East Lyme Puppetry Project crafting the tale of the first submarine

Puppeteer Dan Butterworth helps members of the East Lyme Puppetry Project develop marionette manipulation skills they’ll need for presenting “We the People”.
Puppeteer Dan Butterworth helps members of the East Lyme Puppetry Project develop marionette manipulation skills they’ll need for presenting “We the People”.

Thanks to a variety of grants, the East Lyme Puppetry Project is going forward with its show “We the People,” an original performance using large-scale marionettes and shadow puppets to tell the story of two southeastern Connecticut Revolutionary War heroes.

The puppetry project received a $2,500 grant from the Connecticut Humanities Council in June, followed by a $1,500 gift from the Ruth duPont Lord Family Foundation in July and more than $2,000 from individual donors, including a $1,000 anonymous gift. The project has also received in-kind support from Ring’s End in Niantic.

“We’re thrilled that these funds will help us tell boys, girls and adults about our state’s vital part in early submarine history,” Barb Johnson Low, the organization’s vice president, said in a release. “After all, we live in today’s submarine capital of the world.”

The show follows David Bushnell of Westbrook and Ezra Lee of Lyme as they construct the Turtle, the first submarine built in the United States, and it features the work of renowned puppeteer Dan Butterworth. Performance dates will be announced once funding for the remainder of the show has been secured. For more information, email eastlymepuppetry@gmail.com.

East Lyme Puppetry Project’s “We the People” will include a reproduction of the HMS Eagle. The boat will be attached to a wheelchair and navigated by its occupant, who will be dressed in period clothing as its captain.
East Lyme Puppetry Project’s “We the People” will include a reproduction of the HMS Eagle. The boat will be attached to a wheelchair and navigated by its occupant, who will be dressed in period clothing as its captain.

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