Building a Shadow Show

How long does it take us to build a new puppet show? Coyote Places the Stars, which is a 5 minute show, took us about two weeks from start to finish. That includes writing and recording the script, designing and creating the puppets, creating the lightboxes and rehearsing all the movement. We divided a lot of the work; Cecilia handled the script, based on an idea from Genna and cut out puppets, while Genna designed all the puppets and sets and built the lightboxes. Here are some photos from the process:

The lightboxes that Genna built. They stack to form a tower.

The lightboxes that Genna built. They stack to form a tower.

Puppets in process of being cut out. After they are cut, we add velcro, sometimes to both sides so we can flip them.

Puppets in process of being cut out. After they are cut, we add velcro, sometimes to both sides so we can flip them.

Between the puppets and the stencils for the workshop, the living room table got rather messy.

Between the puppets and the stencils for the workshop, the living room table got rather messy.

Finished puppets mounted on their rods with velcro, waiting to perform.

Finished puppets mounted on their rods with velcro, waiting to perform.

We experimented with various lights and gels to get different looks and colors on the different lightboxes.

We experimented with various lights and gels to get different looks and colors on the different lightboxes.

The final sets in place, with Coyote looking up at the stars and Bear waiting down on earth.

The final sets in place, with Coyote looking up at the stars and Bear waiting down on earth.

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Coyote at the Smithsonian

We had a blast at Shadow Family Night at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on February 1st. Thanks so much to everyone who came, watched our show and made shadow puppets with us! Here are some photos from the night:

We had so much space in the Kogod Courtyard--and look at our brand-new sign!

We had so much space in the Kogod Courtyard–and look at our brand-new sign!

Our puppet-making table, all set up.

Our puppet-making table, all set up.

A behind the scenes view of our puppet stage.

A behind the scenes view of our puppet stage.

Lots of busy hands cutting out shadow puppets.

Lots of busy hands cutting out shadow puppets.

Cecilia and Genna performing Coyote Places the Stars.

Cecilia and Genna performing Coyote Places the Stars.

Demonstrating the lights and puppets to our audience.

Demonstrating the lights and puppets to our audience.

Mount Pleasant Children’s Puppet Hour

If you missed the world-premiere performance of Coyote Places the Stars at the Smithsonian American Art Museum a few weeks ago, don’t worry. We will be reprising the show (without the workshop) at the semi-annual Mount Pleasant Children’s Puppet Hour, on Saturday February 16, at 4pm. There will be five different puppet shows, as well as live music, taking place at St. Stephen’s Church, 1525 Newton St. NW.  The shows are appropriate for all ages and the suggested donation is $5. We hope to see you there!

Puppet hour poster

Shadow Family Night

Don’t miss our performance at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Shadow Family Night this Friday! From 5-8pm in the Kogod Courtyard, the museum will be offering free performances and activities for children and their families. Stop by our table and make a shadow puppet, then stay to see our brand-new shadow puppet show, called Coyote Places the Stars. This new tale was inspired by a story from the Wasco Indian Nation and you can see Genna drawing a few of the puppets below. We hope to see you on Friday at the museum!

Genna drawing