In the classic fairy tale, HANSEL AND GRETEL, brother and sister must work together to escape traps set by the evil Ginger Witch. Audiences might be surprised to learn that some of the puppeteers in the Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts troupe are family members—including Ms. Burks’ children! We caught up with Master Puppeteers Becky Burks Keenan (BBK) and Doug Burks (DB) to learn about growing up alongside and working with a creative sibling.
How would you describe your brother/sister?
BBK: Doug is a kind-hearted and loving person. His best quality is his dependability.
DB: My sister is kind, talented, funny, statuesque, and beautiful. She has the ability to see the good in everyone.
What’s one of the most notable memories you made together while growing up?
DB: My most vivid memories are of the two of us acting out our favorite movies and TV shows.
BBK: My best friend, Trici, would spend the night on weekends and we would dress up, Doug included, and create all kinds of characters. Or if we weren’t acting something out we would watch the Carol Burnett Show or Sonny and Cher and dream of being a part of their casts! One time Doug almost set his room on fire playing the role of Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows. He was holding up a candle very dramatically next to his mummy skulls and fishing nets hung up on his wall. We put it out with a can of Dr. Pepper. Needless to say Mom and Dad weren’t home.
Who got into puppeteering first?
BBK: We took lessons together and have always enjoyed working with one another.
DB: Having both been involved in theater and dance, we both got into puppetry at the same time, as a natural extension of our love of the arts.
Has there ever been a time when you had to problem solve to get out of a sticky situation?
DB: The most difficult situation we worked together to solve occurred after we became adults, when we had to care for our ailing father in the last months of his life.
BBK: A few months before our dad passed away, we were able to move him from his house at Lake Whitney and bring him closer to us. We were able to spend quality time with him before he died. I’m so grateful that I had my brother to help me through that difficult time.
What do you like best about working with your brother/sister so often?
DB: The best part of working with my sister, as well as the other members of my family, is that after so many years, we have developed a sort of artistic shorthand. We almost know what the other person is going to do onstage before they do it.
BBK: I like using our creative genes together to provide quality entertainment for the Metroplex. Doug’s kind heart and professionalism makes for an easy and fun work environment. I’m thankful to do this on a regular basis.
How has having a brother/sister made you a better person?
BBK: It has helped me be a more giving, caring and loving person. Sharing my life with such a great brother taught me the wonderful gift of humility, and most importantly to not judge others.
DB: Having a sister has helped me to learn about sharing, compromise and respecting the feelings of others. It also helps that she makes me laugh a lot!
Brothers and sisters are sometimes the best partners to have when getting into and out of trouble.
HANSEL AND GRETEL plays for only one more weekend(April 2 and 3). Be sure you don’t miss this amazing show and this wonderful family duo. Tickets available at dct.org or call the Box Office at 214-740-0051 for more information.