Z Puppets Rosenschnoz is a puppet theater located in Minneapolis who creates puppet productions with socially uplifting messages. Over the years, they have explored everything from coping with stress in children to the marvels of cell science to a comparison of the Exodus to the trail of tears. While Z Puppets Rosenschnoz may be best known for Monkey Mind Pirates - their puppet rock opera, they have also paired up with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre to create Cellula, a puppet show about cells and with The Bakken Trio to explore classical music through puppetry. They have also work with the City of Maplewood on the Kid City Project. Most recently, they have created Through the Narrows, a puppet show that explores the trail of tears by comparing it to the Exodus. Unlike many theaters, once produced, Z Puppets' productions are usually remain available to be booked for events.
Z Puppets is a 2017 recipient of the Sally Ordway Irvine Award, which is given to institutions that "strengthen and enrich the state through their commitment to the arts and arts education."
Family Friendly Z Puppets Rosenschnoz Shows
Through the Narrows
Through the Narrows is a puppet show for older children and adults. Because of the intense subject matter and vivid descriptions of historically accurate violence, Z Puppets recommends this show for ages 9+. If you are on the fence about your child's readiness, you can download the Before You Go Guide.
The show intertwines the stories of the Jews Crossing the Red Sea and the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Sliding across centuries and continents with the live global music fusion of Greg Herriges, these stories travel the rich emotional landscape from struggle to triumph.
Through the Narrows is directed by Laurie Witzkowski, a theater maker and community activist whose work has been featured locally (In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Theater Mu, Mixed Precipitation, TigerLion Arts, Bedlam) and internationally, in venues from Lincoln Center to war zones, prisons and sacred sites.
From the Monkey Mountains
From the Monkey Mountains is a new puppet show created with The Bakken Trio which brings back the monkeys, Chootch and Elli, from Monkey Mind Pirates. The show helps the audience experience live classical music through new ears and eyes with this unique collaboration puppets and musicians as it explores the life and music of Czech composer and Holocaust victim Pavel Haas. This show is also recommended for older audience of ages 10 to adult.
While it's run at In the Heart of the Beast has come to an end, Cellula is still available for bookings. This innovative production illuminates and magnifies the true marvels of cell science inside us all with dazzling glow in the dark puppetry and live a cappella music. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Monkey Mind Pirates
Z Puppets created Monkey Mind Pirates to help children and families -- especially children with sensory sensitivities -- cope with stress. They perform this "puppet rock opera" at venues around the Twin Cities on a semi-regular basis.
Using art to teach children is a delicate tightrope act that can go horribly wrong. Monkey Mind Pirates achieves this balance. The music is catchy and easy to sing along with. The story is fun and engaging. While families enjoy the music and story, they can learn a little about how to cope with stress. This show is geared toward kids, but the tools they offer are for anyone. Families can sail along with Captain Fitz as he sets out on a quest for the Legendary Island of Calm. When the unruly Monkey Mind Pirates hijack his ship with anxiety, depression and distraction, the Captain goes overboard (literally and figuratively). Underwater, the Captain finally learns to tame the Monkey Mind Pirates. Along the way, the audience also learns to turn “Arghs” into “Oms” with the award-winning, catchy, original songs and lovable puppets of Monkey Mind Pirates.
This show is recommended for age 2 and up -- although my 2 and 4 year old did not make it all the way through. I would definitely show up early for the pre-show happy hour so they could shake out their energy a bit. I would also learn the music ahead of time. It's on YouTube or buy the album (Find links to both below). I like the music enough to play it in the car. With this little bit of prep, I think my smaller kids would enjoy the show more. My daughter, who was 9 at the time, had a good time. We were both singing along throughout the show -- even though we didn't pre-learn the music. Z Puppets also offers a Before You Go Guide to help prepare children for what to expect.
You can buy the CD for this rock opera through our Amazon affiliate link (FFTC receives a small commission on sales).
Or Watch the Video Below:
The summary above was originally from a post sponsored by Z Puppets Rosenschnoz and contains an affiliate link to our Amazon store where you can purchase the album. However, all opinions are my own and I really did sing along with the music as I typed the article.
Z Puppets Laughter Museums
In the past, Z Puppets has teamed with the City of Maplewood to create Kid City, a program designed to promote the power of play. One way Z Puppets accomplished this was by creating pop up laughter museums throughout the city. During its run, visitors could play with puppets, peek into dioramas, and hear the giggles and guffaws of community members.