Old Blind Storyteller

The idea of creating a Storyteller puppet came following our first performance in 1988 where I delivered the introduction dressed in a tuxedo jacket. The form of the puppet was inspired by a character created by the Carter Family Marionettes where one hand works the mouth while the other, the right hand in my case, adds the gestures to the words.

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This page from the sketch book shows the idea of placing the Storyteller in a wheelchair, an excellent way to move it around and tell the audience that the Storyteller was old. The head was made of rubber latex with a full mouth of sculpted teeth attached to a glove for my hand. Hair had to be added a strand at a time! Making the Storyteller blind saved the even more arduous task of creating eyeballs!

Somewhere along the way came the idea to have the Storyteller assassinated and for me to open its shirt and remove the violinist marionette playing Paganini!

A new opening was coming together.

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Two Views of the Storyteller & Operator with the Box of Light, 1989, 54″w x 42″h, pencil on Arches paper


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Photo of the Storyteller by Ted D’Arms (1937-2011) who gave the character its first voice on tape.


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