Archive: Puppet Shows Pop Up at Detroit Zoo This Summer

Performances focus on conservation of wildlife and wild places

April 30, 2019

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has collaborated with a local artist-run nonprofit organization to bring contemporary puppet shows to the Detroit Zoo every Saturday from May through August. The presentations will focus on endangered species found at the Zoo – including frogs, polar bears, wolves and bats – and the work the DZS is doing to preserve their populations in the wild.

These 5- to 10-minute performances will take place on a mobile stage between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., with the topics rotating each month.

“These shows are a fun way for children to not only learn about the animals we love but also the dangers they face in the wild and how we can all work together to help them,” said Diane Miller, DZS chief program officer. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to bring families together and share these important messages in a fun, interactive way.”

The performances will be presented by Carrie Morris Arts Production (CMAP), a 2018 winner of the Kresge Foundation’s Artist Fellowship. The CMAP team met with DZS staff over a four-month period to learn about the animals and their wild habitats while developing the scripts for the shows.

This collaboration began last summer when CMAP shared the story of the DZS’s groundbreaking 2005 decision to no longer keep elephants for ethical reasons and the subsequent move of Asian elephants Winky and Wanda to a sanctuary. The puppet shows were performed at New Center Park in Detroit as a tribute to this important story that prioritized the well-being of the animals.