Our group of puppet people have decided to become official. We are in the process of creating a wonderful Halloween show, which we hope to offer as an annual event for our community. This is an expensive ambition, for which we are hoping to secure grants.
Bill, our leader and teacher, is a professional puppeteer and has been for many years. Because he is so incredibly talented and has such vision for the show, we are now in the reworking process for some of the puppets. The ones we used for the first production weren’t fined tuned or were just put in to take the place of characters we actually wanted. The puppets that were created for this production have some flaws due to the lack of time to prepare them. We want to offer a very professional show, and that means hard work and dedication to details.
We have started our work schedule. Monday, Wednesday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to whenever we quit. Today we moved molds, set pieces and set up a portable puppet theatre Bill designed and created 40 years ago. It is AMAZING!
He created a puppet theatre which folds down, then folds together into a 4′ x 2 1/2′ “box”. This sets up to reach the height of 9 ft. high by 4 ft. wide, with sides that also fold out to secure it. On top of that hangs a separate piece which lights up. The speakers for the sound system were hidden behind a velvet screen, with Bill being ab0ve those as he stood upright to perform the puppet shows.
The front of this theatre is stunning. Bill is a marvelous cartoonist and created a woodland fantasy for the facade. There are sparkling gems attached which catch the lights of the twinkling night sky, there are leaves leaping from the trees, flowers reaching out, begging to be touched by inquisitive little hands. I would have been awe-struck to have such a thing show up in my school for an assembly. Bill used this set up for years as he traveled to various venues around Chicago.
He knows so much about puppetry. I could study every moment for the rest of my life and still not know as much as he does. I hope he will have the patience to teach me. It’s become a passion for me. I want to learn all I can about this complex and fascinating art form.