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  • Writer's pictureChase O'Neill

Puppetry: A Love Letter

Dear Puppetry,

Happy Valentine's Day! I know it's been a while since we talked, but it's Valentine's Day and our musical, "The Caveman", has puppetry in it. A lot of puppetry. So, I thought I'd write this little letter to express how much I love you, Puppetry.

The First Puppet Musical

The first puppet musical I ever worked on was a short form musical I wrote with the amazing Patrick Thompson, "The True Story of the Last Dragons". It was an amazingly silly show and one of my favorite projects I ever worked on. These crudely designed marionette dragons are the kind of art component that's so much fun to explore.

The Marionettes of "The True Story of the Last Dragons"

These dragons did it all, warmed up villagers with their fire, baked cake, and got maliciously murdered.

The original sketch design I made for the puppets is here too. Was originally gonna be so much bigger...

Original Design for "The True Story of the Last Dragons"

Note how it was originally, in my mind, 4 feet tall. This was not the most practical design. Seeing as there was to be four of them (a barbershop quartet of dragons).

Our Evolution of Musical Puppets

When it came time to write a new full length musical, a discussion of theatricality and animals on stage came into play. Enter the idea of Puppets into "The Caveman". The show has characters ranging from sabertooth tigers (which we call Knife-Tooths) to flocks of birds to even puppet cave people. It is a heavy puppetry infused musical. Puppetry makes the world of "The Caveman" come alive!

I found an image I whipped up a sketch for puppet head of a sabertooth from a long while back. This was all just me having fun and not the design that we're currently thinking of for the piece.

A sabertooth design

This design is in the same style as the dragon that would've been 4 feet tall.

Supplemental Pondering Regarding Puppets

I also have helped friends design/build puppets to varying success for musicals, plays, and just all around fun my puppets. A photo is below!

A Cardboard Puppet Head

Puppetry has become an art form I love to play with in musicals, plays, and life. It helps me visualize worlds and write new works! Puppetry is an art form and tool, I always love some puppets in the theatre!

Visualize the Tech of Your Worlds

Think in All Aspects of Storytelling

See With More Than Just Your Eyes

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