The process of remaking Red Riding Hood

From July to September 2018, was a busy and creative time in our Young St. puppet studio. We now have a 2018 remount of our production Red Riding Hood, originally produced in 1988, 30 years ago. This is one of our “small shows”. The marionettes stand from 2 inches to 8 inches tall. The opening of our theatre is about 7 feet wide. We present the show for up to 140 people in one performance, and find that small is beautiful.  The charming quality of this little bridge marionette theatre captivates and softens the heart of all in attendance.

What a treat to retrieve the characters, Red, the wolf, Grandma, and the hunter from marionette retirement. Their sweet costumes by Kathryn Belzer, still looking fit for the stage. This time around we had ample time to let the ideas percolate and worked many hours creating additional characters,  with the goal of presenting the show without dialogue. We have the opportunity to imagine the choreography, blocking and music most suited to the marionettes, sets, and props. Our goal is to uncover the story that  the all of the pieces of the play want to tell.

The Grimm’s version of this story included some unsavoury elements, which we felt weren’t necessary to tell the story. Whatever is acted out with puppets seems very real and has a strong effect on the viewer.  We knew we needed many more characters to accomplish our vision, thus the creation of the forest creatures: rabbit, porcupine and owl. We also added a cat for Grandma, and a loyal hound dog for the hunter.

We created new backdrops and added set pieces, a swing in Red’s yard, a sign with an arrow in the forest, a rocking chair, window and wardrobe in Grandma’s house. All of the set pieces played some part in the unfolding of the play.

Initially we put the blocking for the puppets and props on paper. The first rearranging came as we physically walked through the original blocking with the marionettes. We were feeling our way with the puppets, some things seemed in sync and others out of  place. We had  worries about how things would turn out for the wolf. It all came together so beautifully when we saw how much fun he was having eating from Red Riding Hood’s basket of food. He obviously  needed to have the basket at the end of the show, and creating a demise for him did not fit with the story

Finally we added the musical pieces and did more shifting about of who needs to appear when and where in order to keep it fresh, light and moving along.

That’s a bit of how the show unfolded, the photos fill in some of the details about the building of the sets, and our new characters.

Thanks for reading my post, we hope Red Riding Hood has a long and successful run from 2018 into the future.

Heather Taylor

styrofoam shape for house

Styrofoam stonehouse being covered with cotton fabric

layering thatched roof

finished house and stone wall, with mother and Red

styrofoam shape for tree, pre- covering and painting

early stage of backdrop

scene nearly ready, just missing something, but what does it need? An arrow sign!

scene with sign, wolf, hunter, hound dog

self explanatory

partially complete

porcupine

owl

cat is taking shape

some in the forest

cat and grandma

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reunion of Rag Bag Puppeteers

This past weekend was the 40th year reunion of Heather’s High School class. We had an awesome time, and a mini reunion of 3 of the 4 members of my first puppet troupe.

This short video clip is in honour of those busy and happy days of our youth!

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Summer 2018

We are excited to have a nice summer line up of performances! 

In addition to these shows, group workshops can be booked by contacting us directly.

We are busy in production with Red Riding Hood, which will open at Deep Roots, in Wolfville, Sept 29.

Have a great summer!

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Season update

Our Christmas season schedule is online, starting with a performance of the Bremen Town Musicians at the Berwick Fire Hall, Sunday Nov. 27 at 3:30 pm (free will donations for the food bank.) Also, presenting the Bremen Town Musicians at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside Dec 11. (Full details).

img_3017Here are the Bremen Town Musicians hanging around backstage!

Dec 2, 3 and 4 we are at Alderney Landing with the Nativity and also at Berwick Baptist church on Nov 27, and 3 shows at Christian Fellowship Church in New Glasgow on December 18. Full details 

nativity

The Nativity

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Summer 2016 Highlights

We are looking forward to performing at the Deep Roots Festival, Wolfville, Sept 24,  and getting our marionette shows and workshops back in the schools!

Enjoy slideshow of our summer highlights!

Featuring! Molly at Peggy’s Cove Festival of the Arts; Lonely Leprechaun at Mother Goose Day; Alderney Landing; Jack and the Beanstalk at Glasgow Square and at Flushing Town Hall, NY; Workshop  marionettes are touched up and repaired!

 

 

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References from Schools

A few references for our workshops and shows. Thanks to Perform NS, we are continuing to offer school workshops in Nova Scotia at affordable subsidized rates. We encourage schools to apply early.

Porter’s Lake- Molly and the Oak Island Treasure
Amazing show … not often we are able to find something that engages grades P-6 alike. : ) – Adrienne Blumenthal

Wentworth Elementary- Puppet Making Workshop
“Wonderful experience for all of students from p-6. The children had a very creative day” Elizabeth Aikens

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The Atlantic Canada Puppetry Association/Association des marionnettistes du Canada atlantique

Hey puppet enthusiasts, here is a great opportunity to connect with other puppeteers and to learn more about the art form.

The Atlantic Canada Puppetry Association/Association des marionnettistes du Canada atlantique has now been formally registered under Nova Scotia’s Societies Act.    So it’s time to invite you to become a charter member.

– Our organization will have its headquarters at Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia.

– We’ve created a provisional Board of Directors drawn from the four Atlantic       Provinces, pending our first annual general meeting in the spring of 2015.

– Our organization will have a vote (and a board seat) in UNIMA-CANADA.

– A portion of your membership fee will be directed to UNIMA-CANADA as well as UNIMA International.

 – Our immediate objective will be to share our region’s puppetry news both within Canada and abroad. (Please unima-canada.blogspot.com).

application:

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Alderney Landing- Rumpelstiltskin

via PressSync

Such a great space at Alderney. The Primaries from Astral Drive were a fun audience.
Two more shows to go.

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Workshop Summer 2014

This gallery contains 30 photos.

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Three Fairytale Favourites

This gallery contains 14 photos.

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