Hannah the Hippo and Ollie puppets

Helpful Hannah Hippo – Don’t Give Up
with StoneLion Puppet Theatre

September 1, 2022 - June 1, 2023 | Time determined by teachers/groups
Virtual or in-person workshop, or in-person performance.

Past Event

K through 5th grade | 40 minute show

Hannah just wants to be helpful!

When Hannah hippo finds a tiny chick who has washed away in a flood, she sets out to find Ava’s family. Along the way, she, Ava and Ollie the Oxpecker discover the biodiversity of the Ewaso Nyiro River in central Kenya, the challenges this precious land is experiencing and why we all need to help when we see something – or someone – that needs a helping hand… or hoof…

Based on the book by Dr. Dino Martins, Director of the Mpala Research Center in Kenya, this show is a collaboration with the Mpala Research Center, Project Central and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

Adapted by Heather Nisbett-Loewenstein
Original music by Ken Lovern and Jack Sharman
Original drumming by Fedelis Kyhalo, Krystal Puppets, Nairobi

The following is needed for an in-person performance:

  • Staging: 20'W x 16'D x 9’H, indoors or out
  • One standard electrical outlet

Register for Program

StoneLion Puppet Theatre, founded in 1992, has grown to include an international touring company and arts education teaching staff. StoneLion’s focus has been on presenting entertaining and thought-provoking arts experiences and presenting real-world actions to lessen our impact on the planet and make our community a better place to live.

StoneLion does not run a traditional brick and mortar theater but takes the arts into communities to reach those who do not have funds or ready access to the arts. This has resulted in more than 100 free performances and workshops annually for Title One schools in area school districts, featured performances at other theaters across the country and the creation of our own Art Festival, Illuminated Waters, which has run for 14 years (pre-pandemic).

StoneLion has annually played an integral visual part of The Big Picnic at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, TEDxKC and Waterfire. StoneLion also co-created Kansas City’s only Day of the Dead/Calacas Light Up Parade with Mattie Rhodes Art Center.

StoneLion was involved in a two-year project funded by The National Geographic Society to film underwater scuba-diving puppets in the Red Sea to educate the public on the need to ban single-use plastic. Covid-19 paused this project until it is safe to get back in the water.

We are currently partnering with the Mpala Research Center in Kenya and Project Central for a multi-year project on using puppetry to engage and teach environmental sustainability actions on biodiversity, health and climate in the Kenyan education system.

StoneLion is a U.S. State Department-funded Arts Envoy with past work in Israel, Ukraine, Vietnam, Laos, Fiji and Kenya. StoneLion is on the Kansas City Young Audiences, Missouri Arts Council and Mid America Arts Alliance Touring Rosters.

Upcoming free performance: Join StoneLion Puppet Theatre and the JCCC Center for Sustainability on April 1, 2023 for a free performance of Helpful Hannah Hippo at the Polksy Theatre.