The Lancaster Marionette Puppet Theater


During our Pennsylvania trip to Hershey Park and Koziar's Christmas Village, we made one more stop--the Lancaster Marionette Puppet Theater.  Admittedly, the city of Lancaster itself, a college town, has lots of cool restaurants and small businesses to explore; I was disappointed that my two boys (Big Lew and Little Lew) voted to return to the hotel rather than visit the area.  Still, we made it to the Theater, which 1) taught me more about the art of marionette puppetry and 2) inspired me to see how the owner, Robert Brock, has turned his passion and talent into his livelihood.

Our tickets to the theater, $15 per person, were to see "Cinderella's Christmas."  We were advised to come early for seating, so we arrived about 20 minutes beforehand and were pleasantly surprised to be given a backstage tour.  The owner showed us his studio (filled with marionette puppets) and explained how he was not only the one to write, memorize, and perform the play but also the one to make the puppets (crafted from recycled water bottles and cardboard Lean Cuisine boxes).

Before coming to the theater, my only exposure to marionette puppets was in The Sound of Music, where the Von Trapp children performed "The Lonely Goatherd."  This part of the movie was fun, entertaining, and whimsical.  So, to see such puppets up close and personal was quite unique.  Mr. Brock explained how he used his hands to control the puppets' mouth and arm movements, admitting that sometimes the strings will get caught, which can be frustrating but also part of the entertainment.

After the visit backstage, we all took our seats in the theater (Little Lewie and the other children had their own seating upfront) and the lights dimmed.  Mr. Brock wasn't kidding about being a "one-man" show.  He coordinated all the puppets' movements with his hands while simultaneously doing all of their voices and controlling the background lighting and Christmas music.  The show was enthralling and funny.  We (the audience) belly-laughed multiple times--first at the ugly step-sisters and their vanity and then at the Fairy Godmother and her celebrity-like persona.  The lines were humorous, all made-up by Mr. Brock himself.

I was sad when the 45 minute show came to an end.  We were allowed to take pictures after the performance, so I snapped a few more pictures of "the cast," and then we exited the theater, knowing a lot more about marionette puppets than when we first arrived.

In my mind, the "charm" of the theater was really Mr. Brock himself.  He explained that he always loved puppets and putting on puppet shows as a kid and now, forty+ years later, he is still living out his childhood dream.  He LOVES what he does, and he's talented at it too.  (He has an amazing singing voice.)  He asked his audience to leave good reviews of the theater on Trip Advisor, so he could stay in business another 30+ years; now that's what I call passion!


  1. That's a very fun thing to experience! Marionettes are cool but due to a freaky episode of Criminal Minds, they kind of make me nervous! lol!

  2. That is such a cool place! Yet another thing to add to my list of places to visit!


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