Parys Library Marionette Group

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In 1966 Rhoda Barry became the librarian in the Free State Town of Parys, and found marionette-constructor Estelle van der Merwe active there. In 1967 she thus formed a cultural committee, on which she served, with Estelle van der Merwe, Rina Human]] and Sonia Theron, to promote culture, inter alia through puppetry and marionette performances.

The first production by the group was Little Red Riding Hood (Estelle van der Merwe), Fantasy (Sonia Theron), Hansel and Gretel (Rina Human) and The Parys Puppet Band (Estelle van der Merwe).

This group went on to perform till 1978, including tours to various towns between 1970 and 1972. Among the other plays done were Peter and the Wolf, Klaas en sy versies, Moeroentoes (a story about conservation by Sonia Theron).

In this period Estelle's marionettes became larger to enable them to perform to larger audiences and she later disposed of the earlier period's small puppets.


Van Delen 1991.

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