Curiouser & Curiouser 

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"The time has come," the Voices said, "to talk of many things":

Of ugly ducks and Wonka bars and puppets on their strings. In other words, it's time for Voices of the South's 6th annual Children's Theatre Festival, a two-day event showcasing some of the region's best performing artists working in a family-friendly environment.

This year's festival is packed with new works and old favorites including the return of Out of the Mist, a Dragon, a sprawling fantasy created by Waverly, Tennessee's Wood & String Puppet Theatre. Out of the Mist isn't just a grand adventure. It's also an effective history of puppetry that samples many different styles from around the world.

The festival kicks off on Friday night with the premiere of Alice's Tea Party, Voices of the South's new adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, followed by a "Mad Hatter's Tea Party." Saturday is pay-what-you-can day, and the crowded schedule includes a puppetry workshop with Wood & String, as well as performances of surefire kid-pleasers like Seussical Jr., The Ugly Duckling, and The Brementown Musicians.

Although it's organized by Voices of the South, the festival is a group show. This year's contributing artists come from Theatre Memphis, Grace-St. Luke's, the Germantown Community Center, Delta Arts, the Chatterbox Audio Theatre, and the Memphis Black Arts Alliance.

The 6th Annual Voices of the South Children's Theatre Festival is hosted by the McCoy Theatre at Rhodes College on Friday,

May 27th, and Saturday, May 28th. Tickets for Friday's performances are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Saturday is pay-what-you-can. For more details and a complete schedule, visit voicesofthesouth.org.

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