Peter Allen and Debbie Lutzky Allen of Parasol Puppets, Jamesport, have been awarded a Citation of Excellence for their Punch and Judy puppet show. The award from UNIMA-USA said the honor from the Unima-USA Citations of Excellence award is the equivalent of the Oscars for excellence in puppetry.

Since 1975, UNIMA-USA has awarded Citations of Excellence (the "UNI") that recognize and reward the best of the puppetry arts in this country. In addition to encouraging worthy puppeteers, the goal of the Citations program is to provide credible recognition that will aid puppeteers as they seek audiences in this country and abroad. The citations are awarded to shows that touch their audiences deeply; that totally engage, enchant and enthrall.

Reviewers who nominated this show for the award said: “Peter is a master of winning over the audience with his performance. He is unrelenting in his quest to stay true to the characters and the story of Punch and Judy. Truly a Punch Professor, Peter Allen deserves a citation for presenting this enduring tale so masterfully;” and “Punch and Judy by Peter Allen is Funny, satiric, but always family-friendly!”

In meeting the criteria for excellent puppetry, Citation-worthy shows must also stand as prime examples of excellent theatre.

The Allen's are honored to receive this award. Their Punch and Judy show has been performed at many arts festivals and theaters, including Lake Eden Arts Festival in North Carolina, the Nashville International Puppetry Festival in Tennessee, West Liberty Children’s Festival in Iowa, National Puppeteers of America Festival in Minnesota, NorthWest Puppet Center in Seattle, Wash., and a private Christmas party in North Vancouver, Canada.

Punch and Judy is only one of the many puppet shows that the couple performs around the country. Local audiences have seen their Parasol Puppets performances at many public libraries and schools in Missouri, including St. Joseph, Columbia, Marshall, Marceline, Trenton, Chillicothe, Hamilton, Cameron and Gallatin. Peter and Debbie were also the directors of Puppetfest Midwest a National Puppetry Festival held in Trenton, for 10 years.

The Allen's and Parasol Puppets continue to perform their puppet shows around the country. Public performances include Sept. 21 at the Heritage Festival in Columbia and November 22-23 at the Jarvis Conservatory in Napa, Calif.