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History of Puppetry
in Canada

Judith Lawrence

Originally from Australia, teacher and puppeteer Judith Lawrence worked with puppeteer Elizabeth Merten in Toronto before joining the cast of CBC Television's Butternut Square in 1964. For this children's series, Lawrence created and performed the puppet characters Casey and Finnegan: young friends of Mr. Dressup, played by actor Ernie Coombs. In 1967, the production was revised and renamed Mr. Dressup. The highly acclaimed series ran until Coombs retired in 1995, with Lawrence performing Casey and Finnegan until she retired in 1989. Her puppets have long been regarded as icons of children's English-language television in Canada, and Lawrence was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2001.

Adapted from Figuratively Speaking: Puppetry in Ontario by Ken McKay, copyright 1990. Courtesy of the Ontario Puppetry Association and Ken McKay.