Kenneth Grahame’s story is told through puppetry when Portland’s Tears of Joy Theatre presents The Reluctant Dragon at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Jan. 23.

Kenneth Grahame’s story is told through puppetry when Portland’s Tears of Joy Theatre presents The Reluctant Dragon at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Jan. 23.

Puppet theatre brings poetry loving dragon to life

The Vernon Performing Arts Centre Society presents Tears of Joy Theatre’s production of The Reluctant Dragon Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.

It’s not easy breathing fire and scaring villagers  – just ask a few famous dragons such as Puff, Draco, Toothless, and the poetry loving protagonist in Kenneth Grahame’s tale The Reluctant Dragon.

The story of that last dragon is about to come to life when the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Society presents Tears of Joy Theatre’s production of The Reluctant Dragonthe second of four shows in the Performing Arts Centre’s 2015/16 TD Kids’ Series – Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.

Based on Grahame’s story, this dragon, said to be as magnificent as any dragon who ever took the stage, is not the fearsome type.

He, like the boy who befriends him, is more interested in art and poetry. The villagers, however, assume that they are in grave danger and send for Sir George, the renowned dragon slayer to save them.

With the boy’s help, Sir George learns that the dragon poses no threat to anyone, but to keep the villagers happy, he and the dragon stage a mock battle with great showmanship.

The Reluctant Dragon celebrates reading and poetry while gently reminding us of some very important life lessons,” said Erin Kennedy, the Performing Arts Centre’s artistic director.

“(Children) will learn about the consequences of spreading rumours, and to never judge a book by its cover… or its scales.”

Based in Portland, Ore., Tears of Joy Theatre is recognized as one of North America’s outstanding puppet theatres, known internationally for its innovation and excellence.

The theatre, which previously presented its version of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in Vernon two years ago, has received a Washington State Governor’s Arts Award and a Young Audiences Sunburst Award for “exemplary commitment to arts in education.”

Four of the Tears of Joy Theatre’s productions have received American puppetry’s highest honour, The Citation of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry, from the Union Internationale de la Marionette’s (UMINA) U.S. chapter.

Portland Magazine named Tears of Joy Theatre the best kids theatre in 2012.

“At Tears of Joy Theatre, puppetry is enlarged, taken on stage and combined with the tradition of classical theatrical performing. The company’s beautifully designed puppets will blow you away as they come to life,” reads a review from Portland’s Willamette Week.

Tickets for The Reluctant Dragon are $12 (all seats). Call the Ticket Seller box office at 250-549-SHOW (7469) or log online to for tickets and more information.


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