Morgan's Wonderland debuts interactive puppet show

'Hartman's House' encourages audience to participate, work through differences


SAN ANTONIO – Morgan's Wonderland made strides for inclusion on Tuesday, when the theme park debuted its new, interactive puppet show featuring a little boy in a wheelchair and his able-bodied family.

"Hartman's House," a 20-minute original puppet show, focused on working through everyone's differences. The show played out in a new theater specially designed for performers with and without special needs.

The show focuses on Hartman's family, including his parents, sister Holly and pet bird Rico. Each episode will present a humorous situation in which the characters will have to face their differences and, with help from the audience, use their imagination to work through those differences to achieve a happy ending together.

"Puppets are ideal for helping children deal with issues associated with special needs and inclusion," Nikki Young, entertainment director at Morgan's Wonderland, said. "

Longtime Morgan's Wonderland volunteer Randy Ersch built the multiuse, 16-foot-wide by 9.5-foot-high puppet theater. It includes multiple doors and windows that let the puppets interact with human performers and the audience in the tradition of "The Muppet Show."

Resa Wohlrabe, art instructor at The Academy at Morgan's Wonderland and designer of the official 2016 Fiesta San Antonio poster, decorated the colorful theater.

"Hartman's House" will be presented on select days in May and then on Wednesdays through Sundays, when the park shifts to its summer schedule on May 30 for Memorial Day.

Morgan's Wonderland is also working on additional programming for the theater, including a "no strings attached" music series slated for this summer, which promises to feature puppets and human performers.

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