Monday, November 30, 2009

Crack! The Improvised Puppet Musical = Success

Dear Readers,

It's getting close to the end of my "one year of doing improv puppets."  I've learned a lot since my first show -- "Wild Wild Puppets," with Jessica Arjet's FTM show last spring.  Six (6) months later, we did "Crack!" on the SVT mainstage, and it was a hit. We had a nice sized audience and made $ over the rent of the theater. On the first of the two nights, the audience gave us a standing ovation. :-)

Lessons Learned
And on that note, here is a list of the stuff I've learned. Successful puppet-improv shows require:
  • Strong puppet training on top of strong improv skills
  • Strong ensemble; having everyone know how to work & perform in scenes with puppets
  • Right cast for the target audience
  • Performer with a stong skill base; you can't expect them to learn EVERYTHING in the rehearsal process; they need to come to the project with an existing knowledge base to build on
  • Imps who can handle the physical exertion of working with puppets
"Crack!" was a success because we cast imps skilled in narrative improv (some good singers) and taught them to:
  • improvise singing & dancing (some already had this)
  • puppet
  • work together as a group
What's next for the PIP?
Next year I hope to keep going with the PIP.  First off, we've been asked to do a run of "Crack!" in the summer. I hope to make the show stronger with improved puppets, more puppet tech, and a new cast (that fits the schedule).

I'd like to work towards having a core PIP ensemble cast that we pad with guest imps for specific shows.

I'd like to work up a puppet improv show to take "to the people" -- either at fairs, parks, or on the streets. With that in mind, I've built this last set of props to be portable.  I'll be working to modify my original PVC theater to make it sturdier for a street performance.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crack! Special Guest Star, Jordan T. Maxwell !!!

We had our final rehearsal, & technical run through last night -- and we got to greet & play with our special guest star, JORDAN T. MAXWELL!!!  Jordan is a powerhouse musical improviser visiting from Los Angeles and he really makes this fun show awesome. I'm so excited for this show and can't wait until FRIDAY -- Wahoooo!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crack! -- Tickets on sale NOW!

This show, two nights only, is a first in Austin, TX. An improvised puppet musical! There will be two acts, with a short intermission. Act I will consist of games and scenes based on audience suggestions.  In turn, those scenes will inspire the themes in Act II -- a completely improvised puppet musical.

Locally produced and directed, this show stars an adorable cast of puppets and their Austin improvisers.

Grab your tickets now, while you still can!  Tickets can be purchased at the Event Brite Website -- Crack!

Crack! -- Final Rehearsal

... is tomorrow night! We will be doing a run-though of the show with a full cast -- including our special guest star, Jordan Maxwell! It will be great to finally be in the space and have all our puppets and props and stuff.

Crack! -- Puppet Building Whirlwind

It's been a busy 2 months. Though I didn't get to build ALL the puppets I designed for this show, we will be working with over 20 handmade puppets. I've also learned some carpentry skills on the fly and built a rolling "puppet play board" along with some puppet racks to display the puppets during the show.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Puppet Karaoke

Is awesome. You should try it.

And if you go, make sure you take a bunch of friends that also have puppets. And if you find a song you don't know, keep up with the rhythm, and improvise the words. And if you have a friend who can improvise, have them improvise the words for YOUR PUPPET while you move its mouth and sing your own words.  It's all good practice for IMPROV PUPPET MUSICALS.

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Crack!" rehearsals up and running and going strong

We had our first rehearsal yesterday and things went GREAT! I'm so happy with this cast and where we are headed.  We went over puppet technique, a bit of in-scene singing, and started to get comfy playing with each other.  I'm excited for this format, and I can see it starting to take shape into a HIT SHOW.

Cool thing is the marketing team at Gnap! Theater Projects has launched the publicity machine, and you can now purchase tickets online. With only two nights, if you want to see this one of a kind show, you should grab your tickets ASAP!

War Horse in London, plus a Backstage Tour before the show

Exactly what it says in the title. I'm really excited about this show!!!