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top 6 pictures
 for an enlarged view




"The children
truly enjoyed
the performance 
…and learned 
something at 
the same time!!" 
5th grade 
Sacred Heart 







PreK to 
grade 6
family audiences.







Program length:
50 minutes
(Shorter versions 
are also available)





Performance space: 
18’ wide x 16’ deep
with direct access 
to the audience
for participation



 Program written, built and performed by Kathleen Jacobs
Life Size puppets and impromptu performers from the audience help Kathleen dramatize a trio of folktales about bullies who scheme, threaten and steal in their efforts to gain … SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. With the aid of the audience, our heroes triumph and the “bad” guys end up with …NOTHING!

1. SOMETHING FOR NOTHING, opens with Kathleen narrating a delightful old Irish story, “Pot Of Gold”. A five foot tall puppet known as Dawdling-Do-Nothing captures a leprechaun (played by a costumed volunteer from the audience). He demands to know the location of the
wee man’s fabled pot of gold. The cooperation of the entire audience is necessary to trick Dawdling-Do-Nothing and save the leprechaun and his treasure.

2.  Kathleen demonstrates how to make simple hand and rod puppets…. with heads similar to Dawdling-Do-Nothing!

3. Young volunteers join Kathleen on stage and use these same bottle puppets to act out the adventures of Mischief-Maker and her brother, Muddle-Head. When the siblings are led astray by greed, a humorous turnabout play teaches them valuable lessons about getting along with
those different from themselves.

4. The merriment continues with the play, “Tops & Bottoms”, a tale that has European, Asian and African-American variations. An audience member portrays the gutsy Farmer Have-Not. The Bully Boggart tries to steal the food meant to feed her hungry little children. It is the audience who must bolster the farmer and advise her on ways to outwit the four-foot, hairy creature.

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING?? "Get rich quick at the expense others", say the greedy bullies. But their plans are foiled in these folk plays. More then a few humorous surprises are in store for the audience. While fortunes are gained and lost, important lessons in humanity are learned.



 Characters learn to:   Outsmart greedy Bullies 
Get along with folks different from themselves.
Treat others, as they would like to be treated.
 Literacy:  Reading, Writing, Creative thinking 
 Arts:  Creative dramatics, Creative movement,
 Rod puppet construction & movement
 Trickster Tales from Different Cultures  
1. POT OF GOLD, told in Ireland
2. MISCHIEF-MAKER & MUDDLE-HEAD, inspired by a Russian tale.
3. TOPS & BOTTOMS, a tale with European, Asian and African-American variations.

Teacher’s Guide and Puppet Construction Directions are Provided.


Introduce the program’s title, SOMETHING FOR NOTHING?? Discuss with students its possible meaning. Why do they think the title ends in question marks?

1. Mischief-Maker & Muddle-Head schemed to get “something for nothing”… money. Did they succeed? Did they deserve to succeed? Did they think or care about the welfare of the One-eyed people?

2. Write a note from Mischief Maker and Muddle-Head apologizing to the One-Eyed people for their bad behavior. Have miscreants read their letter(s) aloud to the One-Eyed people. What do you think happens next? Form into groups and improvise the scene, then present them to the class.

3. What was Muddle-Head’s part in the pursuit of the One-eyed people? What would you have done if Mischief-Maker approached you with the same offer? Improvise the scene with a partner.

4. Share with the group details of a time when you refused to go along with the crowd. How did you feel about it? Brainstorm ways to say NO to bad ideas and bad leaders. Write a story based on your inspirations. Illustrate your tale.

5. A role reversal brought about a satisfying conclusion to this tale. Discuss changing roles with other people in your lives; teacher, parent, principal, classmate, siblings, policeman, etc.. Think of typical conflicts that arise. Construct puppets and use to role-play these situations. Reverse parts. Would you like to be treated as you treat others?

 Technical Details

 Who?   PreK to grade 5 and Family audiences.
 Where?  Schools, libraries, camps, museums, theaters, festivals
 and community events throughout the Mid-Atlantic
 States. Tours on the East Coast are planned.
 When?   Anytime! We tour year round
 Audience Size  up to 350 people
 Program Length  Full-length performances are 50 to 55
 minutes long. Shorter 25-35 minute shows
 are available.
 Staging Options  
 •Preferred: Raised stage 16 feet wide X 14 feet deep with
   center stairs to access the audience.
 Floor level space approximately 16 feet wide X 14 feet deep.
   Seat children on the floor to insure them an unobstructed
 Sound  Performer provides own sound system with wireless
 Exceptions: Festevals and large venues.
 Electrical  2 outlets on stage.
 Lighting   Basic lighting. General wash with a concentration of
 light on center and front of stage. House lights
 are kept on low because performer travels into
   the audience.
 Setup/Strike   Set Up: 1 hour, Pack Up: 45 minutes
 Loading/Parking   Please arrange for our van to unload/load
 as close as possible to the venue entrance.
 Provide free parking close to loading area.


“It is not easy these days to hold the attention of a roomful of fourth and fifth graders but Kathleen Jacobs does it with flair. …..students were completely engrossed and having a ball. They hardly suspected that they were also being taught important lessons.”
Prime Times of Harford County, MD

“Excellent performance- clear message…segment on how to make a puppet wonderful.”
Principal, Mother Catherine Spalding School, MD

“What a terrific, creative presentation! You kept the assembly
moving and the kids involved both on stage and in the audience. 
My kids LOVED it!”
5th Grade Teacher, Rheems Elementary, PA

“The stories were delightful. They shared a common theme and taught valuable lessons. Your follow-up was inspirational.”
Teacher, Colgate Elementary, MD

“Without exception, everyone I polled for an opinion of your presentation (faculty and students) requested that we have you back next year.”
PTO Chairperson, Schaeffer Elementary, PA

“I would highly recommend these assemblies for any elementary program that is interested in providing their youngsters with great entertainment as well as an educational experience.”
Coordinator of Elementary Education,
Spring Grove School District, PA

“Teachers liked the tie in to reading and comparisons to different folk tales..Student participation excellent.”
Counselor Perkiomen Valley South Elementary, PA

“The topics covered fit in well with our behavior and guidance programs - bullying and treating others with respect.”
4th Grade Teacher, Rheems Elementary, PA


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