In 2013, Bread and Roses Youth program students at Wohl Community Center chose to build three
larger than life puppets out of bamboo and paper Mache designed to resemble three iconic
Missouri African-Americans, George Washington Carver, Annie Malone and Percy Green. State
Representative Karla May, who represents the neighborhoods in which these centers are
located and who has a theater background, volunteered with the program over the summer
and offered to write a script for a “Larger than Life” Puppet Show. In the fall, seven of the youth
“tried out” for roles in the puppet show and after two months of rehearsals, the Puppet Show
came to life on January 23rd for an audience filled with Wohl Center families and other
members of the community.
The success of this effort led to a desire to put the puppets to further use. Partnering with Greater
St. Mark’s Church and with the help of board member Audrey Hollis, Bread and Roses teaching
artists took the puppets to Greater St. Mark’s and began working with the churches youth to
develop a new puppet show. These students studied the history of these historical figures, wrote
text for their production, constructed a set complete with props, and a beautiful quilted backdrop.
They then preformed their new piece for an audience of church goers, community members, and
Bread and Roses supporters in February of 2015.