Puppet Palooza or How I Spent My Summer

As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I have spent a lot of time this summer working on puppets for White Lake Youth Theatre‘s  production of “Around The World In 8 Plays” at The Howmet Playhouse.

First, a little background. After graduating from college with my B.A. in Theatre I had the opportunity to work with Madcap Puppets based out of Cincinnati, Ohio for a school year. It was an amazing experience. However, it has been a long time since I was able to utilize any of the puppetry skills that I learned there. So, when I was contacted about adding puppetry to the summer youth show, I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to start working on puppetry with these young actors. And then it occurred to me that I was going to have to build these puppets…. something I had never done before. Yikes!

On the first day of rehearsal, I made a simple sock puppet with the cast. This way they could practice their puppetry skills at home. I made this little guy as a template.  It was so much fun! I’m actually thinking about doing more of these kind of sock puppet workshops in the future!

zuzu puppet

I loved how the sock puppets turned out so much that I ended up making two of them for the show including this little mouse.  (With all of the puppet fabric in the background! Haha!)

little mouse

I made 12 larger puppets for the show using the Rolly Puppet Pattern from Puppet Project (I highly recommend this site, it’s amazing!). I also made 2 more puppets for personal use. One of them was actually birthday present for my nephew.

Lucky Penny

Penny was the first puppet that I made. She was almost completely sewn by hand.

Penny

I named her Lucky Penny because I’m SO lucky she turned out. It definitely would have put a damper on our puppet show!

Penny

The Snake was 100% sewn by hand.

snake

The Owl and the Pigeon were much more difficult because of the wings! My mom was a huge help with these!

birds

The Pigeon (originally my botched attempt at the Owl) ended up being one of my favorites!

Pidgeon

The Owl ended up being really unique thanks to some ingenious input from my mom!

owl

Here is an example of how big a difference the finishing touches can make! Hidesato was the hero of one of our stories. Here is a picture before he was complete…

hidesato before

and after adding facial hair and clothing… he looks so different! I ended up bulking up his facial hair a bit after seeing this photo. I forgot to take an updated one. Ooops!

hidesato after

We also had a couple of old beggar man and grandfather characters… one of which had interchangeable eyes!

beggar man sans clothes

old men

The Yara was one of the villains and a super fun character to make!

Yara

Some of the puppets had fun, unique features! Meet Cheryl, who sported one arm and a body covered in sores.

cheryl

The monster Centipede is probably the most adorable villain ever!

Centipede

I also loved adding the details to the Demon! I adore her broken heart hoodie.  She looks like she is right off of 8mile. No? Just me?

demon

And…. What About Bob?

what about bob

I made this puppet for my nephew’s 7th birthday. He had seen the progress on a lot of the puppets and I wanted to make him one to keep!

mr bob

He is sporting a Spiderman T-shirt and a red Rufio (from Hook!) mohawk.

what about (mr) bob?

I had a blast making these fun characters! I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing sock puppet workshops for kids and making these larger ones with adults. It has been a fun way to spend my summer. I would come home from work/rehearsal each day to sew and glue a little more. I can’t feel the tips of my fingers due to glue gun burns and I think it’s totally worth it!

West Michigan Wednesday: Pirate Festival in Grand Haven

One of the things I love most about my home is the location! I love living in West Michigan and enjoy many activities around town. I wanted to create a series that explores some of the great things that this area has to offer.

West Michigan Wednesday

Thar She Blows! The Michigan Pirate Festival has dropped anchor in Grand Haven! This is guaranteed to be fun for the whole family with Pirate merchants, performances, cannons, and more! The pirate ships will be sailing in on the 7th at 6pm into Grand Haven. The festival is going on now-Sunday August 9th.

 

Admission is $5 for adults and children are free. For more information, be sure to check out their Facebook page!