Follow Me - a story of the Tuskegee airmen

Bravery and service

 The Rainbow Puppets are experts at teaching American history.  Now join the Rainbow Puppets on a journey with the Tuskegee Airmen. Follow the dreams of a young boy as he wants to help others by flying in the sky... eventually his dreams come true as he follow a path set by Harriet Tubman, flier Bessie Coleman, educator Booker T. Washington, and runner Jesse Owens. In the end, he creates a path of his own that leads to success for others.   This program was commissioned by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and had its premiere there on February 6, 2014. It's filled with Tuskegee Airmen facts.  And now available to visit your group.  


Thanks to our advisors

  • Diane Kidd, Early Childhood Manager National Air and Space Museum 
  • Mychalene Giampaoli, Education Specialist, Family Programs National Air and Space Museum 
  • Alfred D. Lott, a flying student of Chief Charles Anderson 
  • Dr. Cathleen Lewis, Curator, Division of Space History National Air and Space Museum  

Two versions

 There are two versions of this program available... a shorter 25 minute version suitable for pre-schoolers and older and perfect for presentation in museums. A longer version is available for school programs and for audiences first grade through fifth.  

Footsteps in History

400 years of history

The show begins in 1607 when Pocahontas and Powhatan see strangers entering the land of their ancestors. Those strangers include Captain Christopher Newport and John Smith who set sail from England searching for riches and adventure. What emerges is a new nation that struggled to find freedom and opportunity for all people.

This story is told within the borders of the Virginia Peninsula.You’ll meet Chief Pochin of the Kecoughtan Indians, who welcomes John Smith and other explorers when they arrive, just before moving to Jamestown. A year later, in 1608, the Kecoughtans provide warmth, food, and shelter over the 1608 Christmas season.

You’ll also join a band of pirates and meet Blackbeard the Pirate. The arrival of African American slaves begins a struggle that explodes in Hampton where the first land battle of the Civil War is fought at Big Bethel.

The Monitor and the CSS Virginia fight off of Hampton's shores and warfare changes forever. Benjamin Butler frees slaves in Hampton and Mary Peake teaches them under an oak tree where Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is read and Hampton University is later built.

James MacMenamin’s crab business exports Hampton crabs around the world and Langley NASA explorers help us walk on the moon.

The U.S. Army TRADOC Band from Fort Monroe performs several traditional musical selections in show.

Artists from across the country

 Artisans around the country have worked tirelessly to produce the numerous puppets and props necessary for telling the story. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Jill Harrington has created an assortment of wide-mouthed puppets including Mary Peake, Christopher Newport, Chief Pochin, and James MacMenamin. In Hampton, Virginia, Laura Huff has sculpted human arm puppets of Abraham Lincoln and Patrick Henry. Over in Norfolk, Virginia, Craig T. Adams has created Powhatan and Pocahontas in a style reminiscent of traditional Japanese Bunraku puppets. Kathie Davis, also from Hampton, has painted additional rod puppets, shadow-style puppets and set pieces. Puppeteer Regina Smith has crafted all costumes in Iowa.  

Adaptable to your event

We can add additional historic events to this program to customize the show for your event.

Make a Big Splash!

A Trip Around the World

  In 1924 pilots around the world were in a race to see who could navigate around the globe first. One thing seemed clear, America was late to the race… they certainly couldn’t win.

Join the crew as they race the Douglas Cruisers from the west coast to Alaska, Japan, though the desert to France, England, and finally to the finish line. Perfect for World History and Multi-cultural lessons… or just for fun! 

Perfect for history and multi-cultural events!

"Make a Big Splash!" was produced for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  It's a great way to understand the technological changes that happened in the last century.  It is also a great way to sample customs and cultures around the world.