Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Just So Stories

We are pleased to announce we have started working on our new show, Just So Stories! We have selected three of the classic Rudyard Kipling stories for the show, and will be performing How the Camel Got His Hump, The Beginning of the Armadillos, and How the Rhino Got His Skin. Shows will be April 18th- 22nd at the Eric Carle Museum. Mark your calendars and look for more posts about the making of the show!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Workshops & Classes

CactusHead Puppets offers workshops as well as shows. We have taught workshops for many different groups, and can tailor them so you get a fun and educational workshop that fits your needs. We offer:

-Classes for all ages- We have taught workshops for ages 4- adult!
-Workshops ranging in length from1 hour to classes that meet multiple times over several weeks
-Workshops in hand, shadow, or rod puppets about puppet making or performance or both!
-Classes tailored to fit the theme your group is studying

Email for more information about workshops and performances!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pied Piper Performance Pictures

These are a few photos from our performances of The Pied Piper at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. We had a blast performing, and the audiences really loved the show too. The show itself was half an hour, and then we did about 10 minutes of Q & A and demonstrating how the puppets work. The photographer said she was laughing too hard during the show to take clear pictures, but these came out very well.
Enjoy the peek at the show!

The rats and the banana slide.

Rats are tempted by the cheese costume.

The Mayor unveils his moon ladder plan.

Photos by Kristin Angel

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Making of The Pied Piper of Hamelin

We had our first performances of our show The Pied Piper of Hamelin at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art a few weeks ago. It was a lot of fun to perform, and we had great audiences all week! For this post, we are going to share some behind the scenes pictures of how we made the puppets and built the stage.

The first step in making the puppets is to sculpt the heads out of clay, and then papier mache over the clay to make a hard shell. Here are some of the heads during the papier mache process.

The next step is to sand and paint the papier mache so they are very smooth.

Here are some of the heads before the hair is added, and a pair of hands carved out of foam.

We made all the hands out of foam, and then papier mached them to add strength. Here they are all ready to be sanded smooth and then painted.

The puppets' bodies are cloth sleeves which you can see here, and the costumes are sewn and then attached to the sleeves. Here is Sally getting her costume fitted!

Here is the whole cast costumed and ready to go!

Our stage is made of hinged wooden frames that we put a curtain around. Here you can see the frames that will become the front of the stage, and in the bottom corner are the frames that will become the sides of the stage.

A shot of the stage from the side with the curtain.

This is a view from backstage as we set up for rehearsal.

We also use shadow puppets in this show, and this is our shadow screen lit up in the backdrop of the stage.

Here is another picture from the side of the stage so you can see the shadow screen, curtains and down into the stage a little bit.

Hope you enjoyed the peek into how we made everything for the show. Our next post will have pictures from the performances!

CactusHead Puppets also now has a page on facebook. You can check it out here, and be sure to "like" the page for news and updates about upcoming shows.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Welcome to our blog! CactusHead Puppets is a new puppet company based in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. We are hard at work on our up coming production of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Check back soon for more information about the show and pictures of the puppet making process.