The Making of The Pied Piper of Hamelin

We had our first performances of our show The Pied Piper of Hamelin at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art a few weeks ago. It was a lot of fun to perform, and we had great audiences all week! For this post, we are going to share some behind the scenes pictures of how we made the puppets and built the stage.

The first step in making the puppets is to sculpt the heads out of clay, and then papier mache over the clay to make a hard shell. Here are some of the heads during the papier mache process.

The next step is to sand and paint the papier mache so they are very smooth.

Here are some of the heads before the hair is added, and a pair of hands carved out of foam.

We made all the hands out of foam, and then papier mached them to add strength. Here they are all ready to be sanded smooth and then painted.

The puppets' bodies are cloth sleeves which you can see here, and the costumes are sewn and then attached to the sleeves. Here is Sally getting her costume fitted!

Here is the whole cast costumed and ready to go!

Our stage is made of hinged wooden frames that we put a curtain around. Here you can see the frames that will become the front of the stage, and in the bottom corner are the frames that will become the sides of the stage.

A shot of the stage from the side with the curtain.

This is a view from backstage as we set up for rehearsal.

We also use shadow puppets in this show, and this is our shadow screen lit up in the backdrop of the stage.

Here is another picture from the side of the stage so you can see the shadow screen, curtains and down into the stage a little bit.

Hope you enjoyed the peek into how we made everything for the show. Our next post will have pictures from the performances!

CactusHead Puppets also now has a page on facebook. You can check it out here, and be sure to "like" the page for news and updates about upcoming shows.