Children and adults alike love puppets. If you have a message to get across or a story to tell, a puppet show makes a fun and interesting media that captures attention. Make your puppet show puppets, scenery, stage and props as complicated or as simple as you wish. Even the simplest of puppet shows creates an effective means of telling a story to young and old alike. Many of the items you need, you likely already have on hand so getting started is easy.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Refrigerator sized box or table
- Large and small brushes
- Fabric for scenery or curtain, approximately 3 yards
- Paper bags, socks, clay, sticks for your choice of puppet making media
- Small scraps of fabric
- Needle and thread if desired
- Drawing pins
- Safety pins
Research and write a short synopsis of a story you want to tell with your puppet show. Alternatively, write an original story for your puppet show. Make your puppet show story about 20 to 30 minutes long at most. Create a clear beginning, middle, end to your story, and include a great deal of action in which the puppets participate.
Write the dialogue to go along with your story for the puppets. Imagine how each of the characters might really speak and write the dialogue accordingly. Be sure to provide each puppeteer a copy of the dialogue with his or her part highlighted.
Build your puppet stage elaborately or simply. Paint and decorate a refrigerator box with the top half of the front cut out for a wonderful stage when a proper wood puppet theatre is not available. Use a table, covered with a cloth or scenery, and have your puppeteers kneel behind it. Hang a curtain halfway to the ceiling in a doorway on a tension rod and have puppeteers perform behind it.
Create puppets for your show from paper bags, socks, clay and small scraps of fabric, or paper cutouts and sticks. Ask yourself how far the away the audience will be when figuring out how large to make the features on your puppet. Create colourful, detailed faces for your puppets and dress them in bright colours so that they can be seen and recreate your story effectively.
Make one or more pieces of scenery for the place or places in which most of the story happens. Use a piece of printed fabric to create a landscape backdrop. Add small props by pinning them to the fabric. Alternatively, paint your scenery on paper or fabric. Attach the scenery to the box, table or curtain using thumbtacks or pins as appropriate.
Rehearse your puppet show before performing. Practice when each puppet arrives in the story and when they will exit as well as practicing the dialogue. Have someone stand in the approximate place your audience will sit to see if the puppeteers can be heard. Encourage them to speak loudly, slowly and clearly with emotion.
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