Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mobile Puppet Theatre AKA TWIG Gypsy Cart

So here is the official TWIG mobile theatre. The idea is to be able to perform at festivals, in parks, on streets(busk) or anywhere else with a fully self-contained theatre....I took two woodshop classes and built a giant entertainment center!! (haha!) Under the guidance of a great teacher and friend...the very noble Sir Robert Stevens (and his trusty accomplice in greatness...Dale Evans.) Thank You, Thank You from the corpuscles of my heart. You shall never know...

Without wheels it is about 5 feet tall, 22 inches deep and 32 inches wide. This is a shot before the doors went on. See the handle on the other side...once she gets her wheels she will tilt and roll like a hand truck . The top compartments house the sound system as well as the AC/DC "switch". I will have the ability to plug in or be self sufficient!
The three large compartments(with curtains) are for puppets and lanterns. Valuables will be stowed away behind the little door with the lock on it. Below that- puppet first aid supplies and the bottom slot is for my sandwich board and a coupla small fold-up chairs. I tried to think of everything!!

Living in California and watching the street performers sparked my interest in this rather intimate way of being with the audience. Busking makes "the magic" available to all, right there unexpectedly. I love that. Suddenly, total strangers are talking and laughing together. I am interested in bringing puppetry to everyone...especially adults....Those of us who have forgotten our own wonderous heart.

 I built the theatre with this in mind. As well, I considered the parameters outlined below in the Santa Monica buskers guide manual. Yes, there is a manual for this. And it says....

All performers/performances 

1- MUST BE SELF-CONTAINED...meaning no plugs...DC only..(.however for most other venues I knew AC would be available so I wanted both.)

2- MUST be able to move or relocate in ONE trip....getting wheels...check!!

3- MUST NOT "set up" a stage....while I don't exactly need a classic puppet stage I do need a "staging area"...a backstage area. A place from which to reveal the puppets out from behind. The cart itself serves this purpose with nothing further to assemble. It is the perfect height to be able to hide behind and put the puppet "on".

Here it is ...doors open. This is the audience side. The audience sees the design and name of the theatre...I am imagining 2 lanterns on either side towards the top..they will be old European looking lanterns with crackled amber isinglass (mica in thin sheets).  The wheels are going to be 24" hand made Amish wooden wagon wheels... this tops off the Gypsy look! Hey, it's the Hungarian in me! Thanks grandmama.

Here is a closeup of one of the motifs I played with. It is an Art Nouveau Font. I have always felt very passionate about The Art Nouveau movement. The space below will be inhabited by a small woodland scene. Something dark....a little hard to see...kinda nondiscript. like..."OOoooo, thats mystical and curioso...what is it?!"
A dark piney forest...a sparkles, smudges and fireflies...yeah...something like that.

Details details details! I love the details!! Here is a close-up of the steel bar handle... I wrapped leather around it and stitched the pieces in place and then added some colorful wispy yarn pieces. Back in '89 I went to Magico Magico School and let me tell you, colorful wispy yarn pieces are like basic 101 magic conjuring.
I will also be adding a cowbell for carting the crowded cobble streets of buskingland. :)
To top off the old world Gypsy look I have been saving this old rusty turn-of-the-century padlock that I will use to lock the two doors together. As we roll up to perform people will say "Whoa! What could possibly be inside such a magical looking thing?" and I'll say "stick around and see ...more magic indeed."


  1. 3 years ago :O well Im inspired...Im off to keep reading your adventure now...i hope it fireworks!

  2. Want To Complete Projects The Easy and Quick Way? This is THE Perfect
    Opportunity You've Been Waiting For ! The is the one I like the most
    thx for the idea? Can you see more detail this:woodworking


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