Little Red Ridding Hood Sneak Peek!

We are excited for the opening of Little Red Ridding Hood on Monday, and thought we would share a few pictures of the puppets in the workroom to give you a little preview!

Here is the hand puppet version of the wolf:

and here he is as a shadow puppet:

This is the hand puppet Little Red and Grandma:

and here they are as shadows with Red's mom as a shadow too:

The show runs Aug. 8-13 at 1pm each day at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA. Tickets are $5, and you can pre-order them at 413-658-1126. Hope you get a chance to see the show, and check back here later this week for more pictures from the show!

Just So Stories Sneak Peek!

Our performances of Just So Stories at the Eric Carle Museum start next week! The show runs April 18-22 at 1pm each day, and tickets are $5 or $4.50 for museum members. Tickets may be purchased at the Admissions Desk or by calling (413) 658-1126.

We are currently hard at work putting the final touches on the show, and thought it would be fun to share a few pictures from the workroom of puppets we made for the show.

Here is the Djinn from How the Camel Got Its Hump

This is the Hedgehog shadow puppet for The Beginning of the Armadillos.

This guy is the man from How the Rhino Got His Skin.

Hope to see you get a chance to see the show next week!

Building the Seagull Puppet

We recently finished a seagull puppet for the The August Company's upcoming show in Northampton, MA, and thought it would be fun to share some pictures from the building process.

We started out by sketching some designs, and decided on this one.

Then we built the moving parts of the puppet. The wings flap on this puppet, and we rigged them first to make sure they would work before adding the other details.

Then we started on the more decorative parts. Here is the paper mache head being painted.

Finally, we put all the pieces together for the complete, working puppet.

If you would like to see the seagull in action, or just see some great theater, the show runs April 14-16 and tickets and more information can be found here.

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.