File puptcrit/puptcrit.0608, message 143

Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 07:30:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Question for children's show performers

The idea that God is watching, or that someone will
one day know about our secret sins, is perhaps a
blunt, but nevertheless effective policeman to keep
society civil.  Though it may be that you cannot use
God as the policeman in public shows not associated
with a particular church (Sunday school puppet shows),
you could have a character who serves as the
conscience for your thief.

And, as it is a puppet show, it could definitely be
the puppeteer him or herself, either working a
marionette or a hand puppet.  The puppeteer could
appear with the puppet on stage, and any disapproval
from the puppeteer could be handled in a comic way. 
Or... the puppeteer could be the one who makes a moral
lapse, and the puppet could disapprove.  Maybe that
would work if the puppeteer warns the puppet about
taking something without permission once or twice...
and then the puppet returns the compliment when the
puppeteer is tempted to take something.

Or... maybe the omniscient god could be replaced by a
character, like a respected grandparent or friend (or
a non-sectarian angel, balanced by a definitely
non-denominational devil), who would be disappointed
by the main character stealing and hurting another. 
Instead of focusing on spiritual punishment, or even
an earthly spanking (or long prison
stretch), the playwright could focus on how
disappointed someone the main character respects would
be if the main character stole. 

That, after all, is also a way to look at God's
disapproval of one member of his creation stealing
from another... that's it's letting God down that
matters, not that God will release the Hounds of Hell.

Though Hounds of Hell, and Greek Furies, are nothing
to be laughed at.

Of course, Oscar Wilde did a pretty good job of
depicting the effect of sin on the soul of a person
who appears to get away with all sorts of enormities
in the classic "Portrait of Dorian Gray."    The
portrait itself rots away to show Gray's inner moral
rot, while he dances through life, swollen on pleasure
and even murder, until the effects of his naughtiness
are finally visited upon him.  One doesn't have to be
a member of any one religion -- or any religion at all
-- to understand what that story is trying to say.


--- Brett Roberts <> wrote:

> It's not really a spiritual
> >issue as much as a respect issue --
> Thanks Linda!
> As a child, I always had it drilled into my head
> that I shouldn't do bad 
> things because "God is watching me". That helps a
> lot. I was trying to 
> figure out what a child's point of view would be. I
> don't know why this was 
> giving me writers block, but it was.
> Thanks,
> Brett
> Brett Roberts
> The Comedian for Kids
> Brett's school and library shows
> Brett's Comedian for Kids Blog
> >From:
> >Reply-To:
> >To:
> >Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Question for children's
> show performers
> >Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2006 09:49:54 EDT
> >
> >
> >In a message dated 8/21/06 9:44:08 AM,
> writes:
> >
> >
> > > I'm finding it difficult teaching this moral
> without
> > > bringing in spiritual beliefs. The problem I'm
> having is that sometimes
> > > people get away with stealing so there aren't
> any consequences to this
> > > behavior. There are long term consequences, but
> kids K- 3rd grade might 
> >not
> > > understand that.
> > >
> >If your target is K   - 3, I don't think you need
> to overcomplicate the
> >message. Stealing is wrong because -- from the
> child's poing of view -- 
> >they
> >wouldn't like it if someone stole their things. Put
> it in Golden Rule terms 
> >and
> >don't even bring up how people sometimes get away
> with it. After all, 
> >people get
> >away with just about any crime or sin you can name.
> It's not really a 
> >spiritual
> >issue as much as a respect issue -- one of the many
> constraints we impose 
> >on
> >ourselves so we can live together as a society.
> >
> >Linda
> >_______________________________________________
> >List address:
> >Admin interface: 
> >Archives:
> _______________________________________________
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