Thursday, August 23, 2012

Puppets in "Cinderella" the musical at Artpark

This summer I was hired to design and construct the puppets for Artpark's production of "Cinderella"
I was lucky enough for the Buffalo News to have an article in the Sunday paper with my picture.
Here is the article on me!

News Staff Reporter
Published:August 4, 2012, 10:09 AM 

Making the magic
Some of the most captivating scenes in the play are those in which ordinary items in Cinderella's environment are transformed. A pumpkin becomes a glittering fairy tale coach and four white mice change into prancing horses.
"The carriage is big and beautiful," says Kramer. "If we do this correctly, the audience will watch a small pumpkin grow into a carriage right before their eyes. That whole transformation moment is going to be quite exciting."
The small animals that provide companionship for the oppressed Cinderella are the work of local puppet-maker Adam Kreutinger, who crafted four white mice, a calico cat and two versions of a dove that actually flies.
Kreutinger, who recently graduated from Buffalo State College with a degree in art education, has been involved with theater for years, painting, making props and sewing costumes. But "puppets are relatively new for me," he says. In 2008, working on a production of "Little Shop of Horrors," he met a puppeteer who owned a prized puppet made by a person who used to work for Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets.
"I had thought of puppets as kids' toys, but when I saw this puppet up close, it was a piece of art," says Kreutinger. "It inspired me, and I said, 'I have to do this.' I had sewing skills, but my first few puppets were a little rough. I developed it very quickly, though, and I'm proud of the work I do."
Kreutinger made all the puppets for "Avenue Q" when it was staged earlier this year at MusicalFare. "I built 14 for that, and those type take a very long time to make," he says. "I started in the summer and built them though December."
The puppets for this show are more realistic than the large-headed, talking creations he made for "Avenue Q."
"They don't have as cartoony features," he says. "More cartoony puppets have a big white eye with a pupil, and these are more of a bead eye, an animal-like eye."
Kreutinger made repeated prototypes for each puppet for "Cinderella" and devised different construction methods to get the effect he wanted - some are stuffed, some carved, some both. Three of the mice are fixed to sticks and move like push brooms. But for the fourth mouse, he says, "I made a lever on the handle and when you push it that mouse stands up. That is the leader mouse and the others scurry along behind it. That one took a lot longer."
Kreutinger is looking forward to seeing the show and enjoying the brief but important role played by his creations. "I love seeing my work being used," he says.
Renier, who plays Cinderella, says, "Getting to work with and interact with puppets on stage is an exciting challenge. In this version they implement the mice and a couple other animals that many of us remember from the Disney cartoon. I've never worked with puppets before, so that has been really fun."

Puppet-maker Adam Kreutinger crafted four white mice, a calico cat and two versions of a dove that actually flies for Artpark's 'Cinderella.' He says: 'I love seeing my work being used.' (Nick Agro/Buffalo News)

{ PUPPET SPOTLIGHT }Adam Kreutenger in his studio in his home in Williamsville, Sunday, July 29, 2012. He is pictured with puppets he created for Arkpark's upcoming puppet production of Cinderella{Photo by Nick Agro / Buffalo News}

And here are some photos of the puppets being used for rehearsal.


Another Summer eBay Puppet

This was a turtle I made for eBay over the summer too.

Past eBay Puppet

I am a little behind on posting. Here are a few things I did over the last few months. This was an eBay puppet I made a few months ago. The Purple Frog!