How it All Began
Monica at Renniasance Fair Young Prince John Deanne w. Sam
Since 1969, Monica had been making puppets and selling them at art fairs and Renaissance Faires, together with her faithful sidekick, son Little John , here in his prince costume. 1974: Monica’s puppets got larger and larger. One day her friend, Deanne Wortman, rode her bicycle over and suggested they start a puppet troupe.
Court Painter (Deanne & Jenean)                                  & J) Monica, Jenean, and Teri Jean Jenean in audience
They decided to ask their friend, Jenean Arnold, to join the troupe. One of their first shows was in the old Blackhawk Mini Park in Iowa City. The stage blew over onto the audience! In 1975, Deanne quit the troupe to pursue her visual art and work at the Iowa City Public Library. Monica’s husband, Brother John, brought Teri Jean home for dinner one evening and she stayed to join the puppet troupe.
Marilyn Monica and TJ Dragon & Knight
In 1976, Jenean left Eulenspiegel to have a second baby. Marilyn Levin, the Cultural Arts Director at the Iowa City Recreation Division, came on board. In 1978, Marilyn left the troupe for a job in Pittsburgh, and Teri Jean and Monica combed the want ads looking for a third puppeteer. A dragon applied, but he couldn’t get along with the rest of the troupe.
Punch & TJ Lother Trolle & Sam Monica & Katinka
Mr. Punch flew over from England to apply, but the crocodile ate him before he got a chance to start. A giant applied, but he kept stepping on the smaller puppets. OSHA stepped in and insisted we fire him. Katinka applied, but was hired as a puppet instead of a puppeteer.
Sam with child Schulz & Moms

Drawing by Jenean

The Board of Directors held an emergency meeting.

Sam took matters into his own hands and tried to hire one of his young admirers, but her mother wouldn’t let her join. Head Puppet Alfred Schulz asked his wife, Pearl, for advice.  

Female group

The decision was unanimous: the girls could handle it alone!


Early Group Photo


Schulz at desk

But only if Schulz agreed to run the office.