'New Breath of Life' and a Fresh Name
A Kansas City arts institution known for years as the Mesner Puppet Theater is animated with new life, said Meghann Henry, detailing a mission pivot for the freshly sewn and rebranded What If Puppets.
TODAY Kansas City
What if? Puppets
"Cirque du Wiener Dog" doesn't quite roll off the tongue like "Cirque du Soleil," but the dog show itself still enchants audiences. Kansas City's What if Puppets knows how to wow a crowd.
Diversity is Key.
Meghann Henry stepped into a man’s legacy and made it her own when she joined What if Puppets just a few years ago. What started as a team of three has grown to 11 team members led by Henry who are making a large impact on the Kansas City community.
When Puppets Talk, People Listen
Evolution at the nonprofit has taken a turn toward early childhood education since the retirement of Paul Mesner in 2016 — 30 years after he founded the former Messner Puppets. While the original mission focused on inspiring children and communities through storytelling, What If Puppets’ new efforts go further, detailed Henry, executive director.
PULLING THE STRINGS
Puppet theater has been around for millennia: Archaeologists have found remains to suggest that puppetry existed in ancient Egypt, Asia, and Africa some 3,000 years ago or more. It has formed an essential part of performance culture wherever theater has flourished, so it is perhaps not surprising that it has played an active role in Kansas City’s burgeoning theater scene for decades.
Exploring Life and Business with Meghann Henry of Mesner Puppet Theater
JULY 6, 2021
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Over 34 years the company has evolved and changed with the times. We began primarily as a touring company but over time, we took on a mainstage season, a building, and education programs. During Covid-19, we reflected on what we do best and how we could have the greatest impact on young people in the city...
Adapt or Die...
by Brian McTavish July 27, 2020
How Mesner Puppets is Charting a Future in Changing Times
Meghann Henry, Mesner Puppets’ new producing artistic director, realized in mid-March that her pre-pandemic plans to retool the venerable puppet theater might not be enough to save it from the unanticipated peril of COVID-19.
St. Joseph News
Performing Arts returns to live performances with puppet show
By Andrew Gaug News-Press NOW MAR 25, 2021
It’s been more than a year since a St. Joseph Performing Arts Association show has been performed. That changes this weekend.
Working with the award-winning Kansas City-based Mesner Puppet Theater, the organization is looking forward to bringing back live entertainment with “The Cat Came Back.”