so the positive and empowering messages were layered with positive and empowering voices. The visual art and puppet choreography stole the show, which was perfectly paced to allow students time to revel in the visual message punctuated as it was with Todd Parr’s well-placed, minimalist verbal messages. This felt like a trip to an art gallery, a dance studio, a concert, and a play all in one amazing performance!
Students were dancing in their seats, clapping and laughing with joy, as they were brought into three of Todd Parr’s books: This is My Hair, The Earth Book, and It’s Okay to be Different. Mermaid Theater spent three years designing and building 120 puppets and puppetry elements – matched to Todd Parr book illustrations right down to paint hues! – for this exceptional 3-actor production. Everyone wanted another show; once was definitely not enough!
After the show, the actors took time to answer eager students’ questions about how the puppets work, what makes the paints glow, and how only 3 actors can make all those puppet elements move across the stage, up in the air, and all around! This kind of wonderful is what happens when time, commitment to craft, and kindness converge. What a fantastic experience! Thank you, Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia – you inspired us all!