Fairview Heights Public Library, July 28, 2004

                                    Article in Fairview Heights Suburban Journal




Fairview Heights Public Library's series ends with puppet show


Fairview Heights Public Library finished its Summer Live Performance series on Wednesday with a storyteller and puppet show.

Marilyn Kinsella, a Fairview Heights native, said she was delighted to be part of the library's performance series and enjoys working with children. The library's staff also was delighted with the performances it had this series.

"The performances were really great this year," said Pam Winslow, assistant to youth services. "We were very pleased and the children really enjoyed themselves this summer."

Jean Hardes, of Fairview Heights, brought her two grandchildren, Tylan and Tarian Reebes, to the library because she thought that the program would be interesting.

"It was fantastic and the children really enjoyed it, as did I," she said.

Kerrie Cruikshank, of Swansea, and her children, third grader Cole and kindergartner Chase, have enjoyed the live performances all summer and will miss them.

"We've been part of the reading program this entire summer," Cruikshank said. "It's been wonderful."

Kinsella read the book "Purple, Green and Yellow" and performed an original puppet show of the Piasa Bird.

Six-year old Jessica Stern and her 8-year old sister Amanda, both of Fairview Heights, really liked the puppet show.

"The drawing was really neat with all the stuff on it," Jessica said referring to a drawing of the Piasa bird.

Kinsella said she had a realization in 1981 that led her to storytelling.

"It was like a bolt of lightning when I first told a story," she said. "I just knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life."

Kinsella, who was a teacher before becoming a storyteller, spent 17 years working at the Edwardsville Public Library with children.

"I love everything about storytelling," she said. "I love children's literature, books and being creative."

She wrote a book called "Fair Views from Old Fairview," which she describes as universal stories about people growing up in small towns in the 50s.

"There is this creative spark I get when I write and tell stories and when it hits me it makes me feel good," she said.

Kinsella, who wanted to be an actress growing up, now spends her life performing for children.

"People think that storytelling is about memorizing words but that isn't the case at all," she said. "What it's really about is memorizing images and if you know the image then you can't really get lost because you can always work around that image."

Kinsella said that the time she needs to prepare for a story varies anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.

The puppet show is a new addition to her storytelling and she received her puppet stage as a Christmas present.

"It's all about finding something that you love to do," she said. "And I love this."