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. :-)
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
- improvise singing & dancing (some already had this)
- work together as a group
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.