Joe Pipik's BackPack Puppets

The Rainbow Show  
This  zany variety show features hand and rod puppets in an assortment of hilarious sketches.  Paddy Hobart is joined by his dog, Tuxedo, his cat, Silky, and a mischievous monkey named Jogi as they take the audience on a fun-filled journey looking for the colors of a rainbow.  Ideal for  young audiences.

JOE PIPIK’s Backpack Puppets have delighted audiences from New York to Honolulu. In a career spanning more than three decades, Joe has created and performed around the mid-Atlantic region with the Blue Sky Puppet Theatre and nationwide with Dinorock. Joe is an award winning theatre artist.  Actor, puppeteer, juggler, songwriter, musician, and education consultant, he is a master artist with Wolf Trap’s Early Learning Institute.  He founded The GoodLife Theater with his partner, Jeanne Wall in 1994 and lives in Slate Mills, Virginia.
The Fabulous 5 Senses/Dinosaur Show

One senseless puppet needs to acquire all the organs of sense (eyes, ears, nose, etc) to get information into his brain and learn about dinosaurs.   A variety of animals and the children help him get the five senses.  After a kindly wizard sends us back to the Mesozoic Era, our puppet and the children meet and feed three dinosaurs.  The show is highly interactive and appropriate  for children 4 and older.


The BackPack stage fits easily into almost any environment from the classroom to the stage.

Grandpa's Farm Show 

Joe steps out from under his backpack for this highly interactive farm experience.  We take an imaginary musical journey to Grandpa's farm. The songs: Grandpa’s Farm,  You are My Sunshine, When the Rain Comes Down, and (of course) Old McDonald Had a Farm  using the guitar and  mandolin are included.  We meet Overalls the farm dog our guide to the farm.  At the farm we meet Sunny Sunshine, Farmer Fowler, some garden friends and enemies and a variety of fun characters who guide us through  planting a vegetable garden. A short shadow puppet segment  follows.  No farm experience would be complete without meeting the animals.  The show is appropriate for children 3 and older. 

Mostly Music Show

Using four instruments from the string family and a few puppets,  Joe sings a variety of activity songs.

Subject: 10/24/06 Children's National Medical Ctr. Performance by Joe Pipik,
Wolf Trap Master Artist       DATE:   October 24, 2006
 TO:       Akua Femi Kouyate   Wolf Trap Institute  
 FR:       Ermyn King,

Having witnessed today’s performance by Wolf Trap Master Artist, Joe Pipik, in the Atrium at Children’s National Medical Center, I wanted to share with you how much the artistry of this skilled musician and puppeteer brightened the day for those child patients, siblings, and family members fortunate enough to have been in the audience.  Joe won over the audience of approximately 70 in attendance (including 33 children, 2 nurses, 32 parents, and other medical staff and family members who stopped to watch in the Atrium) with his delightful “Backpack Puppets” show and well-honed manner of engaging and empowering children.  The children were delighted with the colorful and inventive human and animal puppet characters that emerged from the clever “puppet tree” stage that he wore.  They readily interacted with the puppet characters through the multiple avenues for interaction provided by Joe, and similarly helped advance the story line via movement, word play, and other vehicles employed by Joe.  His years of experience anticipating and appropriating what gives joy to children, and what helps them to learn (early learning concepts were included in fun ways in the show), were clearly evident.  In addition to watching the faces and bodies of child patients become animated and vibrant,   I observed the facial expression of adults in the audience and noticed how moved they were (as was I)  by how Joe’s performance touched and “normalized” the lives of hospitalized children.

Thank you for providing this skilled and joy-imparting performer to enrich the lives of children, families, and staff in this setting!
Ermyn King,
Arts Program Specialist (dance/movement and storytelling)
New Horizons (arts education and cultural enrichment program) Children’s National Medical Center