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PuppetsSt. Albans

Owner Tara Barton with “The Creek Critters” and staff of Sassafrass Junction Puppet Theater pose for a photo with some of their young fans.

Historic Olde Main Plaza in St. Albans is home to a brand-new theater geared toward the younger audience. Located across the street from Alban Arts and Conference Center, Sassafrass Junction Puppet Theater was born when some friends who had been presenting puppet shows at children’s parties decided that the furry, friendly creatures needed a place to call home.

Tara Barton, who owns Sassafras Junction along with partners Chris Lilly and Ben Leveque, said business has been great for the theater, which opened in November 2010. “We’re doing really well. We’re already in the black.”

Barton said she and her partners write and record their own shows, producing a new show every six to seven weeks and sometimes taking the show on the road. “Our shows celebrate Appalachian culture. Our characters ‘The Creek Critters,’ are quirky and fun.”


Puppets line the hallway of
Wonderment Puppet Theater

Tucked into a colorful gingerbread house in Martinsburg in the Eastern Panhandle, Wonderment Puppet Theater features hands-on puppet exhibits and a puppet store as well as weekend shows. Founder Joe Santoro, an elementary school art teacher, had spent several years traveling the state and performing puppet shows at state parks and schools. He opened Wonderment Puppet Theater in 2008. Upcoming shows include “The Elves and the Shoemaker” and “The Nutty Nutcracker.”
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