Peer Leader Puppet Parade and Pageant


Peer Leader Puppet Parade and Pageant
Portland, ME
August 2006

I spent an intense and awesome two weeks working with about 60 kids and adults from The People’s Regional Opportunity Program’s, Peer Leader project to design and build a giant puppet pageant. The kids, age 5-18 came from 4 different Portland Public Housing neighborhoods. With a lot of hard work and help from local volunteers (including an incredible band of musicians assembled to provide the soundtrack for our parade and pageant) this group pulled together an amazing collaborative theater piece. They used giant puppets to express some of their frustrations with “The American Dream”, challenges their communities had met upon coming to The United States (many of the kids were from The Sudan, Somalia and Cambodia) and tools that their communities and allies could use to defeat the beasts, robots and evil clowns to transform this place in to a world of dancing fish, flapping butterflies, and powerful animals uniting in visions of justice and camaraderie.

Photo credit: Favor Ellis and other Peer Leader staff