Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Puppet Birthday Party

Labor Day weekend in Benton/Hazel Green is pretty hectic and I think we've finally recovered.
It was fun! Thanks to all who came to our shows and helped us celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Fever River Puppeteers. 
We were especially tickled to have some new puppetry friends visit from Appleton: Dave, Cassie and Joyce Payne. Dave and Cassie are a father-daughter puppetry team. Joyce, Dave's wife and Cassie's mom, has less time than she used to for puppets but still enjoys them.

We had a cake with a picture of Witch Hazel at the opera house on it. Actually, we had 2 cakes: one for Saturday and one for Sunday. Hungry puppet audiences gobbled them up quickly and I wish I'd gotten at least one cake bigger! There wasn't much left -- just a few slices to stick a candle or two into on Monday to celebrate Chuck's birthday.
To help celebrate his birthday, we thought there ought to be a parade, as there often is. 
We barely got all of our parade entries finished in time. Not much sleeping that weekend.
Chuck built a gorgeous Chinese dragon for the Benton First Responders. We didn't really get to see it much in the parade. We paid for the materials, so the dragon will be part of the parade repertoire of the Fever River Puppeteers.
Chuck also built a giant Witch Hazel Green. It's a backpack puppet. She looked pretty good, although we need to work on her arms a little. Also, in about the middle of the parade the board that functioned as her spine snapped in half, making her look rather grotesque as she/he walked down Main Street.
Meanwhile, I (Sandye) was walking behind him inside a walking stage. All I could see was the black figure of the giant Hazel in front of me. I had no idea that she'd snapped in half. I looked at the faces of the people watching the parade and they looked ... puzzled. 
My walking stage, by the way, is a small replica of the opera house which sits on my head. I'm looking out the front "doors." There are fabric panels that float down to hide my body. Inside, I operate a couple of handpuppets who wave to the crowd. This year,  I made two handpuppet replicas of Chuck and me, wearing our FRP shirts and dangling a couple of little marionettes.
(I'll add that photo to another post. I might have exceeded my limit.)

This year, we also added a fourth performance on the next Sunday after Labor Day, which drew a nice little crowd. We billed it as being for folks who go away for Labor Day weekend or are too busy. I think we'll try it again next year. I know I really got a kick out of doing the show one more time. It's always a bit of a let down when a show is over.  Although, that's less true in the 4 years we've been in Hazel Green. Now I always have another show coming up quickly to get ready for. Halloween is less than 2 months away! 
I'll be adding new posts fairly soon to update you on some upcoming events. 

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