For the month of February, NPL’s iconic puppet troupe, Wishing Chair Productions, will hit the road to begin touring Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away. Set in the Tennessee hills, Lorraine and her Pawpaw use music to cope with life’s challenges. When a storm rolls in and their instruments are nowhere to be found, Lorraine must find the music within herself to weather the storm.
The beloved story by author and Old Crow Medicine Show founder, Ketch Secor, with illustrations by Higgins Bond, has been adapted to the stage with the expertise of Wishing Chair Productions. Lorraine first made its premier at the children’s theater in 2019, and The Puppet Truck is thrilled to adapt the show to tour. Join us at your local branch for a heartfelt story of the power of music and family.
Wishing Chair Productions is dedicated to the preservation, cultivation, and advancement of the puppetry arts within Nashville Public Library and the community it serves. For decades, stories have been brought to life by our in-house puppet troupe, who’ve reached children and adults alike.
In 2005, NPLF acquired the first Puppet Truck in response to inadequate access to transportation for daycares, schools, and assisted living facilities to visit the library for performances. “The thought was” said Bret Wilson, manager of Wishing Chair Productions, “if they aren’t able to come to the show, we should bring the show to them.” In 2011, a second puppet truck was acquired to keep up with increasing demand.
The Puppet Truck delivers sophisticated storytelling that inspires the love of reading through the puppetry arts. While fun for all ages, the program’s primary focus is to promote early childhood literacy, which it does by partnering with Bringing Books to Life! (BBTL). BBTL incorporates themes from the shows in curriculum that delivers early literacy strategies for teachers and parents to use with children.
For nearly 20 years The Puppet Truck has travelled around Davidson County offering their services free of charge to any non-profit organization with a commitment to literacy and education. In the early stages, The Puppet Truck was able to offer one to two shows a week. Today, the fleet delivers the library’s award-winning literature-based puppet shows to more than 45,000 children, teachers, parents, and community members through more than 600 programs each year. Bret Wilson, commented “in a day when technology tends to rule, it’s refreshing to know that the populous still values story telling with the use of the imagination.”