Sunday, April 26, 2009

Help from Facebook Friends

Status Update #1: Elly Leaverton is on the bus pondering what to call her puppet group
Jon Boley
Leaverton's Puppet Meanagerie
Elly Leaverton
A good one...I'll put it on my list. Thanks.
Dylan Greene
How about "Puppets for Poppets"?
Elly Leaverton
Wes came up with that one too. I think it's limiting...sounds like I'm aiming for a very young audience. I do perform Punch and Judy you know.

Status Update #2: Elly Leaverton is thinking maybe she should go with a compound word...Puppet______or ______Puppet.
Rob H. D'Arc
You're on the bus... How about "The Puppet Bus" or "Bus Full of Puppets" or think about who your ideal audience is and skew the phrase to that... For example, if you wanted to do home birthdays, you could call it "Puppet Party" or "Party Puppets"... or "Party Puppets Presents..." which sounds like presents(gifts)... Basically, an effective name is the one the audience "gets." Good Luck!
Elly Leaverton
This has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I've asked a ton of people. Blogged on it...went through several name styles and languages...

Status Update #3: Elly Leaverton is still pondering names...too many, if I were trying to name an engineering firm, that would be much easier. Puppetry Consulting Northwest or Puppetry Solutions, Inc. or Puppet Tech or Cascade Puppeteering & Design, Inc. No Problem.
Sandra Hould
Is the name for a puppet?
Elly Leaverton
No, the name for my group
Rob H. D'Arc
Go the opposite of engineering...think random, fun, silly...."Pile O'Puppets" "PuppetPlop" or some word, then puppets... Roger did that... "Snapdragon Puppets" It just needs to be fun to say!
Elly Leaverton
Ambilarious Puppeteers is one the group came up with last time we met. Hilarious with both hands.
Sandra Hould
Interresting name, hwat other names have you guys come up with?
Elly Leaverton
One that's high on the list is "West Cascade Puppet Theater" because it's regional, practical and sounds's also rather reserved--not random, fun or silly.
Sandra Hould
I agree, it does sound more professionnal and it is a name that is more inviting.
Elly Leaverton
Yeah...but so does Cascade Puppeteering & Design, Inc. :)
Dylan Greene
Pacific Professional Puppetry?
Elly Leaverton
is there a Pacific Professional Photography some where? ;)

Status Update #4: Elly Leaverton is thinking, "How about Paper Lantern Puppet Theater?"
Sandra Hould
Reminds me of a asian type of puppetry, because of the paper lantern. Is it the case? Are you specialising in asian types of puppets like bunraku?
Rob H. D'Arc
You need to ask, will the sort of people I want to book these shows think, "Hey, that sounds fun..." Paper Lantern Theater sounds like paper lanterns doing Macbeth... At the very least, it sounds like all the shows will be asian-based, do you want to limit your audience? Think whimsically!
Elly Leaverton
Pom-pom Puppet Theater?
Wes Thompson
Puppet Nation Theater. Although I still think "Puppet Proctology" is the best puppet group name ever.

Status Update #5: Elly Leaverton is thinking too hard. Now she understands why it took Jennifer so long to name her baby...
Sandra Hould
Exactly, a name is a long term commitment, one that will reflect what you do as long as your company will exist.
Frank Reinart
No pressure...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Event Annoucement--Day of Puppetry for Puppeteers in Ballard

On May 16, 2009, the Puppeteers of Puget Sound [] will be hosting a Day of Puppetry for Puppeteers in Ballard.

This is a day dedicated to showcasing the work of local puppeteers. Showcase performers will be announced on the website [] May 1, 2009.

The event itself will occur at the Sunset Hill Community Club
[ ] on May 16 with daytime showcase performance times to be announced. There will be a social hour to show off your favorite puppet, a short meeting of the Puppeteers of Puget Sound and a special evening preview of Kyle Loven's Dear Lewis, recipient of a 2009 Jim Henson Foundation Seed Grant.

Please register by RSVPing to the Evite if you got one. If you need an Evite or cannot use Evite send an email to the webmaster at This event is free to Puppeteers of Puget Sound and prospective members. Puppeteers of Puget Sound members who attend the Day of Puppetry will receive a free ticket to Thistle Theatre's 3:00pm performance of the Goblin and the Poet on the day of Puppetry.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pick-up Rehearsals Have Begun

It is so difficult to “Pick-up” from where you left off on a puppet show way back in September. We must relearn lines and blocking. Also, remembering the configuration of props and puppets behind stage is a challenge. Luckily, with no fore-thought at all, I had taken “Behind the Scenes” shots of the inside of the stage and we were able to use those to re-construct the set-up.
Behind the scenes: Prop Rack 1
Another difficulty we are dealing with is the fact that we will be down 2 performers at both the May 3rd show as well as the May 16th show. Ushio, we find, was instrumental in more scenes than the one he was in. The boat scene was the most difficult to do without him. Right now my solution is to have one puppeteer control both Momotaro and the Dog so that frees up the other puppeteer to help work the ocean and the flat puppets. However, I’m thinking that I’d like to figure out a way to mount the ocean to the stage so I don’t have to do that. Holding up scenery is not a very good use of a puppeteer.
Here’s where we will be performing at the Tsubaki Shrine:
Stage Location at Shrine (3)

It’s on May 3rd and our show will begin at about 11:15am immediately following the ceremony called “Kodomo O-harae Taisai”.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We are the [Fill in the Blank] Puppeteers

It is time.
My Japanese folktale puppet group is getting more and more shows. I’ve been asked several times what my group is called. Heh.
Right now we are called: Aki Matsuri Volunteers in association with Puppeteers of Puget Sound, a guild of the Puppeteers of America. What a mouth full! When we got to the Aki Matsuri, the schedule read “Momotaro by Elly”
So I have been thinking for some time now about a name for our group. I don’t want to go with a name in Japanese because that might be to limiting but I wouldn’t mind a name that works in both languages. For the longest time I was thinking of “The Umbrella Town Puppeteers” which has a cute sound in Japanese “Kasa Machi Puppeteers” but when I ran it by a Japanese person, she told me it sounds like the Puppeteers are waiting for umbrellas rather than a name.
*Small Sigh*
I love the name “Seattle Puppetory Theater” so I called up Joan, one of the members of that theater to ask her how they came up with such a great name. We got to brainstorming names. She had lots of ideas. Some of which included names from Shakespeare like Rosamund, Rosaline or Puck Puppet theater. She said she saw a puppet company in Japan that had a name similar to Puck…it was Pouk or Pook Puppet Theater. That’s rather cute. Starting with a “P” is good for alliteration. Trips off the tongue…which is an element that Joan says a good name should have. If we are considering cute “P” words in Japanese, I like the sound of the famous candy “Pocky”…the y at the end makes that one, and I’m not sure Pooky or Pucky would do as well. Horse-Pucky happens, you know. With Pocky you must pronounce it with the oc forming the English A: Pah-key and not the Japanese way: Poh-key…that’s too slow a word: Pokey Puppets. Doop-de-do.
At the Aki Matsuri meeting, I put forth this question to them and the only suggestion I got was to name it after a famous deceased person. This is difficult to do with performers of any type because they have groups and foundation and estates. You just don’t tribute name a group of performers with the name of performers. If you think about that, it’s true.
Last night Wes and Frank weighed in. They thought I should go with something like “Small Spirit” in Japanese. I’m not sure exactly what that would be. Chibi Gami? The word for puppet in French is Marionette, which means “Little Mary” so small spirit would fit. But it sounds a bit like an anime.
*Deep Sigh*
Maybe Jean and Joan will let me join their theater and be an affiliate: Eastside Puppetory Theater.