Saturday, January 22, 2005

Little red dragonhood

I'm focusing on summer on this cold January day. Summer, heat, fire, dragons, puppet shows...

I'm working on a new puppet show for this season. I don't do puppet shows with a stage very often. I prefer the simplicity of host puppets, who chat with me in between stories. The shows with the stage require a lot of schlepping and a different kind of planning. Also, I can't do them for schools, because I have to have smaller audiences for puppet shows. Still, one library asks me to do a show every year, and I always say yes.

First I decide on the show. I'm partial to fractured folktales. Once I figure out what I'm doing, I make sure the essential elements are present: plenty of action, funny dialog, only two characters on stage at a time, props that are identifiable and large enough to be seen from the back of the room.

Then I see what puppets I have on hand. Do I need to make more or buy some? The puppets I make look, well, like I made them. With my teeth and maybe in the dark. My puppets aren't the kind that make people comment "Wasn't that beautiful?" Weird, funny and maybe oddly ugly, but not beautiful.

What props do I need? Do I have materials on hand or do I have to go to my favorite craft store (Crafty & Company, of course) to get more? Creative problem solving is key. Let's see, how can Bettina pick just one rose from the bush? What's the best way to make straw turn into gold? Do I need a musical interlude so I can mess with the props for a few moments?

Then I try the show out. I do it for my neighbor, for my cat, and for anybody who will sit through it. Once I flagged down some friends who were riding their bikes past my house, all for the sake of an audience.

I'm stuck right now on what show to do. The theme is Medieval, so I may have my dragon puppet Crispin either take part or be the emcee. The ideas so far have been "Little Red Dragonhood," "Dragonlocks and the Three Bears," and "Three Dragongoats Gruff." Or I may stray from the theme.

Right now I think I'll stray right into the kitchen for some toast.


Faith said...

Toast? I thought I smelled toast...

PriscillaHowe said...

Walnut raisin bread from Wheatfield's, lightly toasted and liberally buttered. Life is good.