7 things about Adzooks Puppets

Youngsters can step right up into the Adzooks Puppets’ “Circus of Imagination” at the 6 p.m. Feb. 2 Columbus Area Arts Council’s Old National Bank First Fridays For Families free event. Before you do, here’s a quick overview of the event and the troupe.

1) The Martinsville-based Adzooks Puppets, led by artistic director David Wright, designs and implements educational and entertaining programs including puppet shows, life-size strolling puppets, puppetry workshops, in-services and residencies. Robin Lee Holm is the featured performer of the troupe. She is a children’s theater specialist with a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Indiana University. Since 1976, she has performed as a professional puppeteer, mime and ventriloquist throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.

2) In 2002, Adzooks was awarded the Young Audiences of Indiana Arts Powering Education Award for Artists Advocate.

3) Since forming in 1995, Adzooks has presented more than 3,000 performances, workshops and in-services for more than 250,000 audience members and participants throughout the state of Indiana. Nationally, presentations include educators’ conferences in Phoenix and San Diego, and performances and workshops in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Detroit and numerous others.

4) The First Fridays series is among the most popular offerings for the nonprofit arts council, sometimes attracting crowds of about 300 people for a show.

5) This show depends upon improvisation and audience interaction. So youngsters need not sit quietly through the performance.

6) Adzooks’ shows are more than mere entertainment. The strings attached are that Wright and Holm aim to empower children’s creativity and power of expression by showing them what the pair calls “new avenues of expression and new possibilities for their ideas and what they are learning.”

7) Wright has said before of his visits to Columbus that the local children’s energy rubs off on him. “You get an adrenaline rush almost like a rock concert,” he said.