Marionette Project

This month, my daughters and I tackled making a marionette. This is something I’ve thought about doing for a long time. Of course, there’s a bit of back-story.

Early in December, I took our girls to the San Jose Dance Theatre’s production of The Nutcracker at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts (CPA). Both girls had seen a few highlights at school, and despite not really being dance enthusiasts, decided they really wanted to see the whole thing. It happened that the Girl Scouts had arranged a special backstage tour and workshop, so they donned their Scout vests and we had a field trip.

The girls loved the backstage tour, and then we went down to the CPA’s basement for the Girl Scout workshop. We didn’t really know what to expect. What they had were a bunch of activities related to theater and The Nutcracker. There were costumes to look at and try on, a finger puppet building activity, and a display table full of marionettes.

Now, I grew up with a couple of marionettes in the house. Dad had a Talent Products marionette named (I am not making this up) Jambo the Jiver. Dad was pretty good at making him walk, dance, and generally be entertaining. He says my grandpa had an even bigger marionette, and was very good with it. (I had a smaller clown marionette, long since gone.) I thought they were great toys.

Jambo the Jiver (more…)