Tuesday, September 9, 2008
GOSSAMER: the puppets
by young performer Clarise White who plays Littlest in GOSSAMER
The dream givers in GOSSAMER are tiny imaginary people. I play Littlest, a young dream giver, but I’m not exactly that little. So, to help give you the impression that the dream givers are little creatures, some of us have tiny, six- inch tall puppets that we operate ourselves during a few scenes of the play.
The puppets have rods that are connected to their hands, upper back, and the back of their head. The puppets also have little costumes that look exactly like our own costumes.
This past April my counter-part in the other cast (Casey Tutton) and I started working with the first drafts of the puppets. They were white, kind of flimsy and had the structure of the dream givers, but had no faces or much of a personality. At that time Mark Hare, our puppet designer, taught us how to use the puppets. He taught us how to handle them, walk, show feelings with certain movements and do special dream giver things such as dissolving (disappearing) or fluttering (hovering).
Then, we started using the next draft of puppets when we officially started rehearsing. They are sturdier and have faces, hands, bendable joints and, as I mentioned before, they have a costume. Since we knew how to use the puppets already, we added our lines from the play to make our puppets seem like real dream givers. Now that we have been in rehearsal for about two weeks, we finally can use the puppets to express how the characters are feeling and what they are doing.
(Photo: Actor Mark Metcalf operating his puppet in GOSSAMER)
Posted by First Stage Children's Theater