X•tink•shun: A Wild Puppet X•perience is a special exhibit produced in partnership by the Philadelphia Zoo and the Jim Henson Company, and also encompasses several live shows. The exhibit premiered on April 9, 2011 at the Philadelphia Zoo, and will run until October 31, 2011.
The website for the exhibit is Xtinskshun.org.
X•tink•shun features a cast of original puppet characters created by the Jim Henson Company and Jim Henson's Creature Shop: Didi the Dodo, Leo the Golden Lion Tamarin, Alfreda Cheetah, Iggle the Eaglet, Phibi Frog, Igor the Tiger and the "Douc" Langer. According to the press release, "X•tink•shun tells the story of endangered or threatened species through a mix of live theatrical puppet presentations and performances," scheduled every half hour. The narrative is spread across various "Eco-stages" across the Zoo, each showcasing a puppet character. The character tells visitors about the struggles of its species, as well as the threats faced by other habitats and animals.
The most notable interactive component to X•tink•shun is the Save Our Species Parade present SEPTA, wherein guests march twice per day with high flying air puppets. Other interactive components include the X•Clamation Station and X•Pression Wall.
The puppets were built by Jim Henson's Creature Shop; each of the main cast puppets took builders between three and four weeks to construct. The puppets used for the Save our Species Parade took on average of one week each to build. Stuffed plush toys of the puppets will be available in the zoo shop for purchase. Noel MacNeal helped audition and train the puppeteers for a project.
The Main Performers include: Lorna Howley as Didi the Dodo, Christopher Scheer as Leo the Golden Lion Tamarin, Martina Plag as Alfreda the Cheetah, Kevin "Chuck" Chick as Iggle the Eaglet, Elizabeth Dapo as Phibi the Frog, Jeff Cleve as Igor the Tiger and Michel Jerome Faulkner II as The "Douc" Langer.