Over the years, in addition to her position as Executive Director of Great Imaginings, Inc., as well as her work as an educator, storyteller and ventriloquist, Dr. Elana Ashley has co-produced shows for and performed on television.
Ashley co-produced a program with ECTC, Channel 24, in Evanston, entitled "A Children's Garden Fantasy - Storytelling and Singing with Elana, Splunkey® and Ellie," and appeared as a performer with her puppet guests in several other cable shows with ECTC. Working with TCI [Skokie Cable Television], Splunkey® starred in his own show - "Voyage to Earth."
PM Magazine presented "Ventriloquist Elana Ashley and her human-sized puppet friend, Splunkunio Splunkey®, as they talk about fingerprinting to children" on Channel 33.
Combining efforts with GVTV, Glenview Cable, in spring/summer/fall of 1990, Ashley created, wrote and co-produced a mini-television series entitled "My Home Town" -- a four-part cable series introducing young children to the community of Glenview. Accompanied by her educational staff - Ellie Elephant, Splunkunio Splunkey® and Mario Monkey - Ashley visited four sites in the community. Appearing in two of the shows, Carlton the Mime added dramatic flair by acting out instructional messages.
Through the shows, the audience of children and families visited and learned about several important places in Glenview - the post office, the police department, the fire department and The Grove, a national historic landmark from pioneering times.
The television show consisted of a visit to each of these community sites, and then a return to the Glenview home studio, where a group of young children joined the hosts for varied activities -- meeting a firefighter and hearing about the use of safety equipment in their homes, learning about what happens to a letter once it is dropped in a mail box, listening as a policeman talks about 'stranger-danger', and learning about pioneer living and Native American culture.
On each cable show, Ashley worked with a different group of children who lived in the suburb of Glenview. Each of the programs included a question-answer period when participating children on the show asked visitors about their work and related issues.
Ashley pulled the mini-series together with a multi-media approach -- through the help of her educational puppet staff, with original songs and poems, and working with delightful groups of children and professionals in the Glenview community.
The character Splunkunio Splunkey® - a Peace Negotiator from Planet Onyx - that appeared in the earlier years is, in fact, the grandfather of present day Splunkey®. While Splunkey® senior was still on planet earth, Cablevision: Now We're Talkin' [ECTV Channel 24] interviewed Ashley and Splunkey® on several occasions.
In the winter/spring of 1999, Dr. Elana Ashley and her educational puppet assistants Ellie Elephant and Drake the Dragon joined forces with NCTV, Channel 17 in Northbrook, and appeared on board the cable television series "What's Up, Northbrook?" -- a series which is for, by and about children. They added a new segment developed by Ashley called "Kids Making News." Interviewed by their hosts Ashley and friends, children made news as they shared their personal success stories.
It was not till April of 2001 that Splunkunio Splunkey® [Junior] made his appearance on Planet Earth. The young Splunkey® recognized the importance of his grandfather's peace efforts and chose to follow in his footsteps. Sent by his grandfather to Planet Earth, Splunkey® [Junior] works as a Peace Maker and Spokespuppet® for Peace.
On March 17th, 2002, Ting Joven of Fil-Am TV interviewed Dr. Ashley and Splunkunio Splunkey® on her segment "On The Spot". The educational duo was a big hit! Ashley and the young alien spoke about the work they had started doing and some of their plans for the future.
Learn more about Splunkunio Splunkey®, his mission and plans, by referring to www.splunkey.org.
I can tell you first hand that the young Splunkey® expresses strong interest in a television show. Splunkey® and I would like to join forces together to co-produce a television series for young children which focuses on global friendship and world peace.
Dr. Elana Ashley
Great Imaginings, Inc.
© 2013 Elana Ashley, Ph.D.
"Spokespuppet" and "Splunkunio Splunkey" are Registered Trademarks of Elana Ashley.