A parrot puppet and a parrot drawing next to the logo for What If Puppets

What If Puppets 'Shiver Me Paintbrush: A Pirate's Adventure in Art'

Wednesday-Saturday, December 4, 2024 - December 7, 2024 | Polsky Theatre

School shows: Wednesday 12:30 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m.
Public shows: Friday 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.

School show tickets start at $5.
School groups: please contact the Box Office for reservations.

Public show tickets start at $10.
Season tickets on sale now. Individual shows on sale June 17.

Individual Tickets Season Tickets (Save 10-15% per show)

Recommended for grades Pre-K to 2.

Join First Mate Mâché, a seasick pirate who is an artist at heart, and Captain Colorful, the most piratey of all the pirates. But when Colorful flies away, Mâché must strike off to find the captain, learning how to use artists' tools and meeting new friends along the way.

Over the past three decades, What If Puppets has captivated nearly 2 million people through its productions and educational programming. Audiences delight in the puppetry craftsmanship, which ranges from glove puppets to marionettes to innovative shadow and object-based puppetry. Using humor and heart, they present stories that connect to the complex social-emotional experiences of young audiences.

What If Puppets holds the distinction of receiving three Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA-USA) Citations of Excellence. The UNIMA-USA award was created by Jim Henson to promote high quality puppetry in the U.S. and is considered the “Academy Award” of puppetry.

In 2020, as the arts world was rocked by closures due to COVID-19, What If’s leadership seized the opportunity to research and develop a strategic vision. A community-needs assessment revealed the need for learning through play and arts integration strategies to support the social-emotional development of children ages 0-8. There was also a clear call for innovative ways to access professional arts as a form of family engagement, particularly for the very young.

In response to those findings, the board revised their mission statement in 2021: “To inspire play and cultivate connections through puppetry.” The staff restructured programs to achieve the company’s new vision: “A Kansas City community that celebrates the arts as essential for early childhood development through a company that is nationally recognized as a leader in puppetry and arts integration.” Energized by the company’s vision, they now move forward to fulfill their mission as “What If Puppets,” inviting audiences to play with them and discover how puppetry and the arts contribute to community.

This show has been created with a neurodivergent audience in mind; all are welcome to join our pirate adventure!