NOVEMBER 2019 | Volume 185


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The Bench
by Juanita Dawn
Roundhouse Community Centre
Dec. 1

Starring puppeteer Juanita Dawn and singer/songwriter/storyteller Barry Greenfield

The Inspiration behind The Bench.
After hearing a story of condo board members voting to remove a park bench from in front of their residential building to stop a homeless man from sleeping on it, my first thoughts were 'this doesn't solve the plight of the homeless'.

The whole issue of removing the park bench affected so many other people in the community – not just the homeless person that was sleeping on it. 

After hearing this story.... questions began to percolate in my mind...

1.         What value do park benches bring to a community?
2.         Who uses the park benches and why?
3.         What is lost when park benches are removed?
4.         Who has the right to determine who uses the bench. – and who shouldn't?

The Bench encompasses several different types of puppets to bring the complete story to life. Each message within the story of The Bench is told by a different puppet.  Each puppet is handmade and their design and movement characteristics are uniquely matched to deliver their intended messages. 

I created small puppets for The Bench that can be easily manipulated by only one puppeteer. Walking movements as well as concurrent arm and head movements typically require two or more puppeteers. By using my unique design and keeping the puppets small, I am able to minimize the number of puppeteers require to present the show and still keep the puppets 'alive'.

Creating a story line that does not include spoken words is a very difficult challenge for puppeteers. The intentional choice of the puppet design allows the two puppeteers to deliver a strong and clear message through skilled manipulation of the puppets along with careful selection of light and sound.

Performance Details

Roundhouse Theatre
181 Roundhouse Mews, Yaletown

Sunday, December 1, Doors open at 1:30, Show at 2pm
$30 / ticket
Tickets at

Age appropriate for 14+




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