From shadow puppets to marionettes, I bet you think you’ve heard of every kind of puppet, but I’ve got a surprise for you! Have you ever heard of a humanette?
Long ago I was attracted to puppetry because it has so many mediums -- both visual and theatrical. I thought after almost 40 years of puppeteering, if I hadn’t made it all, I’d seen it all! Well, I was wrong. Where have these wonderful, whimsical humanettes been hiding all my life? A humanette has a puppet-sized body which hangs from the neck of the performer. The head of the puppeteer serves as the comically oversized head of the puppet. The puppet can be manipulated in many ways and can perform a huge number of tricks. It’s totally surreal! For more on one of the earliest humanette puppeteers, read about Ernest Elliot.
Plan to check out the humanette hilarity at Literature Live!’s Wild and Wacky Weather. Enjoy three stories about the elements: In the Middle of the Puddle as told by two humanettes, hand puppets tell the story of The Cowgirl’s Mitten, and shadows capture your imagination in the telling of It Looked Like Animal Crackers.
Find all sorts of interesting magazine articles, eBooks, and projects on puppetry by visiting the Austin Public Library’s Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center and browse the puppetry section under Performing Arts.
Check out our new Behind the Scenes Puppet Lab video; an insider’s view of how Literature Live! made a frog named Fred and a turtle named Ted so they could tell you the story of In the Middle of the Puddle.