A puppet show commissioned by the Yukon government's Women's Directorate is helping young students deal with powerful emotions in ways that don't harm others.

Brian Fidler wrote the show, called Trouble, and performs in it with Claire Ness.

Even though puppetry has existed for millenniums, he says it can still entrance young audiences.

"They see so many advanced, sophisticated cartoons, they still really engage with this puppet show," says Fidler. "To see something live in front of you, it's a whole different set of criteria for an audience. Their expectations change." 

Yukon puppet show

The puppet show Trouble features Jesse and her friend Mark resolving a problem. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

The show features a girl named Jesse who lives with her grandmother and next door to her friend Mark.

"He has a trouble at home and he takes his anger out on her skateboard," says Ness.

 "And sometimes it causes trouble in their friendship and they butt heads. She has a way to deal with her anger which is doing a crazy dance, which is not how I would deal with my anger, but it works for her and that's the story," she says.

The 15 minute show features puppets made by Amber Church and original music by Jordy Walker. 

'I close my eyes and dream about me going to outer space'

Following each performance the children are invited to talk about their own ways of dealing with anger.

"I close my eyes and dream about me going to outer space," was one boy's response at Takhini Elementary School on Tuesday.

Claire Ness and Brian Fidler

Claire Ness and Brian Fidler speak with students about how they deal with their anger after a performance. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

Trouble is based on a book previously published by the territorial government. The puppet show and discussion are meant to provide a different method of delivering the book's message.

"I think storytelling is such an important way of learning lessons, and putting it into a story," says Ness. "Brian wrote the story and it really hits home much more than just talking about ways to deal with it."

Kids in one Yukon school go to the "bear cave" to cool down

Fidler says that based on what he's hearing from students, dealing with anger and other emotions are already being discussed in schools.

"A lot of classrooms when we ask them: 'what do you do when you get angry?' They say: 'we have a place in our classroom,'" Fidler says.

"The bear cave," Ness interjects.

"Yeah, one was a bear cave," says Fidler. "Another is like a little trampoline in a classroom, or a chair in the corner, so I think it's part of classroom management."

"And it's a lot about making it okay to be angry, just the way you deal with your anger you know," adds Ness.

The show is being performed for students from kindergarten to Grade 3. The government says it's proving popular with educators, who have commented that it's a jumping off point for staff, parents and children to discuss how to deal with their feelings.