Click on the 
top 6 pictures
 for an enlarged view

 

 

 


‘’The pace is 
fast moving, 
The message is
right on target. 
The audience 
is enthralled.” 
Teacher 
4th grade
Neff Elementary
Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interactive 
FUN
for 
PreK to 
grade 6
and 
family audiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program length:
50-55 minutes
(Shorter versions 
are also available)

 

 

 

 

 


Performance space: 
approximately
17’ wide x 15’ deep
with direct access 
to the audience
for participation
segments.

 

  SOME WISE...SOME OTHERWISE
 SYNOPSIS

 Program written, built and performed by Kathleen Jacobs
 
Under Kathleen’s guiding hand, seven volunteers from the audience don costumes and join puppets to act out the “wise” and “otherwise” antics of a memorable group of comic characters. In this trio of tales from India, China and Iceland, foolish folks make all the wrong decisions for all the wrong reasons. Their impulsive approach to life’s predicaments produces unexpected results. As children laugh at these folk’s hilarious disasters, they learn that forethought leads to “wise” decisions.

The folks in these plays are known as “noodle heads”. It soon becomes apparent why. In, CLOSE THE DOOR, a very stubborn husband and his equally stubborn wife have an unusual confrontation with the villainous Sir-Steal- a Lot. The noodle head couple’s ridiculous argument results in their downfall.

We discover the flaw in Duke Noodle’s clever scheme to quiet his noisy neighbors, Blacksmith Bump-Thumb and Carpenter Smash-a-Finger in TOO MUCH NOISE. The audience observes that hasty problem solving results in a problem still unsolved.

The closing tale, THE MAN, THE WOMAN & THE FLY, is best described as slapstick comedy. The situation progresses from bad to worse as one “otherwise” decision after another compounds Granola and Graham Cracker’s problems. The students witness the disastrous snowball effects of lying, impulsive decisions and silly noodle head reasoning.

Fools are sometimes “wise” and the “wise” are sometimes fools. In SOME WISE…SOME OTHERWISE, both fools and the “wise” learn how stubbornness, impulsiveness and lack of forethought result in “otherwise” decisions. 

These multicultural tales show the universal and timeless appeal of human folly. Life-size puppets, child volunteers in fanciful costumes, oversize props and a ridiculous chase scene all contribute to the merriment. 

Kathleen concludes this fun filled program by showing everyone how to construct a “BIG” mouth puppet for their own productions.


SOME WISE...SOME OTHERWISE

 EDUCATIONAL THEMES

 
 Characters learn:   Make wise choices 
 Consequences of poor decisions.
 
 Literacy:  Reading, Writing, Creative thinking 
 
 Arts:  Creative dramatics, Creative movement,
 Construct a "Big-Mouth" Puppet
 
 Multicultural Tales:  
1. TOO MUCH NOISE, a Chinese story
2. THE MAN, THE WOMAN & THE FLY, a tale first heard in Iceland
3. CLOSE THE DOOR, a story with Indian, Russian, English, and Jewish variations

Teacher’s Guide and Puppet Construction Directions are Provided.



SOME WISE...SOME OTHERWISE
 SAMPLE ACTIVITIES FROM TEACHER’S GUIDE

 "WISE" & "OTHERWISE" BEHAVIOR  
1. Graham and Granola act impulsively. List examples of their “noodle head” thinking. 

2. Ask children if they… Ever acted without thinking? Lied to cover up a mistake? Did something stupid just because a friend told them or dared them?

3. Choose a current classroom topic and make a chart of “wise” & “otherwise” behavior.

TOPIC “WISE” “OTHERWISE”
On the bus Talk quietly       Hang out windows     
Use of Drugs       Cure disease       Get high
     Fire prevention      ? ?
? ?  ? 

4.

Design a poster to illustrate your best ideas.

 
 MULTICULTURAL TALES   Creative Dramatics/Writing
1. Have you heard the tale, "CLOSE THE DOOR" or a slightly different variation of it before? This story is truly multicultural, with different parallels in many lands. Folktales have no set text, but are endlessly re-created in the retelling.

2. Kathleen’s play is based on an Indian version. In her tale the villainous Sir Steal-a–Lot enters through the open door and steals a lot. Ask children what other people, animals or objects might come through the open door. Pick a country or continent (Kenya, Antarctica, etc.) and imagine what else might enter. Form groups and make up a story about what happened. Act it out.

3. Did any group match one of these variations? In the Russian tale, the farm animals cross the threshold and trash the place while the couple refuse to move or speak. A thief smears ashes on the faces of the hard headed pair in the Jewish version. The English King & Queen have their crowns removed by the villain. In China, a flood drowns the stubborn couple!


SOME WISE...SOME OTHERWISE
 Technical Details

 Who?   PreK to grade 6 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
   view.
 
 Sound  Performer provides own sound system with wireless
 microphone.
 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.
   

SOME WISE...SOME OTHERWISE
 REVIEWS



“I want to thank you for the wonderful puppet program you presented ‘with’ our children…I was especially impressed with the way you focused on the characters in the stories as being ‘wise’ or ‘otherwise’. What a clever way to have the audience reflect upon the tale.”
Principal, Colonial Elementary, PA

“We have heard endless compliments from children and adults…The combination of your theatrical abilities and the magical talent of making ‘actors’ out of the audience are truly remarkable.”
Manager, Children's Services, Dauphin County Library, PA

“If I graded the program I’d give it an A+, 100% and 2 thumbs up.”
Ryan, Brandywine-Wallace Elementary, PA

"The program involved students in a creative, FUN way…One of the best programs I have seen."
Teacher, O’Conner Elementary, Mesa, AZ

“Excellent integration of folklore, character education, reading, writing & art. There was something for everyone."
Teacher, Neff Elementary PA

“The students loved the stories. As teachers the message was most powerful in helping students understand making thoughtful choices."
Teacher, Boonsboro Elementary, MD

Excellent Performance! Teachers responded with great reviews…Motivating and dynamic”
Assistant Principal, Bel Air Elementary, MD


 


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