Photo by Richard Termine

Leslie Carrara-Rudolph is a multifaceted entertainer, writer, and artist. She is best known for her work as Abby Cadabby  on Sesame Street.  See the TEAM   page for furhter credits.

“If I could wrap up a living gift for the children of this world, it would be this show, this way of navigating life creatively. My mission is to help the young and young at heart discover their true joy and celebrate their individuality through the arts.”   

Wake Up Your Weird!
Wake Up Your Weird! is an energetic, hilarious show full of original songs, video shorts, puppetry, pink monkeys, and a Sasquatch followed by an interactive joy ride where you get to move, sing, and laugh your way through more of Leslie’s stories and songs.

Part 1 is a musical short story about a little girl named Lolly who gets bullied at a play date. Lolly turns to her imaginary friends in her “Thought Bubble” to “rethink her thinking” and tells a whimsical tale that includes a girl who walks her brain on a leash, a giant lizard, a fairy Godmother lamb, and a flying Grandma. Through art, music, and puppetry and with the help of the audience, Lolly learns how to follow her heart, know her truth, and find the power of being herself.

Part 2 is an interactive performance workshop that highlights the voice, the body, and the imagination as the three magic ingredients for “waking up your weird” and spreading joy. The audience literally becomes part of the show as they, sing, dance, improvise, and create a one-of-a-kind experience fueled by their input and inspiration. The length of the show can be modified to accommodate school assembly schedules.

Brief History of Wake Up Your Weird!

  • Jim Henson Foundation Grant, 2009
  • UNIMA Citation of Excellence International Puppet Festival performance, 2009-2010
  • Jim Henson Foundation Presenters Grant, 2011 (awarded to 63rd Street YMCA for NYC debut)
  • Act I developed at Ojai Playwrights Conference, 2009
  • Act II featured at the Center for Puppetry Arts, 2010
  • Guest Artist, Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Conference, 2011
  • Artist-in-residence, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (workshopped NY show), 2012

Mission statement for the show: To champion individuality through the arts.
Focus: Development of social, emotional, problem solving, and critical thinking skills
Target audience: Ages 8 and up

I have spent a long time putting together an interactive theater piece that offers some creative tools for dealing with bullying and self-esteem issues. I believe Wake Up Your Weird! achieves this goal. It is a story and a workshop wrapped up into one theater presentation. I have combined my outreach work along with my love for musical theater and puppetry into this “show and tell” approach. The first act is a musical short story that follows a little girl’s emotional journey. In the second act, I show kids how easy it is to share their ideas by using the voice, the body, and the imagination, and how to express their thoughts through writing, music, puppetry, art, dance, and more. Wake Up Your Weird! takes an active approach to a very serious problem. My hope is that by championing what is unique and “weird” about each of us, that Lolly and I will not only “wake up some weird” but “wake up some humanity” as well.