Aunty B & Friends is an interactive, touring musical theatre show as children have never seen before. Founder Khalilah Brooks, the first African Canadian female lead in a singing and dancing puppet show with life-size puppets, takes the stage as Aunty B, with her puppets, in a riveting performance to show children, ages 1 to 12, how to love and respect themselves, and in turn love, respect and accept others. Crowned with a large, curly afro and retro sunglasses, Aunty B always reminds her audience to “stand up straight, stick your heart out, stay groovy of course, and take the risk!”
After spending her childhood in and out of foster care from the age of four, Brooks always knew she wanted to help children. She found her calling as an actress, eventually creating BAM Children’s Entertainment, Inc., and her premiere show, Aunty B & Friends to give a voice to the voiceless, children who cannot speak up for themselves. BAM helps instill creative ways to help children to build confidence and self-respect for themselves and others while dealing with difficult life situations. These highly interactive shows focus on various issues, including bullying, race relations, safety, and kindness.
Drawing from her own experiences and recollections of her maternal grandmother, Brooks says, “Each character is a reflection of somebody or multiple people in one." The mama character is an amalgamation of all the mothers that she had while living in foster care, and in fact, is named Mama after her great grandmother.
Other characters are loosely based on friends she's made throughout her life. Tina is a combination of two friends from her childhood, as well as Melissa who mirrors one of her very first friends who taught her to be brave and use her voice. Brooks and Melissa are still friends today. Zeke models a friend who is very smart, funny, athletic, and loves music. Khadijah, on the other hand, takes on a little bit of Brooks' persona, specifically highlighting her past studies in religion.
"All of my puppets reflect some of the most pivotal time slots in my life,” says Brooks.
Typically, Aunty B wows live audiences in Canada, but during this time of social distancing, families all around the world can be delighted with a special Aunty B & Friends series on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. New episodes are posted every Tuesday through Friday at 12 p.m. Eastern Time.
For more information on BAM Children’s Entertainment, and Aunty B & Friends, visit Aunty B's website.
About BAM Children’s Entertainment
Founded in 2011, BAM Children’s Entertainment and Aunty B & Friends build healthy relationships with little ones, ages 2 to 9, as they use their imaginations on adventures in a village of colorful buildings and jaw-dropping life-sized puppets. These diverse and relatable characters are purposely crafted to teach children how to work together, create positive solutions, and “stay groovy.” Aunty B & Friends do their thing in the magical village where children get a choice and a voice. The interactive show empowers children with the courage to love others as well as themselves, despite the challenges they face.
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