Great Lakes National Puppet Theater Blog

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Chapter 7: Funding

Well it is February 7, 2014 and we have a tremendous amount of work to do on the puppets and staging for our first show, “The Snow Queen”. Along with the repairs and restoration, we have decided to completely re-design the set for the show. Although it will look similar to the original set, we will be adding a rear projection screen, so that we can project scenery and lighting effects on to the screen. This will completely expand the possibilities for the show and we will only be limited by our own creativity and finances. Speaking of finances…

We have begun looking for grants and private funding for the theater and for “The Snow Queen”. I just spent several days researching some available grants and I believe that the first one that we apply for is the Henson grants. I will be working on the proposal letter and materials in the next couple of days, as everything needs to be sent out by March.

We have set up a fund raising campaign on Kickstarter.com and will have it active during the months of March and April. We are hoping to raise $5,000 to help remount “The Snow Queen”. More on that in the coming weeks…

Great Lakes National Puppet Theater Blog

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Originally posted on October 14, 2010

Chapter 1: Little Eyes Staring at Me

So, about two months ago I heard a rumor. Something that I had feared for quite some time. I received word that my old company, Das Puppenspiel Puppet Theatre was closing. It seems that after 37 years, the company was in too much debt and the operating money was gone. The board of directors, which I am told went from 11 members, down to 3 (is it any wonder that there was no money, with nobody around to do any kind of fund-raising or grant writing?) had no choice but to close down. I am told that they moved everything that might bring in some money,

into a storage box and everything else (small puppets, sets, curtains, props, special effects, trunks and cases, etc.) was left behind. (Which means…is now in a landfill somewhere! Damn Shame!) So, in my ultimate wisdom, I come up with this idea…”if I can get enough money together, I can buy the puppets and keep at least a couple of the shows alive!” So…here we are…October 14, 2010…2:56 p.m. and I have now found financial backing so that Jenny and I can purchase the puppets from “The Snow Queen” (the set, props, effects and everything else was left behind. *see landfill comment) AND the complete “Pictures at an Exhibition”, Das Puppenspiel’s award-winning show. Although, I learned this past week that some of the curtains for “Pictures” may be missing. So begins a labor of love…cleaning, repairing and restoring these little works of art that have been delighting audiences for well over twenty years! Each puppet will be evaluated to see what need to be done in the restoration process. The costumes mill be cleaned, repaired or replaced and the puppets head, hands and feet will be cleaned, cracks repaired and repainted as needed. While we are at it, the entire set will be replaced for “The Snow Queen”, as well as the props and effects. With the advances in technology, I will be able to achieve BETTER effects at a much lower cost. We will also be rewriting the script and writing new, original music for the show. “Pictures” will remain untouched, as far as rewrites. I want to keep this piece in as close to original form as possible.

Chapter 2: The Birth of a New Company

So, to accommodate all of the new shows, along with our own original work, Jenny and I have created “Great Lakes National Puppet Theater“, as an offshoot of Vincent Magic Productions. Future projects will include a new website for the company, lots of grant writing, auditioning, casting and rehearsing new puppeteers and, most importantly, keeping the spirit and vision of Das Puppenspiel alive and well.

I invite all of you to take this journey with us.