Event is April 21
By Amy H. Peterson
The H.U.G. Puppets are gearing up for the 10th Annual Spring Event April 21 at 7 p.m. in Roosevelt Auditorium.
Edna Lutzow, who leads the H.U.G Puppets with husband Terry, hopped backstage during last Wednesday's rehearsal. H.U.G stands for Hands Unto God. The group was short a couple of puppeteers, and in addition to two puppets to lip sync to the song, "Here I am to Worship," additional hands were needed to raise decorated signs. The signs, emblazoned with one word from the lyrics, augment the message of the song.
The message is what H.U.G Puppets has been about from its start about 13 years ago. Growing from performances at Estherville United Methodist Church to Roosevelt Theatre and all around, the group is open to anyone from fifth grade on up.
An annual contract running from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 states the puppeteers will be regular attendees at their local church, and will attend every rehearsal and performance unless under mutual understanding of the puppeteer and director.
The puppets have a studio in the UMC church basement where the windows are covered and black drapes hang over PVC pipe. Terry Lutzow runs a sound system. There are also props, supplies, and even costumes for the puppets, who are about the size of 3T clothing. The puppets live in cubbies in the rehearsal studio, with each cubby hole adorned with the puppet's name.
It's also not all about puppets. Carly Grange, Katie Nelson, and Tarynn Blaue rehearsed a song on which they stood in front of the puppet stage and interpreted with actions and sign language. See a video of this part of the rehearsal on our website www.esthervillenews.net.
After the Spring Event, the H.U.G Puppets will travel to Prairie Ridge in Orange City, Cutty's in Okoboji, Joy Camp, Trinity Lutheran, and will serve at the Emmet County Fair dinner this summer.
The group has performed for Gospel in the Square and at Forest Ridge, Pearl Valley and the Good Samaritan Center as well as other places in Emmet County, and has traveled to Lawrence, Kansas, Sioux Falls, and various churches in Wisconsin.
The Lutzows travel to the International Christian Puppetry Convention in Illinois to gain knowledge about puppetry, comedy routines and other performance types.
The 10th Annual Spring Event includes a number of new songs, skits, activities and techniques, geared for a family oriented audience of all ages.