EDUPUPPETS was initially called Fairy Garden Theatre by its founder, Angie Waugh, and provided entertainment at children’s parties.
While running two nursery schools in Gauteng, Waugh, who is a qualified early childhood development teacher, used puppetry in her teaching of the children.
She then produced and researched a puppetry production and toured the Eastern Cape and Gauteng for two years presenting the stories to children.
The production used puppetry to get the message across to children about sensitive subjects that they need to be aware of, such as knowing which parts of their body are private and what “stranger danger” is as well as the risk of child sexual abuse by adults.
The love for puppetry and teaching then spread to her daughter Stacey Kay, who left the finance and administration world to join her mother.
“There was a spark missing in my life. I did what I had to do to pay bills at the expense of my passion for performing arts, which I feel is a burden that most creative individuals carry in life,” said Kay.
“I was blessed to be given the opportunity to join my mother and help her rebuild the educational aspect of her puppetry once more.
“As a girl I grew up at my mother’s nursery schools which started at home then ventured off into two different suburbs.”
Kay said she started helping her mother with puppetry at a young age.
“I hosted puppetry birthday parties by the age of 12 and travelled to perform puppet shows at festivals when I could. I knew the potential of my mother’s puppets and its benefits to the children of our community.
“I also knew that in order to take it to that next level, there was no way she could do it on her own. Regardless of the struggles, I am proud of what we have achieved in such a short time.”
The productions enhance social development in children. Puppetry is an interactive tool for delivering important life-skill messages.