Puppets helps bring message of Christmas

December 06, 1997

Puppets helps bring message of Christmas


Staff Writer

Some of Dorcas Black's best friends are dummies.

What started out 13 years ago as a small puppet ministry has grown and this holiday season, Black and her "friends'' have put on an elaborate play called "Candy Cane Lane.''

The final performance was held Saturday night at the Trinity Center, adjunct of the Hagerstown Union Rescue Mission, which Black's late father, Jimmy Resh, founded more than 40 years ago.


"This was written as a play for people but we adapted it to use with our puppets,'' Black said.

A total of 29 puppets handled by 17 people put on the play. There was a live chorus of children and a real person playing the key role of Miss Ginger.

Black and her daughter-in-law, Brenda, made 13 new puppets for this year's production, which is the ninth annual show for the Lighthouse Puppeteers.

"We also borrowed some from the Upward Puppet Team of Grace Brethren Church,'' Black said.

Joy Edmonds did the art work for the production.

The plot of the play revolves around three youngsters, Mark, Mindy and Marsha, who try to bake a cake on Christmas Eve and get it wrong.

That night, they go to bed and dream they are in a land called Candy Cane Lane where they meet Jane, travel through the Soul Food Forest and ride on Casey's train.

Then they come to Miss Ginger's Gingerbread House where she teaches them the recipe for life.

"It's then they learn that they need candy canes for their cake,'' Black said. "The red on the canes represents the blood of Jesus and if you hold a cane upside down, it's a J for Jesus.''

When the children awake, Miss Ginger, played by Fran Williamson, brings them a cake and then there is a closing song.

All of the lessons in the play contain messages to remind the viewer that Christmas is about Jesus, Black said.

"We dedicated the show to my dad and to Lori Ann Hose who died two years ago in an automobile accident.

Hose's father, Larry, joined the puppet team in 1989 and he, too, dedicates his efforts to his daughter.

When she's not putting on big productions, Black and her Lighthouse Puppeteers do shows at churches and schools.

"There is a weekly 'Just Kids' TV show that we do that is now aired all over the world,'' Black said.

Black works full time at the Mission.

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