The Twin Cities Puppeteers' 1979 Festival was held on June 15 - 16 & 17th, at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Mn. The registration form has $40.00 per person, and $25.00 per Junior attending the festival. Tom O'Lenick was President, and Bob Graff was pastor of the church. We had out of town performers; the Melikin Puppets, Kathy Piper, Susan Noad, John Shirley, Jay Marshall, and M'el Reum. Our TCP members performed shows also, and they were David Sleeper (still friend), Jack Doepke, Jackson Marionettes, Backes Puppeteers, Kathy O'Brien, and Crystal Livesay. Members who did workshops were; Music and Sound - Paul Eide, Puppet Construction - Kathy O'Brien & Karen Backes, Scripting - Carolyn Stanson & Marjorie Cox & Irvey Gilbertson, Character Voices - Karen Jackson, Scenery - Bill Hendricks, Styrafoam Puppets - Sara Jackson, Shadow Puppetry - Greg Samanisky, Electronics - Tom O'Lenick & Jack Doepke. Marie Samanisky ran the festival store inspite of illness. June Hendricks was the Registrar. At the banquet, we presented Marie and Greg with our own TCP award for their years of service to the guild. We'll all remember the tornado that came through town, and all our guests were sent to the church basement to watch John Shirley make balloon characters.
Our meetings continued at the Southdale Library in 1980. Marie Samanisky passed away that year. Jack Doepke served for a year as President,and performed as a clown, used hand puppets, and was interested in magic. By 1982, Paul Eide was President, Tom O'Lenick - Vice. President, Shirley Daffer - Secretary and Librarian, June Hendricks - Treasurer, and Bill Hendricks was editor of our newsletter with the new guild logo that he designed. Our membership continued with; Hazel Aamodt, Karen and Leonard Backes, Elsie Brauninger, Sister Cabrini, Wally and Gloria Campbell, Marjorie Cox, John and Shirley Daffer, Helen Denison, Jack Doepke, Margaret and Paul Eide, Edna and Bill Garrison, Irvey Gilbertson, Margaret Gillespie, Joann Goede, Dora and Fred Gosso, June and Bill Hendricks, Karen (Jackson) Hodgson, Virginia Houghtaling, Leonard Jackson, Sara and Ed Jackson, Jean Jeffers, Miriam Klohs, Mary Ellen Kruger, Jim Kubiatowicz, Lucille Landry, Wally and Char Leslie, Ann Lindholm, Pat Mertes, Bonnie Miles, Sandy Mozey, Kathy O'Brien, Irene Odegaard, Tom O'Lenick, Kate Paulos, Greg Samanisky, Pam and Alyssa Shackle, Bill Sholes, Sally Snyder, Carolyn Stanson, Jean Tatting, Rene (Daffer) Tchida, Ken Wakerhauser, and Jan Woll.
During early 1982, we met at the Southdale Library. One program was on a film called, "Knowing, Feeling, Growing", with people puppets made by Paul Eide and dressed by June Hendricks. The show was made for the U of M Hospitals, and the puppeteers were June Hendricks, Jay Goede, and Paul. In April, we started meeting at the Merriam Lexington Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Jack Doepke, the Gossos, and the Hendricks found the new meeting place.
Quite a few of our members attended the Ames, Iowa, Festival in 1983. Joan Mickelson and Paul drove down to the festival in a big truck carring the show, "East of the Sun, West of the Moon". Bil DeLong was one of the show's performers. Greg Samanisky passed away the day after returning home from the fest. Sister Cabrini added a dog to her show along with rabbits and doves, Elsie Brauninger volunteered to be the TCP Librarian, and a group of our members took a chartered bus to Mason City, Iowa, in June to visit the MacNider Museum. New members who joined our guild by 1984, were; Becky Brom, Toni Clarke, Dale Collison, Julie Cullen, Ione and Bil DeLong, Ruth Egerer, Vicki Ernster, Heron Gardner, Marvin Hedberg, Kay Marszalek, Joan Mickelson, Margaret Randal, Janet Reardon, and Jack Sayers.
During 1985, our guild was preparing for the "Great Plains Regional Puppetry Festival, to be held on October 25 - 27, at the College of St. Catherine, in St. Paul. Our officers until June, were; Rene Malmberg - President, Kay Marszalek - Vice. President, Ione DeLong - Secretary, and June Hendricks - Treasurer. The new officers took over, and they were; Kay Marszalek - President, Bob Graff - Vice. President, Ione Delong - Secretary, and June Hendricks - Treasurer. According to the records, we had 90 paid registrations at $25.00 per person. Performances were by the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, Sister Cabrini, Crystal Livesay of the Melikin Puppeteers, Joan Mickelson, Paul Mesner, Kerry and Bob Aiken, and Kathy Piper. Workshops by our members were; Becky Brom, Margaret Randal, Joan Mickelson, Mickie and Richard Hall, Sally Snyder, Mary Ellen Kruger, Bob Graff, Paul Eide, Backes Puppeteers Performance and workshop, Marjorie Cox, Sara Jackson, Kay Marszalek, Jan Reardon, and Heron Gardner.
A document in the TCP Archives reads: Whereas, Articles of Incorporation, duly signed and acknowledged under oath, have been recorded in the Office of the Secretary of State, on May 8, 1986 for the incorporation of the Twin Cities Puppeteers under and in accordance with the provisions of the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act, Minnesota statutes, Chapter 317, and the Great Seal was affixed.
Our September newsletter of 1986, edited by Bill Hendricks, continued with the usual interesting artwork, a plea for members to send in their dues, and on the back was a large announcement that Paul Eide was elected Pof A President.
Our membership continued in 1987, with new members; Dean Gahlon, Connie and Graham Gremore, Vonda Heckman, Kurt Hunter (Hunter Marionettes), Christine Kot (Wonder Door), Laura Krentz - married to Dean Gahlon (Krentz Calico Characters), Jean McCarthy (The Puppet Lady on the puppet wagon), and Diane Rains - married to Stu Janis (Freshwater Pearls Puppetry).
During the years that Paul Eide was Pof A President (1986-1989), the Playboard newsletter was started by him. The June meeting in 1989 was held at the Woodbury Library, where Jean McCarthy performed a show on the puppet wagon for us. At that meeting, Bill Hendricks stepped down as newsletter editor, and Paul took over. That fall there were plans for the guild to work on a show, "Paul Bunyan". Several members started working on puppets for the show, and Paul wrote the script. It was an ongoing project that never happened. Ed Jackson passed away that year.
In the summer of 1990, eleven of our menmbers took a van to Kansas City for the Regional Fest. Kurt Hunter, now Secretary of our guild, and his new wife Suzie attended the fest. She joined Kurt in performing with his marionettes, but sadly passed away in 1991. In February 1991, June and Bill moved to South Carolina, and Karen Backes took over as guild Treasurer. In June, Kay Marzalek stepped down, and Bil DeLong became President, Wayne Krefting - Vice. President, Kurt Hunter - Secretary, and Karen Backes - Treasurer. We thanked Kay, a children's librarian, for her years of service. That fall, Bil DeLong went south to work with nationaly known Paddy Blackwood, and Wayne took over as President.
The Great Plains Regional Festival was held in July 1992, and thirteen of our members took a van to the fest. In August, most of our members donated puppets to be exhibited in the Creative Activities Building at the Minnesota State Fair. Wayne Krefting, David Sleeper (now Vice. President), and Paul Eide were promoting the display on the radio.
Our guild held a Day of Puppetry in May 1993, at the Student Center on the St. Paul Campus of the Uof M. Members who gave workshops would do it again in 1994 for the Mini-National. Performers were; Joan Mickelson, the Daffers, Kurt Hunter, and the Grimmerson Brothers-Chris and Charlie Fehring. In the fall of 1993, Kurt and Kathy Hunter were married, and they both worked together on marionette shows.
Our TCP guild was busy working on the Pof A Mini-National Festival in 1994, to be held on July 13 - 17, at the Uof M St. Paul Campus. We had board meetings right up to the fest, and many were held at Kurt and Kathy Hunter's house. During the festival, 240 people were registered. On the registration form it states; Pof A Members $90.00, non Pof A Member $125.00. Board and Room (covered lodging and meals) $140.00 - double, $160.00 - single. The principal steering committee was; Co Directors - Wayne Krefting and David Sleeper, Registrar - Karen Backes, Artistic Director - Kurt Hunter, Workshop Director - Christine Kot, Transportation Coordinator - Kathy Hunter, Exhibit Directors - Bil DeLong and Tim Nielsen, Publicity - Diane Rains, Public Performances - Stu Janis, Publications and Updates - Paul Eide, Puppetry Store - Kay Marszalek and Bob Graff, Driver - Wally Kruger, Badges and Preparation - Mary Ellen Kruger. Workshops; Shadow Puppet Construction - Diane Rains, Puppetry in the Church - Ed and Estelle Swanson, Puppet Movement - Nikki Tilroe, Body Puppets - Heather Loewenstein, Sound - Jim Gamble, Puppet Magic - George Latshaw, Reading Programs with Puppets - Ginger Lozar, Music - Peg Callahan, Indonesian Shadows - Dhann Polnau, Materials - M'el Reum, Marionettes - Dug Feltch, Children's Literature & Puppets - Wilma Stutheit, Preventing Drug Abuse - Peggy Meinholtz, Puppets in Church - Dick Gruber, Plaster Molds - Judy Pankratz, Making Easy Marionettes - Kurt Hunter, Casting with Neoprene - Jim Gamble, Puppetry in the Library - Joanne Schroeder, TV Puppetry - Group, Teddy Bear Puppet - Steve Schutt, Hand Puppet Construction - Karen Backes, Russian Puppet Theater - Dimitri Rashkin, Recycling for Puppet Construction - Jean McCarthy, Masks - Joan Mickelson, Native American Stories - Ginger Lozar, Nature Story telling - Sunny Stansbury, Wood Carving - Bob Kramer, Puppet Theater - Lisa Hadorn, Story telling - Laura Krentz, Costuming - Karen Larsen, Mechanisms - Bil DeLong, Creating a Vision - Sandy Spieler, Microphones - Tom Tucker, Therapy - Tih Penfil, Puppets Against Racism - Margaret Rozycki, Mouth Puppets - Tom Bonham, and a Marionette Workshop by Albrecht Roser. We had a van trip to the Sesame Street live Costume shop, Pof A Meetings, Newsletter Editors Meeting, and a fun party on Saturday night. A number of members helped with decorations; Jack Sayers, Jean McCarthy, Don Brede, Connie Gremore, Margo McCreary, Rene Malmberg, Vicky Kline, and Laura Krentz. At the party (the theme was "A thousand and one Minnesota Nights), Paul Eide read funny Ole and Lena jokes written by Diane Rains, Kurt Hunter operated Babe the Blue Ox marionette on stilts, David Sleeper took vent figure Wally to each table, Tom O'Lenick performed magic, Kay Marszalek belly danced, and then we all danced to the music. Performers were; Frankie Cordero, Patti Smith, Jim Gamble, Polaris Puppet Theatre, Heart of the Beast, Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, Grey Seal Puppet Theatre, Leon Van Weelden, and Albrecht Roser.
In 1995, Jean Jeffers and Sara Jackson passed away. Bob Longfield joined our guild again, after Karen Backes wrote an article about his life for the newsletter. In April, our guild finally voted on the new logo. Several members submitted art work, and two logos tied, so they both were printed in the newsletter. Paul Eide's logo won, but Alyssa Shackle (now Millard), was right behind him with her popular finger puppet logo. David Sleeper stepped down as Vice. President of our guild, and Diane Rains was our new Vice. President. At the Pof A Fest in Bryn Mawr, Sandy Spieler was presented with a UNIMA Citation of Excellence Award for the Heart of the Beast production, "Befriended by the Enemy", which had been performed at our Mini-National Fest the year before. At the Picnic at Becky Brom's house, we honored Kurt Hunter who was now the Pof A Vice. President. Helen Denison passed away in October at the age of 94 years old.
At the Great Lakes Regional Festival, in Ohio in 1996, Kurt Hunter was re-elected as Pof A Vice. President. In November of that year, we heard about the plan to close the Merriam- Lexington Church. At the February 1997 meeting, we met in Golden Valley at the Spirit of Hope Methodist Church where Kurt and Kathy Hunter are members, and we hold our meetings. In 1998, Diane Rains was President, Vicky Kline - Vice. President, and Kurt and Karen continued with their offices. In September of 1998, our guild started a TCP Website, and Paul Eide was the Webmaster.We've held several Day of Puppetry events at the church; the last one in 1999. At the June meeting, 1999, Paul Eide resigned as guild newsletter editor (Puppet Monitor), as he would start as editor of the Pof A Puppetry Journal. Vicky Kline was President, and Brenda Noyed became Vice. President. We needed a new guild editor, and Diane Rains took over. She was a perfect choice as she is writing a book, is a computer expert, puppet maker, the webmaster of the Punch and Judy World Wide Web, an entertainer with shadow puppetry, and Punch and Judy hand puppetry with the assistance of her husband, Stu Janis. At the September meeting, we honored Paul Eide for his past ten years as newsletter editor, and almost 40 years as hard working member. In June of 2000, Brenda Noyed became President, and Rich Lundberg was Vic. President.
At one meeting, we honored Mary Ellen Kruger and Edna Garrison; who each had been members for over fifty years. They each were crowned by King Paul Eide wearing a crown, and then we entertained them. We had a good-by party for David Sleeper when he moved to Florida, and one for Christine Kot when she moved to Wisconsin. We listened to Irene Odegaard as she told us about much of the history of the guild, at one meeting where she brought puppets and a stage.
The Day of Puppetry in April 2000, was held at the Southdale Library. Laura Krentz and Wayne Krefting(guild program director) made all the arrangements. We continued with our Day of Puppetry at the library in 2001, 2002, and 2003. In the last few years, some of our long time members have passed away such as; Jean Tatting, Wally Kruger, Virginia Houghtaling, Frances Tatting, Bob Longfield, and Ann Lindholm at 110 years old.
Some of our members have worked with the Puppeteers of America. Jean Jeffers, Bob Graff, and Kurt Hunter have been Regional Directors. John Shirley, Greg Samanisky, Kurt Hunter, and Karen Backes joined the Board, and were Vice. Presidents. Lem Williams and Paul Eide joined the Board and were Presidents. Marie Thompson joined the Board from another guild, but continued on it as a TCP member, and was Secretary. Wayne Krefting joined the Board in 2003, and became Day of Puppetry Coordinator.
New members in the last few years are; Shari Aronson, Rachael Balsaitis, Robert Barnhart, Beulah Brinker-Olson, Debbie Brown, Helga Burroughs, Torren Carlson, Tom Davis, Brett Debruyn, Charlie and Mary Fehring, Cynthia Furnas, Dianne Gasch, Nanda Gearhart, Christopher Griffith, Cheryl Hallberg, Andy Hayward, Lynn Hoelzel, Susie Kanemitsu, Tony Lee, Pauline Lundell, Rhonda Maas, Laurie Muir, Emily Noyed, Penne Sewall Peterson, Joanne Rains, Sarah Richards, Janis and Jerry Routh, Anne Sawyer, Ginny Socha, Michael Sommers, Wilma Stutheit, Mark Tobin, Marie Thompson, and Claire Uldrich.
Our officers for June 2003; Brenda Noyed - President, Tom Davis - Vice. President, Cheryl Hallberg - Secretary, Karen Backes - Treasurer, Kurt Hunter - Librarian, Diane Rains - Newsletter Editor, Paul Eide - Webmaster, Edna Garrison - Hospitality, and Wayne Krefting - Programs.
Our guild looks forward to the 2005 P of A National Festival to be held here, in the Twin Cities, with Kurt Hunter, as our Festival Director.
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