Sunday, February 28, 2016

it's got legs

There's been a flurry of calls for "puppet legs" with the popularity of two musicals making their way around the high school theater scene like wildfire: Shrek and Addams Family. I'm getting the hang of making and rigging these up to adventurous students. Here's the most recent set resting in the audience, for Uncle Fester's love song to the moon in Valley Regional High School's Addams Family.


They're a lauan plywood frame under carved insulation foam, knees hinged with cord, and secured to a belt over a black apron the actor wears over his biological legs. Two puppeteers operate the fake legs with rods, with the right lighting giving the effect he is floating in the sky. It's pretty simple, practical theatrical fun. Here's the test maquette: 

And the final legs in progress. I love this electric turkey carver! 

The tricky part was making hinged rods so the legs could be operated from above or below. These are PVC pipes wired into a pivoting joint inside the calves. 


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