Building a Shadow Puppet Joint

Saudade7We occasionally get questions about how we create our shadow puppets for shows like Saudade, so here is a short video with the steps for making a joint out of fishing line. Genna Davidson explains the process, using a lighter, awl and scissors. Hopefully this will be useful to those of you making puppets at home!

 

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Meet Emily Marsh

We’re super excited to welcome Emily Marsh to the Wit’s End team as a puppeteer! She will be performing in Saudade at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival at the end of February.

_AB17224Emily MarshPrintEmily Marsh is a singer, actor, puppeteer, and teaching artist based on the east coast. In 2013 she graduated with a BFA in theatre performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Emily also received training at the Dah Theatre International School, an experimental theatre company based out of Belgrade, Serbia. As a puppeteer Emily has performed all over the midwest as a part of Madcap Puppets, a puppet company based out of Cincinnati OH. She has also performed with Brooklyn Puppetry Arts and interned with Lone Wolf Tribe, a puppetry companies based out of NYC.

IMG_2253As an actor Emily has performed both internationally (Cibiu International Theatre Festival) as well as locally (Imagination Stage, Capital Fringe Festival, KP Educational Theatre) Favorite credits have included Emily’s self-produced solo show Transfixed By the Dahlia performed as part of the United Solo Festival in NYC, and Beirut at Shafer St. Playhouse in Richmond VA. Emily is very excited to be a part of Wit’s End Puppet’s premiere performance of Saudade. When Emily isn’t playing pretend or wiggle dolls, she enjoys causing a ruckus and eating breakfast for dinner.

Meet Puppeteer Cecilia Cackley

Last in our series of short interviews with the puppeteers of The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet. All photos are by Sarah Gingold.  

Cecilia operating the Lightbulb puppet.

Cecilia operating the Lightbulb puppet.

Bio: Cecilia Cackley has been experimenting with puppets for more than ten years. As a puppeteer, she has worked with GALA Hispanic Theatre, the O’Neill Puppetry Festival, the Avignon Off and the Source Theater Festival. Cecilia has directed for the Capital Fringe Festival, Young Playwright’s Theater, Rorschach Theatre and The Inkwell. She taught third grade in the public schools for six years and currently works as a teaching artist in Washington DC. Cecilia is a proud company member of GALA Hispanic Theatre and Young Playwright’s Theater.

When did you first become interested in puppetry?

My mother actually collects puppets as art, so they were always around the house and I could play with them. I remember making up little shows with marionettes from Mexico when I was 8 or 9. I started taking puppet workshops when I was about 14 and when I got to college I tried to find ways of incorporating them into plays I wrote or directed.

Cecilia and Mophead.

Cecilia and Mophead.

What is the most unusual puppet or puppet show you’ve worked on?

I made a puppet of a giant mouth out of poly-foam when I was 14 and part of a teen puppet troupe. It was part of a set of puppets that formed a massive face when we all stood together. We created it for an outside community event and I got to run through the crowd asking “Where is my nose? Where is my eye?” It was lots of fun.

Which is your favorite puppet to perform in Cabinets of Kismet? 

I’ve been getting more and more interested in marionettes lately, so I really like the paperfish, who hang from multiple strings. I’ve never seen a marionette made from paper before, so it’s been fun to figure out how to attach them and make them move. In general, I love all the paper puppets; they are so quiet and calm.

Meet Puppeteer Genna Davidson

Third in our series of short interviews with the cast of The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet. All photos are by Sarah Gingold. 

Genna with King Lamp and Swirl Dancer.

Genna with King Lamp and Swirl Dancer.

Bio: Genna Davidson is a Washington DC based actress, puppeteer and musician. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2008 with a BA in Theatre. In addition to Wit’s End Puppets, she has performed with The Hub Theatre, dog & pony dc, Deviated Theatre, The Bay Theatre Company, as well as workshop productions with the Rude Mechanicals (Austin, TX), 500clown (Chicago) and various local devised-theatre ensembles.

When did you first start working with puppets?

I was nineteen, in college at the University of Maryland. There was a show being done with Bunraku style puppets and they knew no one would have any experience so they held an audition and taught us what to do. It was a very in-depth process, which was nice.

Genna with Nurse and Kismet.

Genna with Nurse and Kismet.

What is the most unusual puppet or puppet show you’ve worked on?

This one! Actually, in high school I didn’t realize it, but I did a puppetry production of Flatland with my best friend at the time. We had to turn a  book into an interactive presentation and we had wanted to just release a bunch of butterflies (for A Hundred Years of Solitude) but butterflies were too expensive so we did Flatland instead with cardboard and a basketball. Looking back I realize that they were actually puppets.

Which puppet is your favorite to perform in Cabinets of Kismet? 

King Lamp, because I think he’s challenging and I just love the fact that he thinks he’s a king and therefore he is. But he really doesn’t have power over any other puppet. He gets to hitch a ride on another puppet.  And he can do cartwheels!

Meet Puppeteer Amy Kellett

Second in our series of short interviews with the cast of The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet. All photos by Sarah Gingold. 

amy2

Amy operating the paper puppet Frank.

Bio: Amy is delighted to be puppeteering with Wit’s End Puppets in this production! Some of the other companies/festivals she has performed with as a puppeteer or human in the MD/DC area include The Puppet Co., Source Festival, Landless Theater, Madcap Players and Bay Theatre Company.

When did you first become interested in puppetry?

I don’t know…I guess the first time I really thought about performing puppets was when I auditioned for The Puppet Co. in Glen Echo, MD. It was a big learning experience and my first interaction with people who were professional puppeteers and knew how to build cool things.

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Amy and Kismet.

Probably this one. Most of the other stuff I’ve done has been more straightforward. This is the first devised puppet show I’ve ever worked on; other shows have been already written before we started. This is also the first time I’ve ever worked with found object puppets in a show.

Which is your favorite puppet to perform in Cabinets of Kismet? 

Bully is my favorite because he can do lots of things with his arms, which are magnets. He can pick up and hold lots of things, which I find useful. He’s also fairly mobile, so he can move lots of places.