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
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 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
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
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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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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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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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
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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
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.
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.
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
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
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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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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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
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
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
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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
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 email@example.com
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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,
Example of Sicilian Rod Puppet