Puppetry in the Rain Posted by PointHappy on Mar 25, 2009
I was laid off 6 months ago and job hunting hasn't been too fruitful.  One avenue I'm exploring is supporting myself by puppetry. 

I took a year of puppetry classes under Betsy Brown in college, I understand puppet making and how to put together a show.  In otherwords, I have a fairly good background in the fundamentals.

But my question is about one particular aspect.  Rain. 

I live in an area not suffering from drought, and the weather patterns are changeable.

I have a large bicycle trailer, and what I would like to do is to use my bicycle and trailer to transport the equipment for the show, and in some venues, even use the trailer as part of the basis for the stage.

Obviously, its not likely that people would want to see the show while in the rain, so I'm assuming that all performances would be in some kind of dry area, but I also see that there might be a problem if I arrive soaked to the skin.  And there is the question about getting all the equipment off the trailer and into the performance area while staying dry.

Any suggestions, experiences or comments?
Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by miguel on Mar 25, 2009
    to P&S
Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by PointHappy on Mar 25, 2009
Thank you miguel.
Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by Monkey on Mar 26, 2009
I'm Not to exprienced with puppets in the rain(Southern California) But I do work in the rain. I might suggest large plastic bags for your puppets (wipe off the bags before you take them out) and towels because you are going to get wet. Check in advance with the site where you are performing and see if they have a place where you can dry off. I am sure other people have much better ideas than this and that you will hear from them soon.-Steve
Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by Shawn on Mar 26, 2009
Posted by: PointHappy on Mar 25, 2009
Any suggestions, experiences or comments?

Pedal faster!    Just kidding.

Even if you transfer in a car you can have this issue depending on where you are allowed to load in your stuff. Try to make arrangements to get as close to a door or loading dock as you can.  If you are close you can tarp the entire haul and then quickly move it from trailer to inside the building. Plastic rubbermaid tubs are great for holding puppets and transporting them.  They well also keep your stuff dry in a downpour.
Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by Bhanu on Mar 26, 2009

Welcome to P&S...

Few suggestions.....do not take it if you feel all these are weird.

Why not make some puppet from waterproof material so that even if it
gets wet will not bother the performer or the performance!!!

you can also drape a puppet with a rain wear (overcoat/wind cheater etc) as it
enters the stage & then remove it before starting the play so that this will be part
of the play ....can include some conversation to mention about the rain etc.

Make the puppet to hold an umbrella and enter the show premises so that
it will look innovative...


Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by Henry on Mar 26, 2009
All of the above suggestions are fantastic ideas PointHappy, but I love the romantic feel of your thread title: "Puppetry in the rain".

It made me think of singing in the rain.

So I am sure that you could get 30 or so cheap umbrellas.

Incorporate the rain into your show and hand out the umbrellas to the audience members who don't have one.

Then in the show they can become part of your Vegas style dance routine.

Oh don't forget to tape your business details to the handle of the umbrella as this will help you secure future shows.
Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by PointHappy on Mar 26, 2009
Posted by: Shawn Sorrell on Mar 26, 2009
Pedal faster!    Just kidding.

Thank you.  These are some good suggestions.  As it happens, the trailer was made with Rubbermaid Tubs in mind, so those are a good idea.

Monkey, I understand about Southern California and rain.  I used to live near Palm Springs and there was one period of 15 months without a drop.  Talk about great places for puppetry, Paul Winchell, Velma Dawson and Shari Lewis all lived nearby.

I like the cheap umbrellas idea for my vegas style dance routines.  But better than taping a card, I could have the umbrellas silk screened with the important information.

Singing in the Rain, now there was some great performance, considering that he had a bad case of the flu the day that scene was shot.

Many of my puppets are foam, so they should stand up to a little moisture.  I will think about ruggedizing the others.  But I was also worried about a P.A. and any other electronics as well.  But those are all good thoughts.

Thank you.
Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by Shawn on Mar 27, 2009
Could you figure out a way to insert four poles into your trailer setup and then tent over it with tarps.  I am thinking this might be handy for outdoor shows on a rainy day.  Believe it or not folks well sit in the rain to watch a show.   Now it may be that they have cover for the stage itself but you might have to set your sound up or other things outside this area and having the tented trailer might just be the answer.  At one time I actually had canvas tarps that could be used to create a lean too type tent structure for protection of equipment and puppets. While I did not do it these could be "decorated" with your company logo or name.
Re: Puppetry in the Rain Posted by PointHappy on Mar 27, 2009
Yes, I had planned on using the trailer as part of the basis of a theater using uprights mounted to the frame and hanging the proscenium maybe 2-3 feet behind the trailer.  I assumed that I would stand on the ground and use the trailer as a back stage area for storage of puppets, P.A. etc.  But probably with some kind of curtain to keep things hidden.

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