VAN WERT — Emily Tucker is trained in the theater. And these days, she’s using all of her theatrical background, as well as a new-found love of puppetry, to bring to life the giant fish Bubbles, one of three creatures swimming into Niswonger Performing Arts Center in the ImaginOcean.
“I got interested in puppetry several years ago, and then I got a puppet as a gift and began working with it. I heard about John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean, and wanted to be part of that excitement,” Tucker said in a telephone interview with The Lima News.
“This is one of my favorite shows. I love the aspect of it being blacklight puppets. That never gets boring for the actors or the audience. It’s visually stunning, and as an actor, it’s challenging. You have to take what you would do as an actor and transfer that to a puppet. It’s another aspect of performance,” Tucker said.
This show follows three best friends, Tank, Bubbles and Dorsel, as they begin a journey after finding a treasure map. Clues lead the three fish through musical encounters as they make new friends along the way.
The actors manipulating the puppets are all dressed in black during the show, working on a stage that is totally dark. “It’s very specific choreography, and we’ve all learned to trust each other. We have learned to move and breathe as one unit. Physically, it’s demanding but the energy of the kids cheering makes it all worth it. It’s so much fun,” Tucker said.
“This show is such an honest message of friendship. It doesn’t talk down to the audience, and is enjoyable for children as well as adults,” she added.