Karen Konnerth is artistic director of world traveling Calliope Puppets, presenting thoughtfully interactive puppet theater for children, families, and art lovers of all ages featuring hand made puppets in a wide variety of techniques. She writes scripts, builds all puppets and staging, and performs with live voice.

“You are truly an inspiration to young creative minds as you bring such meaningful tales to life through puppets.”
Tammy Mulhearn, Youth Services Librarian, Livingston Parish Library

“The kids thought they were being entertained, but they were actually learning.”
Laura Kaufman, Teacher, Shaw Elementary School., New Orleans, LA

“Now that we know better, the stories are like a trip to a new world.”
2nd grader, Lusher Magnet School, New Orleans, LA.

“As always, your performance was outstanding…the grown-ups were as entertained as the children.”
Cultural Arts Coordinator, St. Mary Parish Library, Franklin, LA

NEW SHOW for Kindergarten through 2nd grade!

Trouble in Tailtown: Stand Up to Bullies

Calliope Puppets brings their years of experience writing content integrated puppet theater to the crucial topic of bullying in a program for kindergarten through second grade. The feathered and furred residents of Tailtown struggle to get along in three related stories featuring a cast of engaging puppets made of recycled sweaters. The stories address issues of tolerance, empathy, and self confidence, with particular emphasis on researched information on how individuals can make a difference through their behavior towards a bully. Lots of verbal audience interaction!
45 minutes
Grades K – 2
Max. audience 200
This show is being made available at a reduced rate of $250 for audiences of 125 and under to encourage addressing this crucial issue. Audiences of 125 – 200: $350

The following shows are 45 minutes long and intended for an audience not to exceed 200, ages 6 and up:


A brand new tall tale character is brought to life, inspired by the raucous sound of the steamboat Natchez calliope, heard daily in Calliope Puppets studio in New Orleans. Born on the Mississippi, Kate adventures downriver on her family’s flatboat, finally ending up in New Orleans, where her Ma tries unsuccessfully to tame her with lady-like piano playing. But once Lafitte, ancient river catfish, exposes her to the earsplitting sound of a steamboat calliope, Kate is determined to find a way to make that perfect instrument her own. Featuring an old time cranky with moving scenery, and lively hand puppets, this is a rollicking show for all ages!

SPECIAL FOCUS: American folk lore, Mississippi River history and geography

THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE – TODAY! Reduce, Re-Use, and Recycle

Calliope Puppets re-imagine this Brothers Grimm classic tale with a contemporary message to motivate individual responsibility in care of our world. As the characters ask for too much, the audience, and finally even the characters themselves, learn how their actions have impact on the world around them. Dynamic hand puppets, lively music, and thoughtful audience participation reveal real life issues woven into this humorous and memorable presentation.

SPECIAL FOCUS: Ecology, Social Responsibility


Written to highlight the diversity of cultures in Central and South America, Calliope Puppets share three tales collected in their travels. “The Singing Tree”, from Guatemala, is a beautiful myth explaining the origin of Guatemala’s national instrument, the marimba. From Argentina’s famed writer and puppeteer, Javier Villafañe, in a story well known in all South America, “Juancito y Maria” each prove their bravery, and their love. And finally, from Mexico, in “El Tlacuache y el Coyote”, the clever opossum, Tlacuache, tricks Coyote. Presented with traditional hand puppets, along with a six foot tree, and featuring Guatemalan marimba, Argentine tango, and Mexican La Banda music, this dynamic show is fun for all ages.

SPECIAL FOCUS: Culture and Geography Awareness: Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico


Magical shadow puppetry brings to life timeless tales of night from three cultures. In “The Night Troll”, from Iceland, a girl bravely sings to trick a hungry troll. The West African spider Anansi and his clever sons discover a beautiful ball of light in “Anansi and the Moon”. And “Coyote Places the Stars”, from the Navaho people of North America, tells why Coyote howls at night. The presentation features a unique style that reveals the puppeteer’s secrets, including live sand drawing for scenery in the final story.

SPECIAL FOCUS: Cultural Diversity

The following are 15-20 minute stories which may be combined as two stories for a 30 minute show, or 3 stories for a 45 minute show.
Audience recommendations:
Ages 3 – 4 30 minute show
Ages 5 and up 30 or 45 minute show

From the Brothers Grimm:

  • The Frog Prince (NOT the Princess and the Frog!)
  • The Fisherman and His Wife (traditional version)
  • The Turnip

From Aesop’s Fables:

  • The Hare and the Tortoise
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • The Lion and the Mouse

From traditional literature:

  • The Three Pigs
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Little Red Hen
  • The Three Wishes
  • Sir George and the Dragon (about 30 minutes)

Louisiana folk tales – from the rich heritage of Calliope Puppets’ home state:

  • Compere Lapin’s Garden
  • Turtle Soup
  • Compere Lapin Wins a Bride