By Alexandra Light
The current production at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre is a charming
puppet show featuring Molly Muffet (the great–great–great–great granddaughter of the original, “Little Miss Muffet”). Written and directed by Doug Strich, Little Miss Muffet’s Monster-Sitting Service tells the story of what happens when the little girl sets up a monster-sitting program while her parents are away for a high school reunion.
But have you ever wondered what it is like behind the scenes of a marionette puppet show? Or possibly how long it takes to produce one? The idea for Little Miss Muffet’s Monster-Sitting Service began to formulate in 2008. That was when Strich began to think of characters and a story line to fit them all together.
It was not until two years later (2010) that Strich began to write the script for the production. Once finished, it was time to build the puppets. The crew began building the puppets in June of 2011, and has continued to improve and touch up the characters since then.
Auditions were held in mid-October to cast puppeteers and voiceovers, and the cast began rehearsals in December of 2011.The puppeteers stand on a bridge 14 ft. above the stage as they maneuver the puppets’ many strings. There are strings to move parts of the characters that one would not even think of, like the blinking of an eye. To find out more about the act of puppetry, simply attend a show! Before the show starts, a puppeteer comes out into the audience to show the children and their parents exactly how they are able to control the many movements of the characters.
Little Miss Muffet’s Monster-Sitting Service opened on January 17 and will run through September, 2012. The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre currently shows the production every Tuesday-Friday at 10:30am and noon, as well as every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm.