3 smiling puppeteers wearing microphones hold their colorful puppets up on a tree trunk

StoneLion Puppet Theatre 'Kira's Song: Discovering the Blues'

August 12, 2024 - May 31, 2025 | In-person performance available November 11-14 and December 2-6. In-person workshop available Fall 2024-Spring 2025.

Program Cost: Workshop is $300, including supplies for up to 30 students. The cost for the performance is $1,000 and can accommodate up to 300 students.

Grades 2 – 5

Journey through time to hear from the 'Queens of the Blues.' Learn what sets the blues apart from other music and how it influenced rock and hip-hop.

Kira Bird is having a bad time expressing her emotions about her bratty little bird brother. Where and why does she have these feelings that make her want to “explode?” With the help of her “Feathered Godmothers,” she discovers the power of music to let those feelings out. Using the music and video of the true Queens of the Blues like Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Aretha Franklin, and more, Kira learns to share her feelings in a positive way through creating her own Blues song that brings her family closer.

A touching, funny, and interactive puppet show utilizing amazing music created throughout decades of famous female Blues singers with original music by Dino O’Dell and Kadesh Flow. In collaboration with The National Blues Museum and with support from The Mid America Arts Alliance. This show is cabaret mouth puppets moving around a three-dimensional set and into the audience. A unique addition is a large-scale “crankie” with original paintings and video projection.


  • “Make your own Crankie like Kira!”
  • Grades 2 – 5
  • 45 minutes in your classroom

Join StoneLion’s teaching artists in creating your own simple moving crankie. Explore STEAM learning by making this simple machine based on the ancient art form. Learn about story lines and plot while crafting your moving collage, similar to Kira’s in StoneLion’s latest puppet show.

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StoneLion Puppet Theatre

Founded in 1992, the puppetry troupe 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 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 the 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.

They 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.