Article by Jeanine Bobenmoyer

Peewinkles2

“Welcome to Peewinkle’s: Please put your coats there on the rack and there’s popcorn around the corner for you.”

I was immediately transfixed by the woman standing at the door of Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio – almost as though I knew her from somewhere. Her kind smile, her happy eyes. I watched her busily direct traffic as patrons entered and point down the hall to the restrooms. Where did I know her from?

But she also appeared to be in business mode and my 2-year-old was giving me HER eyes – her ‘we’re here to see a puppet show so let’s get in there NOW darnit’ eyes. We passed thru the tiny lobby with marionettes hanging from various hooks, snagged a small bag of complimentary popcorn handed out by young volunteers, and headed inside.

To say the theater inside Peewinkle’s is ‘small’ offers no justice. It’s the perfectly intimate setting for something as eclectic as a puppet show. Bench seating abound, there is a sweet sign requesting adults sit to the far left or far right so younger viewers can see the stage. The interior décor has benches, a few pillows {which I popped under Emerson so she could see better – she’s small in size like her momma} and little twinkling lights dangling from the ceiling.

Peewinkles 1As the audience quieted and performers entered, I realized who the kind greeter was – Peggy Melchoir, the owner. Peggy had played greeter, answered the phone when I called to inquire about seating, picked up Emerson’s jacket when it fell on the floor and rehung it, and as they took the stage, she mentioned the woman accompanying her was her daughter Heidi and they were now 3 generations into the art of marionettes. A true family operation. I was smitten.

Like the shows I would see following this first date, all are the perfect length for littles: 30-40 minutes maximum. Peggy spent time explaining the show we were about to see and introducing the marionettes. And then she and Heidi began spinning this wonderful experience onstage of dancing puppets thru the flick of the wrist.

To try to put words around each show I’ve seen at Peewinkle’s since is nearly impossible. But let’s just say that something MAGICAL happens:  You transform back to a moment of being a young child and relish the sweetly tinkering music and dancing marionettes. And for that half hour, it’s not just the little one at your side living their childhood thru what’s onstage – it’s you doing it as well.

  • Peewinkle’s Puppets is located inside of the Indiana State Museum
  • Tickets for weekday shows run $8 per person and $10 on the weekends. Children 2 and under are always free.
  • Visit PeewinklesPuppets.com to view their schedule

Address
650 W Washington St
Indianapolis
In

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