Our Puppet Stage

As we worked to develop our puppet sketches for Kids on the Move, we began to run into the same problem: location of the puppet stage. Because the KOTM auditorium is a multi-purpose room, every stage set we design must be able to be hidden behind the closed curtain. Our stage is pretty deep. Any puppet stage we built into the set was up to 75 feet away from a student, depending on where they were sitting. What was our solution? Make it mobile! For us, building a mobile puppet stage met so many of our needs. We could obviously place the stage anywhere we wanted and moving it on and off during segment bumpers was a huge help. The great thing about this was we didn’t need any sort of specialized fabricator to make this. We just needed a regular carpenter. Here are a few things we did to insure this worked for us:

1) We made it sturdy.
This is not a few pieces of plywood slapped together. We’re talking an extremely strong wooden box as its interior.

2) We made it fit the décor of our room.
Many of our puppets are animals. Why shouldn’t they be shipped to us in a crate? The idea could be pulled off easily by tearing apart a few pallets.

3) We built it specific to our needs.
It’s just big enough for two puppeteers. We designed it so that the puppets would be at eye level with the host, who is usually me (I stand at an enormous 5’ 5” height). We attached a few inexpensive lights inside so our puppeteers can easily see, no matter what the stage lighting is.

4) We built it as small as possible.
Granted, a 5’ tall x 6’ wide x 3.5’ deep box isn’t the smallest item to store, but as far as puppet stages go, it’s not too bad.

This has served us well. If you build one, we’d love to hear about it. What’d you do differently? Shoot us a comment!

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