Rod Marionettes

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,

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