April 1997

The Federal Puppet Theater in Los Angeles

One of the most successful efforts of the Federal Theater Project (created in 1935 under Franklin Roosevelt's administration) was the Children's Theater. Plays with actors predominated, most of them based on fairy tales and popular children's works.
The Federal Theater Project (FTP) ran from 1933 - 1939. Audiences loved the FTP shows that were financially successful and theatrically innovative.

Marionette theater was an important part of the FTP. With 22 marionette units across the country, an average of 100 puppet shows performed each week across the country.

The Federal Puppet Theater in Los Angeles was on Wilshire Boulevard one block west of Western. Later it moved the Theater of the Magic Strings in the Beaux Arts Building at 8th and Beacon. Bob Bromley served as local director of the project. (Ralph Chessé was the director in San Francisco.)

About ten shows were built for the Los Angeles theater including Petrouchka, Don Quixote, and a marionette varieties. They also did a version of Snow White. The Theater of the Magic Strings also performed Captain Kidd with three scenes set on the pirate ship, the bottom of the sea and on Treasure Island. The Marionette Parade starred look-alikes of such famous people as W.C. Fields and George Bernard Show. The Los Angeles production of Pinocchio was with live actors but the toyshop sequences was a spectacular extravaganza of vaudeville, circus, marionettes and music. The production ran for nearly a year.

Los Angeles, like New York, had a successful Portable Theater as early as 1937. Ralph Chessé described it as an "old broken down truck which had been donated by the army and cost almost as much to put in running shape as a new truck would have cost." The puppet truck was booked solid for playground appearances. The touring show was a 15-minute mix of circus and vaudeville numbers.

Bob Baker got to work at the Theater of the Magic Strings though he was under the age of twelve. He told them his family was destitute, but later felt so bad about lying that when payday came, he confessed the truth. They let him stay. Bob performed the lead in the Snow White production. He confessed to one embarrassing performance when the Prince swept Snow White in his arms saying she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Bob let the head control slip from his hands and the Prince ended up with Snow White's legs in his face.

Bob said the Petrouchka was the most beautiful of the locally produced shows. The overture featured a shadow orchestra and was staged with such panache that Walt Disney brought his animators to see the production for inspiration on Fantasia. (Disney also drew inspiration from the Los Angeles live production of Pinocchio.)

The theater also mounted some touring puppet shows from other Federal puppet theater. Baker remembers an exquisite Alice in Wonderland built in San Francisco that had five different Alices in the show and a revolving stage to accommodate the 15 scenes. The characters and costumes were closely based on the John Tenniel illustrations.

There were also some dogs touring the FTP circuit; Bob says the Uncle Tom's Cabin was unbelievably bad.

The Federal Theater Project ultimately began to dwindle. When the shows lost their permanent theaters, some of the magic was gone. Later productions toured schools, libraries and playgrounds and became slipshod and not of professional quality. A lot of people got turned off to puppets seeing these amateur arts and crafts shows with crude puppets performed during the final years of the project.

Another blow to the Federal Puppet Theater was the national attention given to the stagehands of the Pinocchio company. Apparently, they were attending communist meetings, a no-no at the time. It turned out however, they went to the meetings for the food and drink which was ample, tasty and free. These were tough times; a good free meal was something you didn't turn down. But the publicity did not help the dying FTP.

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November 1997

Tom McLaughlin's Silicone Art

One of the most frequently asked questions puppeteers get is "What do you make your puppets out of?" We all know that a puppet can be anything from a simple sock to the most intricate, high tech creature as seen in movies. However, at one time or another, if you are going to build puppets, you will find yourself working with some of the newer materials that are available. Specifically, foam latex and silicone rubber.

Both are liquid rubber products that are poured into a mold, which has in itself, been cast from a sculpture. One of the foremost practitioners of the art and science is Tom McLaughlin. So much so that he even has a process named after him, McLaughlin Foam.

Working with foams and silicones is no easy task, and there really isn't much out there in the way of information. So Tom has written a handy guide, entitled, "Silicone Art: Materials, Methods & Techniques for Coloring, Painting & Finishing Silicone Rubber." Whew, quite a title. But it's all there. If you've ever struggled with trying to paint a silicone skin, this is the book for you. Tom gives you a straight-forward explanation of his tried and true methods for painting. Tom began his career with Bil Baird and has worked for lots of major outfits, from the Henson Creature Shop to Stan Winston. Tom was responsible for the process that enabled the Muppets to cast Miss Piggy in foam latex and if not for him, Yoda might still be just a clay sculpture. Most recently, Tom developed the super-realistic skins for the animals in "Babe." So you see, he knows his stuff.

The book is a must have for anyone working with silicone rubber. Hopefully Tom is working on his next guide which would detail how to go about making and pouring silicone and latex rubbers especially for puppets. How 'bout it, Tom? "Silicone Art" by Tom McLaughlin available @ $29.95 + $2.50 shipping (and 8.25% CA sales tax) from O&M Universal Publishing, Box 192, 14431 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91452. S. Sherman

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December 1997

Vietnamese Water Puppets

The Thang Long Water Puppet Theater made a second American tour, this time stopping at UCLA in early October.The water puppets glided weightlessly and splashed enthusiastically through a few charming, not-to-be-missed series of performances.

The art form dates back 1,000 years to the rice paddies and ponds of the Red River delta in Northern Vietnam. Puppeteers manipulate the buoyant, 3-foot-high wooden puppets while standing waist-deep and hidden from view behind screens under a pagoda proscenium. (It's like a building your backyard puppet theater in a 4'-deep, square wading pool.) The figures, controlled by long underwater poles and waxed strings, have a variety of movements. The rods are invisible to the audience. Some puppets require several puppeteers. Some characters spit water while others breathed smoke. Another neat trick is fire and smoke appearing from the water surface.

The show was comprised of ancient folk scenes of daily village life and mythical figures like water fairies (below)and dragons. People and fish get into the swim of things. One large fish pulled a fisherman out of his boat in a comical scene. Another had a fox snatching a duckling and running up a tree for protection.
The live music and vocal accompaniment were wonderful. The orchestra consisted of bamboo and wooden xylophones, shells, gongs and string instruments and eight talented musicians, singers and actors.

The event was not without controversy. Across the U.S., demonstrations by Vietnamese refugees are occurring outside the Thang Long Water Puppet performances. It was no different at UCLA. Protesters made lots of noise outside Sunset Canyon, passing out leaflets saying that the troupe was a propaganda ploy. The Hanoi communist government, according to the accusers, is trying to cover up its atrocities with this show. While that may be true, it was sad to take it out on the water puppeteers and the family audiences coming for fun. The tales and scenes showed an ancient Vietnamese culture in a very good light. It is a human heritage and one that is totally apolitical.

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September 1999

Mantell Mannikins

Alan Cook curated a wonderful exhibit in Washington during the National Festival. The exhibit took place in the small town of Everett at the Center for the Arts.

Alan, who has collected puppets for over 60 years, displayed puppets from many major 20th century puppeteers. But the highlight was the 20 Mantell Mannikin puppets, the only known surviving puppets from this troupe.

The puppeteer who created Mantell Mannikins was known to people of Everett, WA, as Len Ayres. His family had arrived on the West Coast in 1901. As an usher at the Central Opera House, Len discovered his love of entertainment. Originally, he wanted to become a magician. In 1902, a stage manager at the opera house gave Len use of the prop room and advised him to put together a marionette act. With the help of a friend, Will Lamb, Len took a year to build his first show. The Royal Marionettes featured over 30 puppets.

This was during vaudeville's heyday. Len and Lamb got plenty of bookings, first on the Northwest circuit while still in their teens. Ayres adopted the stage name of Mantell. By 1908, he was a solo act known as Mantell's Marionette Hippodrome, a puppet presentation that also had a puppet audience watching on the sides. By 1909, Mantell Mannikins did a US tour and joined the Orpheum circuit in 1914.

Ayres had a high standard of excellence. His puppets, reflecting his era, all had elements of magic to them. A car turned into an airplane. The skeleton on the cover of this issue wowed audiences when its eyes lit up red. Ayres manipulation gave his characters their own life and spirit. His manipulation of several characters at once was part of his magic.

When talkies and radio hit, vaudeville slowly folded its tent. It signaled the end of Mantell Mannikins. Len and his wife returned to Washington where Len Ayres did shows locally. He worked in Seattle's theaters in various capacities until ill-health forced him to retire in the late '50s. He died on September 12, 1967.

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June 1995

Motion Capture

Motion Capture Having returned from the giant Siggraph convention in downtown Los Angeles (the convention of technical engineers and scientists that over the past ten years has become the place to see advances in animation), my mind swims with different visual techniques developing that impact the future of puppetry.

The most popular technology at this year's convention was motion capture where sensors are placed on a performers body connected to a digital puppet inside the computer. As the human, moves, his computer counterpart mimics. The movements can be recorded, refined and re-recorded, and played back, even layered. One actor can play a variety of parts, changing sexes, shapes and species as the computer artist brings up the digital dolls to be animated. Additionally, mouth, eye, and facial movements can be controlled with the flick of a finger. Theoretically, one performer can be a cast of thousands.

The technology starts at $10,000 to rent and moves upwards to half a million to own so don't expect it in your living room soon. The most visible motion capture puppet is currently Moxy, the Cartoon Network spokesdog voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait. Also the Chevron dancing cars were danced by human dancers with the computer doing the rest.

Many predict it will be the wave of the future. One of the drawbacks is that it is very literal and the puppets can only do what a human can do. It will be good to see more puppeteering techniques used for motion capture, i.e. a puppet outside the computer connected to the digital one inside. This technique is already being developed and, in the way of the world, is outrageously expensive. A puppet used in this manner is currently called a digital monkey and for some reason takes an army of puppeteers to operate, bunraku style.

Motion capture is, without a doubt, an important advance in computer puppetry.

October 1997

More on Motion Capture

Makita Mauri in Cyberspace!
by Mauri Bernstein

I was chatting with my friend at Puppet Life about my virtual explorations. (I never left L.A.) He enjoyed much merriment over the term "performance animator" commenting that we puppeteers are all performance animators. That's true. However, not all animators are performance animators. Just like we are all too aware of the difference between doll-flinging and puppet manipulation. "Nuf said"

Siggraph '97 (a computer animation convention recently held in Los Angeles) had more monitors and video screens than you could shake a marionette control at. The fact that however many thousands of us in attendance didn't fall down in seizures is the first impressive point of the convention. I went particularly to check out the newest in the wave of "virtual reality puppets."

Lots of very interesting things, but fear not, kiddos, puppets and actors are not about to be replaced. Animation is still animation. Here's my personal take on the newer animation techniques currently available. The straight computer animation, like we saw with Toy Story to those M&M commercials, is all very impressive and amusing but still comes across cold.

Most of the motion capture animation ("Mocap" for those in the know) is still just a supplement for other kinds of CGI and post-production magic. It is far from ready for its own programming. Much of the "real-time motion capture" is really lacking in both. Most of the systems had from moderate to horrible time lags and pretty good to totally simplistic movement.

The total forerunner in the field is the system from MediaLab. (This isn't a commercial. I honestly believe it!) Its real-time capability is, in fact, real time and its motion is exceptionally real including finger motion on the hands and subtle facial expressions, features not available or effective on any other system. The other thing the MediaLab system has going for it is its performers. Every other performance animation system is performed by dancers and/or computer operators. MediaLab uses puppeteers! So the performances are exponentially superior. In this case, performance animation is theoretically very close to what we already to in TV and film.

I also attended the August meeting of the Performance Animation Society for the first time to see what they are about. This meeting was sort of a Siggraph Pt. II only specifically focused on motion capture systems. In attendance were almost exclusively folks who sit behind computers, not performers, so w e'll have to see if this is the norm or if this was a deviation attributable to the presence of Siggraph.

Deus ex machine to y'all.

Mauri Bernstein volunteered as a performance animator at MediaLab.

More on Motion Capture

October 1997

Motion capture is when people are hooked up to computers and their movements are transferred and recorded to 3-D computer creatures. There are three large local companies that do this currently. Modern Cartoons in Venice, SimGraphics in South Pasadena and MediaLab. Motion capture is touted as making animation very affordable. A set-up costs $35,000 while the new, wireless systems cost $65,000.
To date, motion capture animation has been limited to kids programs although comedian Steve Oedekerk recently did a TV special incorporating the technique. Everyone expects to see more and more motion capture used in media.

While at least a half a dozen, privately funded companies are doing this (MediaLab's funds come from France), an executive of SimGraphics expressed the concern, "It's the little companies that aren't on the radar screen that I'm worried about. Soon guys working out of their garages will be able to do this." Won't that be fun?

What's a Puppet - Motion Capture
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August 1997

Lea Wallace

Native New Yorker, Lea Wallace is the expert in combining dance and puppets. I got to visit with her recently over lunch near her home by the LA County Art Museum.

Though Lea eventually combined dance and puppets into her vocation, dance is her first calling. Her first professional job came at 15. By 16, she was dancing in the chorus of an Ed Wynn Broadway show. Wynn, she says, was a charming, generous man. She even performed in skits with him in the show.

She continued to dance professionally into her 40s, finding many common factors between dancers and puppeteers. Both are physically demanding crafts and both require a high threshold of pain.

Lea's father was a great raconteur and storyteller. Her mother was the sensitive one and introduced Lea to the appreciation of color and beauty. The family had eight children in two sets that spanned a generation, four older and four younger. Lea was in the younger set and benefited from older siblings who introduced her to the arts. Her oldest sister was a dancer and took Lea to dance classes when Lea was four years old. When her older brother needed puppeteers for an opera show for children, Lea got introduced to puppetry at the age of five.

Lea became a professional puppeteer when she met her first husband, Alfred Wallace, at the YMCA where he taught crafts and she taught folk dancing. She was 17. To Lea, Alfred looked like Robert Taylor. They met again at a party and that was it. Alfred was doing a show at the Y and needed some political caricatures. Lea had spent the summer at the NY School for Industrial Arts and had developed her sculpting talents. She sculpted the characters for Wallace's show, caricatures of Hitler, Mussolini and others. Lea's preferred method became clay-sculpted heads that she cast with papier maché for her final puppets.

After the Y show, a man with a small ad agency wrote a new show for the Wallaces. Lea fabricated and costumed the hand and rod puppets. Alfred made the stage. When the Wallaces performed together, Lea manipulated the puppets while Alfred acted as MC in a Noel Coward vein.

Lea married Alfred when she was 19 and the two became a team privately as well as professionally. The Second World War disrupted their lives as it did millions of others. Lea figured Alfred would go into the army, so she created a way to do one-woman puppet shows. She devised a style of apron puppetry with her own personal touches. She could do her own introductions, then raise her apron and perform the puppet acts.
But Alfred did not go into the army. Instead the Wallaces took their show to London to entertain the troops. Lea celebrated her 21st birthday overseas. Lea said that when the couple went to London, they traveled and resided in the same hotel with two of the great cabaret puppeteers in America, Walton and O'Rourke (Puppet Life, Sept.-Oct. 1996), who also lived in the same New York apartment as the Wallaces. The two showmen were like family to Lea. They taught her a lot about craftsmanship, timing and publicity.

After the war, the Wallaces opened their show in New York and it ran over three years.

Lea tells how happy she and Alfred were at the time with "no thought of the future." One season, they toured movie theaters up and down the West Coast, playing San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.

The Wallaces worked together until their divorce. Lea knew that a precarious career could be had by a performer unless a little extra energy was spent with a keen eye to surviving a hard-knock world. Booking agents had already told them that TV would do them in. She and Alfred split up.

Alfred went on to be a teacher and Lea credits him for giving Puppetry Journal editor George Latshaw his first puppet job. Wallace also served a term as president of Puppeteer's of America.

Lea continued taking dancing jobs when she turned to her younger sister, Gia, who had similar talents and said, "Let's do an act." They billed themselves as "Dancing Puppets and People." The sisters also opened a performing arts center in Greenwich Village "The Village Dance and Puppet Center." With Gia, Lea toured the Far East in 1952, a four month engagement through the South Pacific, Japan and Korea. In '54, the sister act toured Alaska and Greenland.

Their hand-and-rod puppet had a flash opening, an MC at a grand piano singing about the girls on Broadway. Then two sets of chorus girls, six in all, danced. The puppets were engineered by Lea to kick their legs; their arms were on springs; and they could bend their heads for the bows. Then came a Latin American number with a Samba, a tango and a cha cha. Followed by a fan dancer alternated with a stripper. A clown - her best number - came next. He was an acrobat and she alternated him with a clown tight-rope walker. Lea did all the choreography. It became her specialty.

Sister Gia did less and less after she married a man whose interests took her away from puppets. But Lea was always able to reduce the act to a single and keep working.

A constant calling in her life, to teach, surfaced again. She went back to school and got her Masters Degree in theater. She worked at NYU for her doctorate but decided at the time of her thesis to accept a teaching position at the University instead. Lea would later add classes at Fordham University to her teaching credentials.

In 1960, Lea married Edward Dembitz, an engineer with a writer's calling. She had met him while performing with Gia. She settled into valuable work as a speech and language therapist at New York City Schools.
Lea Wallace was instrumental in forming the NY Guild of Puppetry in 1962. The guild received their charter in 1965. She said that there was a backlash of puppeteers who felt threatened by the guild's formation. They thought it would create competition.

Lea felt that if an audience for puppets in America was to be had, people needed to study puppetry and the Guild would serve that purpose. She explains that it is similar to people who study art and music and don't do it professionally. They become the audience for those who do and appreciate the skills involved. Lea says that not enough is being done to promote live performance puppetry.

She mentions seeing Jim Henson at a NE Regional Festival when Henson was just starting in New York. He did a short piece with Rowlf. The puppet was unfinished where Henson figured it went below the camera line. A live performance puppet would have had a finished hem. She thought, however, that Henson did a brilliantly hilarious act.

Lea spent two year on Educational TV in NY. In 1980-1990, she formed the Gramercy Park Puppet theater. It was in the Moravian Church building in Gramercy Park. Lea had more fun with Gramercy because she didn't depend on puppets for her income. She also gave free shows to children after school on Friday afternoons outside a very successful off-Broadway Theater on W. 13th St. The children sat on the steps of the theater. The free shows gave the Gramercy company plenty of publicity, got an audience for puppets and gave something to children.A big flood in the basement of the theater was a hard-knock to the company.
Most recently, Lea lived in Tribeca in a loft where she also taught.

She moved to Los Angeles July 4, 1996. She mostly writes now for her creative work. She's going back to the name Wallace Puppets. We're fortunate Lea Wallace has joined the Los Angeles Guild. She taught a workshop on puppets and dance at the last Day of Puppetry that was very well received.
I enjoyed our lunch together very much. (Being editor does have its perquisites.) Lea met me after her Polynesian dance class.

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May 1997

What dummy ran a photo of Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney in ABC's "Pinocchio" and failed to mention that Bob Baker did all the string puppet work for the program?

The special was broadcast as a live event from one of the first television stages on the ABC Hollywood lot at Prospect and Talmadge. At one point, according to Baker, a bank of Bob's puppets were lowered in to create Gepetto's workshop. Bob, hidden from view, performed a couple of marionette acts on a puppet stage while another camera showed the actor playing Stromboli pretending to manipulate the puppets. The television director cut between the two to fake Stromboli's act.

The show's soundtrack is on a record and a thorough collector can probably still find a copy.
Baker worked with Winchell many times including frequent appearances on the "Winchell Mahoney Show." They also appeared together on "Nanny and the Professor" where Winchell played a puppeteer with Bob Baker's hand puppets.

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May 1997

Spotlight on Maria Bodmann

Performing artist Maria Bodmann leads Bali & Beyond, a magical, multi-lingual, multi-cultural shadow theater.
The shows, in modern English, showcase the classic human drama and unrestricted wit that are the foundation of ancient shadow tales. The Los Angeles Times has called Bodmann and company "graceful...bewitching...irresistible."

From behind a 4-foot-by-10-foot screen, with her 100 shadow puppets, Maria Bodmann, creates characters and voices "with impressive ease and virtuosity." Bodmann comes to her shadow plays with her talents well-honed. An artist, musician, performer, AND the company's business manager, she earned her BFA and MFA in Multidisciplinary Art and Music from the California Institute of the Arts. She has also studied music in Berlin, Germany, and Gamelan at the Indonesian Academy of Dance and the Arts. For shadow theater, Maria studied in the village of Sukawati, Bali. As a Fulbright Scholar to Indonesia, she also received grants from the Republic of Indonesia to live and study there.

In 1988, Maria and her partner, Cliff DeArment, formed Bali & Beyond, a company of Los Angeles performing artists inspired by the cultures of Indonesia. The ensemble offers original music, theater and dance, traditional Gamelan music and Indonesian arts presentations. Bali & Beyond produces concerts, workshops, and residencies for universities and civic venues; music, visual effects, and consultations for the feature film and recording industry; and educational programs for arts organizations, museums, and public schools.
Their credits range from a National Geographic Society special "Bali, Masterpiece of the Gods," to Paramount Pictures' "Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Bali & Beyond also provides educational programs for the Music Center of Los Angeles and is on the California Arts Council Touring Artists Roster. Their original music has been featured by the Improvisational Theater Project of the Mark Taper Forum, Pacifica Radio, and KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. The directors of Bali & Beyond have received six consecutive grants from the City of Los Angeles to produce local arts. They have toured extensively across the country.

An impressive new member to our bunch, thanks Maria for joining the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry. Let the Gamelan music begin! You may contact Maria at shadow@balibeyond.com

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May 1997

Sicilian Rod Puppets in Westwood

Sicilian puppets took their battle to the stage the evening of May 15, 1997. It went with the opening of an exhibit of Sicilian puppets at the Institute of Italian Culture in Westwood.

The exhibit took up two large rooms and displayed the range of characters found in these traditional shows. Based on tales during the time during Charlemagne, Orlando and Rinaldo were the two star knights. Orlando was the great fighter; Rinaldo was the romancer (the Robin Hood of the stories.) The bloodthirsty battles between Saracens and Christian knights made every episode a tale of good versus evil. Besides Saracens, the knights battled dragons, devils and snakes. And sometimes each other because Orlando and Rinaldo loved one particular lady, the beautiful Angelica (say that name with an lilting Italian accent and you get the poetry of the spoken performance done in Italian.)

Exhibit visitors got an up-close look at the incredible detailing of these puppets, a combination of marionette and rod. With their intricately hammered armor, a few of the puppet knights were the size of a twelve-year old child and must have weighed a ton. The display also included ample painted backdrops and front curtains, some of which told episodic stories in cartoons like you see in midway freak shows.

The audience then seated itself in the mid-size theater at the Institute. After speeches, we learned how this centuries-old art form died when WW2 ended. Italians became more prosperous and the peasant culture declined. Anything associated with that culture was scrupulously avoided. By the 1950's the Sicilian puppet troupes had lost their audiences to television. Their puppets went into the hands of collectors, many of them in America. A theatrical form that had endured centuries ended in a span of twenty years.It wasn't until the '70s, that people began to renew an interest in the Sicilian rods, this time as folk art.

The show began by the Cuticchio family, two puppeteers and an assistant. Tinny, canned calliope music came at the scene (cont. next page) intervals and was charming like a Fellini movie. The acting and oration was first rate. The manipulation was smooth and fluid. The puppeteers adeptly wielded some very heavy puppets. It must be some workout doing these shows. Alan Cook seated next to me said that they wisely cut the length of the scenes which can often ramble. Traditionally, Sicilian puppets shows went all day. We were seeing one episode and it flew by. There were at least fifteen set changes. The first scene was a great piece of trompe l'oeil with a magnificent hall receding in the distance. The audience oohed it deservedly. The knights were polished to a high gleam and glowed under the lights.

True to form, the show mixed romance and action. One man was murdered in his bed (he met an angel who traditionally comes down to pick up good guys when they die). The sword battles were accompanied by backstage thumping and clanging as the puppets whacked each other. A giant snake was sliced in half. In the final battle, one Saracen was beheaded, another sliced in half at the waist, two were sliced in half head to toe and a giant was thumped to death. There was quite a pile of dead guys by the finale. Add the demon doctor who looked like a devil with wings and cloven hooves and you have a show that would make a white-bread mommy and daddy lose bladder control if their toddlers were present. (Most kids would adore it!)
The company got a rousing ovation both as actors and as puppeteers.

Immediately after the show, a drawing was held for two free round-trips (by air) to Sicily. And a lucky lady won. The audience got to re-visit the exhibit while enjoying a huge buffet with all kind of Italian treats and a wine bar. And as if that weren't enough, we all received beautiful cloth-bound copies of a book by Janne Vibek on Sicilian puppetry. Recently published, it has lots of color prints.

They say it is always summer in Sicily. Anybody who wants a taste of that can attend a puppet festival in Palermo which takes place this November. Ciao, tutti.
Example of Sicilian Rod Puppet

The Federal Puppet Theater in Los Angeles
Tom McLaughlin's Silicone Art
Vietnamese Water Puppets
Mantell Mannikins
Motion Capture
Puppeteer Lea Wallace
Paul Winchell's Pinocchio
Dalang Maria Bodmann
Sicilian Rod Puppets in Performance
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