Building puppets is usually a painstaking process and even more so with shadow puppetry. The tiniest details make a huge difference and (at least for me) there is a lot of agonizing over whether or not a silhouette will make sense to the audience. For Saudade, much of the action happens on a crankie, a long roll of paper with black silhouettes of settings and characters. Creating the silhouettes for this involves several steps:
1. Set up this opaque projector so I can play with the size of the image. The taped out square is the size of the screen.
2. Project the image and fit it to the screen. This only works when it’s dark out, meaning I do a lot of this very late at night, after rehearsal.
3. Trace the image in white pencil onto black tyvek, which is very thin but strong paper that won’t tear easily. Important when you have so many tiny little details!
4. Cut out the image! Now it’s ready to go onto the background roll and eventually into the crankie.