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"Listen Up!"

Puppet show helps teach children about conservation

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Published on: Thursday, April 22, 2010

By Rebecca Campbell

Listen up boys and girls, today Professor Bunnay is going to educate Honey, Sunny and Funny Bunny, and you on the importance of energy and natural-resource conservation.

“But first, let’s hear you say con-ser-va-tion,” Professor Bunnay said, cocking his ear as he waited for to hear the crowd sing, “Conservation.”

And so began Gaithersburg’s annual Green Week on April 16, with an environmental family fun night featuring the performance, “Lights Out on the Bunny Brothers.”

Presented by Blue Sky Puppet Theatre, a company founded in 1974 by Michael Cotter, the fast-paced performance was aimed at encouraging water and energy conservation in younger children through environmental lessons. The event took place at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, in Gaithersburg, and adults and children joined in with the sing-alongs, answered the professor’s questions on energy and water, and learned about recycling, reducing and reusing items, as the Bunny Brothers — Funny Bunny and Sunny Bunny — learn about the importance of conservation in school.

Introducing the audience to saving water and electricity, the rabbits perform an upbeat call-and-response song on conservation, in which the audience participated.

“Everybody repeat after me,” Professor Bunnay said. “Turn it off, turn it out; don’t waste water from the spout.”

Unfortunately, it soon became apparent the conservation lessons weren’t making much of an impression on the Bunny Brothers, who raced home once school had finished, littering along the way.

“You don’t litter do you?” said the Bunny Brothers’ eldest sister, Honey Bunny, turning to the crowd.

“No,” chorused the children in the audience.

Explaining how her younger brothers waste too much energy, Honey Bunny proposed to teach her brothers a serious lesson on the effects of water and energy waste.

Meanwhile, at the bunny hatch, the Bunny Brothers filled the bath with hot and cold water for their toy boats, turn on a fan and the lights, listen to music and watch television.

Unbeknownst to them, Honey Bunny stops the water and electricity, plunging the brothers into darkness, tricking them into believing they were the cause of it.

“We wasted all the electricity and water in the world,” the Bunny Brothers said, in anguish.

Jokes and laughs aside, the company, which travels extensively around Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., is dedicated to encouraging young children on the importance of energy conservation at a young age.

“The students learned and reinforced all the right lessons on conservation and recycling, and saw what they could do to save the world,” an audience member said.

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