Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day #30: The Humanette

Wow. I finally stumped Wikipedia. There is no entry for Humanette, which just goes to show that this type of puppet is a bit obscure! Humanettes are a human-hybrid puppet. Typically, a puppeteer will use their own head and attach a miniature body to it. They can they manipulate the hands and/or body in order to bring their character to life.

The Humanette!
 I've seen this kind of puppet used in cabaret shows, but one of my favorite uses was in a show called "Salmagundy" by Perry Alley Theatre. In this performance, Bonnie and Andrew Periale tell several stories and during one of the tales, Bonnie plays the daughter of Andrew by becoming a humanette. She portrayed a delightful young girl and it was done so perfectly; the show was zany and loads of fun!

I need to give a bit of backstory...I was really stumped tonight. It had been a long day (writer's conference, park, birthday party of a friend...busy). We had fabulous homemade pizza for dinner. Yum! I kept thinking about today's blog and coming up with nothing.

It was getting pretty desperate. I even started looking around for a paper bag (I am going to have to do it sometime this year, right?). Then my kids start chiming in with lots of suggestions. My ten-year-old came out with a stuffed dragon and was moving it all around.

"That's great, sweetie, but I didn't make it," I said.

"But you could make it move!" she exclaimed (with a fabulous demonstration).

"Well, yes...but I am supposed to be making the puppets or adapting them. I would be cheating if I just wiggle a stuffed animal around. It has to be something I made."

I stared at my daughter for a moment. I thought about how, technically, I had contributed more to the creation of my daughter than I had to the stuffed animal she was holding...AH-HAH!

Oh yes...I was going to turn my daughter into a puppet!

I grabbed a lovely handmade dress from the sock-monkey (thank you, Julia Hebner). I took a pair of stockings, stuffed them, covered them with white gloves, and inserted them into the dress: arms!

We found a black shirt and were all set to go...a humanette is born!

My daughter is quite the drama queen. Seriously. Just see for yourself!

I'm not sure she wanted this one up...
Grumble, grumble...
(Um...she's not exactly camera shy, is she?)
This is my favorite!


  1. This is awesome! Thea cracks me up.

    I had a VERY upset daughter on my hands yesterday evening. I asked Bee what in the world was he thinking? Who says no to the chance fr their kid to have pizza with a friend AND see Sara Jane Adventures? M.E. cried and cried. Daddy was in the doghouse.

  2. This is wonderful! Your daughter is a natural.

    I've been thinking about doing something similar with my "seedlings" but will probably wait for warmer weather when we can go for a nice walk in the woods for the camera shoot.

  3. Fantastic! She looks great and now I know what a humanette is.

  4. I never even knew there was a name for this, although I've seen it before. So awesome! Thea makes a great puppet! But you know you'll have to make a Teg one someday too, right? That last picture cracked me up!

  5. I actually tried to get my younger daughter involved -- but it was too close to her bedtime to make it fly. Don't worry, Rey, I'll get her in something or other!

  6. You all are truly blessed with the fun gene! First time i noticed how like you she looks.

  7. Love it! Thanks for the new vocabulary word!