Every summer, North Central Regional Library hires puppeteers to perform at its 30 libraries.
For the past few years, the dynamic duo of Brian Higgins, a Wenatchee High School teacher, and Mark Wavra, a teacher at Eastmont High School, have put on the shows. This summer, Wavra has stepped out and Higgings will only be doing half the summer. So the library district hired new puppeteers — all with acting and musical backgrounds — to take the summer show on the road.
- Skylar Gingrich, 27, of Wenatchee, who recently completed a 27-month stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. After the summer, she will be moving to Spain to teach English to children.
- Mira Cassiano, 18, of Wenatchee, a 2015 graduate of Wenatchee High School and Wenatchee Valley College who will be leaving this fall for an 18-month mission in Brazil for her church.
- Gillian Eggers, 18, of East Wenatchee, who graduated earlier this month from Eastmont High School. She will be attending college this fall to pursue studies in music and art therapy.
The three have adapted stories in a series of skits that include Sheldon the Shark, Little Red Riding Hood, Ms. Know-It-All, and a story based on a folk tale from India. The shows will be intermixed with music (all three puppeteers play the ukulele) and sing-alongs.
The five-county library district has been doing the puppet shows each summer for the past 16 years. The program was started by longtime children's librarian Leslie Marshall at Wenatchee Public Library and later expanded to all the branch libraries.
"They were so popular and I just thought everyone should have puppet shows," Marshall said.
The new puppeteers will start their shows on June 21 and will continue throughout the summer to late August.