Pix Smith and his stringed variety brought smiles and laughter to children and adults alike Wednesday afternoon, July 1, at the Sutton County Civic Center.

The Dallas Theater production gave folks in the community an opportunity to experience a live marionette performance.

The Sutton County Library hosted the event as part of their Summer Reading Program.

Seated in the front row, three-year-old Quinn said she was excited to see the show. This is Quinn’s first time to see, in person, a marionette show. She was attending the special event with her grandmother Nancy Brockman.

The cabaret style show featured Puppeteer Pix and his stringed friends in full view of the audience throughout a collection of short performances of music, theater and dance strung together.

“The wonderful thing about puppetry is the reactions from the audience,” Pix said. “Puppets are magical. I give them voice and movement, but they have a life of their own. With this style of performance, the audience gets the chance to see the puppets up close. At the end of the show, I take down the curtain and show them how the puppets work and how they are stored in between performances.”

Following his introduction, Pix brought the puppets to life one at a time in front of the curtain for audience to see.

Just as captured by the lively animation Pix gave each of his marionettes, Librarian Deborah Brown said she enjoyed the event.

“This is a fun show. Everybody loves puppets.”

Pix, the Founding Director of the Dallas Puppet Theater, has been a puppeteer for more than 30 years. His passion for puppets began at seven and a half years of age.

Smith said it all began with one book. He checked out a book about how to make puppets from his local library. He said he couldn’t wait to get home and make his own puppet. His passion grew from a simple sock puppet into a career of entertaining audiences all over the world with his talent and skill in puppetry and theater.

“Reading is the best way to discover your dreams and make them come true,” Pix said.

In addition to formal productions and national events, Pix said he also travels to libraries throughout the state during the summer. Sometimes he visits as many as 30 small libraries a year. He uses his puppets to help foster the importance of books and reading to expand imaginations.

More complex than his first puppet, the marionettes in his collection have been around for decades, according to Pix. One in particular, a trapeze performing clown that captured the attention of Wednesday’s crowd, was created 75 years ago, according to Pix.

Everyone’s imagination burst with wonder as he made the clown flip over and under the bar and even swing back and forth while hanging upside down by his toes.

Following the show, Pix took time to show curious minds how it all works by demonstrating how to manipulate the strings that bring the puppets to life.

Adding a little humor to his demonstration, he also explained how each one is stored for safety while they are transported from one show to the next.

In all, about 40 people took part in Wednesday’s special event.