Presenting the stories – with puppets, props and playing around!
We’ve narrowed down the list of books and songs for Snippets of Canada 150, our series of staged readings, and now it’s time to think about how we’re going to present the stories. How can we get these characters to jump off the page and come to life? What kind of voices do they have? What puppets, props, masks or hats do we have? What can we make, buy or borrow?
Let the scavenger hunt begin!
In the house, we found a big sheet of paper, a white cloth, a sock snake, a rabbit mask, and some stuffed toy puppets, including a snake, a loon, a duck, 2 cows, a pig, a beaver, a moose, a bat, and a rabbit. Also some paint, flexi-firm, and a hoodie for the Grumpy Bird.
In the garage, we went through the boxes that contain props from various shows:
Felicity Falls: backdrop, table cloth, table, Rod Rabbit, kitchen, mini puppets, water can & tub, fabrics, branch, pillow, kalimba, houses
The Last Polar Bears: Sheep, slide whistle;
A Promise is A Promise: Qallupiluit mask, Allashua mini puppet, blue pillow; rainstick
The Flying Canoe: Limberjacks, board, step stool, René hat, moustache, puppet; J-M hat & puppet, Canoe, Bear mask, water sprayer
Our good friends at OYPTS loaned us: Antlers, skunk ears, frog hoodie, potatoes
And we made: a mask for Grumpy Bird, consisting of a hoodie with hand painted feathers, and a beak sewn onto a pair of glasses.
We spent a lot of time rehearsing, just the two of us, and then with Russell. We figured out how to use each puppet or prop, rejected some, found others, and then rehearsed with the music.
Now, to get all those props organized for the presentations!
We decided that we needed a backdrop (to run around for those bear chases!), a table, and some chairs for our guests.
Under the table are four large bags, and each one contains a book and all the props we need for that story:
A Promise is a Promise, Hat, Ernest, Grumpy Bird.
Backstage: All the props for The Flying Canoe; tambourine, vibraslap, Limberjacks, board, siren
Leaning on the backdrop, behind the table: everything we need for “How the animals came to live in Felicity Falls.”
On the guest chairs: extra copies of the books.
And we’re all set for Snippets of Canada 150!