Posts Tagged ‘Saddleback College’
The two rod puppets were created in Diane Lewis’ puppet class for the Theatre Arts Department of Saddleback College. There was a historical theme behind the assignment. We were to choose two theatre actors from the stage of the 1850’s who portrayed different persons of another century. What these rod puppets represent are the actors Charles and Mrs. Kean who portrayed King Richard II and his Queen. What was interesting when I replicated the costume chosen by the actress, Mrs. Kean, was the style. During Mrs. Kean’s era, 1857, the dress of the her time was hoop skirts and not the middle ages style of the 14th century during the rein of King Richard II. In their stage production the Kean’s identified with the fashion of their contemporary period, 1857. More evident in Mrs. Kean’s costume.
These are rod marionettes (“Rod Marionettes”- they have strings for the limbs but a rod going through the head which keeps them from swinging. They were common in England during the first half of the 19th century. They were also common in Czechoslovakia (and now the Czech Republic) as well as other parts of Europe. I created them in Diane Lewis’ wonderful puppet class for the Theatre Arts department of Saddleback College, in Mission Viejo, California. These puppets represent two of the ten characters in an opera, “La Guida de Bragia,” written in the 1850’s by Lewis Caroll pen name for Charles Dodgson prior to his famous “Alice in Wonderland.” The characters here are Mrs. Muddles and Mr. Flexmore. Each student made two pairs of marionettes for each character. One pair stayed with the instructor, Diane Lewis, for future stage productions and the second set the student kept. The article, “Characters Behind the Curtain,” by Mozelle Sukut about Diane Lewis, the instructor, the class and the process can be found in the publication, Art Doll Quarterly, www.artdollquarterly.com.
These are Papier Mache characters that I reproduced from my children’s storybook, “Toulouse the Moose® and the Mystery Guests.” The Ostrich’s name is “Cassis” and the kitty’s name is “Menou” and of course the special moose’s name is, Toulouse the Moose®. The second Toulouse the Moose® children’s storybook will be available later this year. You can visit my other website, www.toulousethemoose.com to order a copy of my first book, “The Original story of Toulouse the Moose® and His Friends.” The Toulouse the Moose® Papier Mache is actually a rod marionette. The head is Papier Mache and the body interior I constructed from wood. I sewed and designed the clothing, shoes and soft portions of the body. The marionette mechanism, the strings, wire and wood I assembled. I learned about these techniques in a wonderful class at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA under the superb tutelage and instruction of Diane Lewis. I highly recommend taking her courses. You would find her classes listed in the Theatre Arts section of the college’s class schedule.