Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Puppetry Tips for MSM Students!

I was asked by Mark Janas to teach a few students at the Manhattan School of Music some puppetry skills tomorrow. They are going to be doing some puppetry in a performance in a few weeks, but I have only a little bit of time to get them into the basics.  I'll be bringing in my puppet Kay M. "ThePal" Pringle as a teaching tool.  This blog entry contains some supplemental material - links to video, links to professional blogs, and whatnot. Enjoy, students!
  1. Avenue Q behind the scenes: Anika Larsen and Jonathan Root explain some basic stage considerations of how they give life to their puppets in the musical - Watch: clip 1 and clip 2.
  2. - Liz is a great puppet maker and puppeteer, and she was able to blog about her workshop with Steve Whitmere (Henson Company's "Rizzo the Rat," among others) These notes are kind of heady and very advanced, but this is good food for thought on how the body of the puppet is connected to the arm structure, plus how the psyche of the puppeteer is basically "one with" the puppet's, in a very "one with the Force" kind of way.
  3. Wikipedia has a basic article on hand and rod puppets - read it here.
  4. has some cool articles about movements and poses and mouth movements.
  5. Go on and search for "The Muppet Show" - here I did it for you - and just absorb these clips.  You can't see the puppeteers, and they're not performing for the stage, but just concentrate on how these muppets breathe and live...mahhhhvelous!
Sierra Rein
"I don't sing because I'm happy, I'm happy because I sing" - William James

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