Getting Started WithPuppets
So you've found your puppets or made your puppets. You know that you'd like to use them with your group, but... what exactly are then going to say ? You're not quite ready yet to launch into a full scale puppet play.
Why not begin by making an announcement or introduce someone to the children ? Your puppet can add interest or humour to a flat part of the program.
Practice your announcement using short sentences and appropriate language for the age-group of your hearers. Remember puppets need to move in the mood and the emotion of the words they are saying. Have a minimum of narration and a maximum of dialogue.
Try these ..
BEGINNINGS.... The puppet(s)
> Enter excitedly when they hear the leader mention a key word. e.g.
Leader: I know someone who is quite rude.
Puppet: Food, did I hear someone say food ??
> Enter shyly, disappearing when people call out.
> Introduce yourself.
> Ask for a riddle and give the answer " toothpaste" to any riddle asked. It will set up an opportunity for some interesting dialogue.
> Enter looking for something, then look surprised when you find it. Look even more surprised when you notice the audience are there watching you!
> Come in complaining. you have a problem, or are looking for help.
MIDDLES... The puppet(s):
> Listen carefully to the leader and then ask dumb questions.
> Listen to one another.
> Make an announcement.
> Give directions to people to do things, look for something etc.,
> Make up a song (using a well known tune) , limerick or rap to advertise the event or person.
ENDS ... The puppet(s)
> Excuse themselves to prepare for the announced event.
> Ask to be shown the direction to the toilet and excuse themselves with great embarrassment.
> Suggest that it's time to go and look for another riddle, song, book etc..
>Suggest that it's time to go and visit Grandma for afternoon tea or another food related activity (we all know how much puppets like to eat !).
Remember practise in front of a mirror or a friend to gain confidence with your movements and dialogue. Soon you'll be improvising and ready for some simple scripts.