COLLEGEVILLE -- A group of Saint John's Preparatory students are telling the story of Christmas in a whole new way -- through the art of puppetry.

The school is performing Amahl and the Night Visitors, a one-act opera first performed in England, using life-size puppets.

We performed this story two years ago and it was so popular that we decided to bring it back.

Theatre Director Paul-Vincent Niebauer, OSB says the production includes an orchestra, singers and 17 puppeteers.

There are nearly 100 people powering this story. We have full orchestra, chorus and six people singing the parts for the puppets and 23 puppets.

He says the students were apprehensive at first working with puppets but soon have put their own personalities into their character.

A young lady by the name of Elizabeth, who moves Amahl, was just tapping his hand waiting for the show to begin. I never told her to do that and she said it was something she would do herself.

Amahl and the Night Visitors runs Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater. Tickets for the show are $22.