I'm in Windsor Nova Scotia for Animotion Intensive training at Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. I was fortunate enough to win the scholarship from UNIMA Canada to pay the course fees. Today is Day 2.
We began the morning the same as yesterday. We sat on Jim's carpet and began a stretch. We tossed beanbags to a rhythm and then balanced large beanbags on doweling rods, balancing them on our fingertips. These are both mental and physical strengthening exercises. Puppetry requires muscles groups that are generally inactive and a huge amount of focus on the object being animated.
Today, we used a type of puppet called a table puppet. It has the same head construction as the hand puppets (styrofoam wrapped in cloth with a nose). It has a handle on the back of the head, a draped square fabric with arms, and washers in the hands for structure.
This puppet has many of the same operational theories. It requires rhythm, a consistent level, and breath. We operated them as a singular person, and then in pairs. This is closer to a Bunraku style of operation. These puppets don’t have feet, so they don’t require a third operator.
We drilled many of the same actions. Greeting other puppets, handing objects between puppets, and moving through space. We broke off into teams and created storylines for critique.
In the evening we continued on with our own recycled puppets. We were tasked with building a characters that are functional out of everyday objects. We will operate them on Thursday, testing our designs.
I made a dragon head out of an ice cream container, paper, and three juice bottles. His nose is made from a Tim Horton's coffee tray and his horns from MacDonald cups and red solo shot glasses. The structure is then covered in hockey tape to make it paintable. The chest scales are made from sections of old cardboard boxes as well.
There are also some photos of other students creations. Enjoy!