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Pinocchio Miscellaneous

inocchio is my only play to date that requires two
operators. This was possible because Heather Jarry lent her capable assistance in building and performing Pinocchio during 2006. The play uses thirty-two marionettes. Some are string marionettes, but most of them are rod marionettes.

The script for this Pinocchio derived from four sources. The introductory scenes were taken from Kathy Piper's Pinocchio. Ms. Piper is always great at getting a story rolling. And her second scene in which Pinocchio meets the Fox was irresistable. I used a couple scenes from Collodi's book, and a scene from Remo Bufano's Pinocchio. And there was a play within the play freely adapted from an old Belgian marionette play, Ogier le Danois.

When preparing Pinocchio, a casual passage in Chapter 19 of Collodi's book caught my attention.

And if it had not been for a very lucky chance, (Pinocchio) probably would have had to stay (in prison) longer. For, my dear children, you must know that it happened just then that the young emperor who ruled over the City of Simple Simons had gained a great victory over his enemy, and in celebration thereof, he had ordered illuminations, fireworks, shows of all kinds, and, best of all, the opening of all prison doors.

I turned these few sentences into a major episode in my Pinocchio, by importing Ogier le Danois almost in its entirety. Charlemagne became the Emperor Charles, and Ogier became Pinocchio. The young heros, in both stories, were unjustly imprisoned and got released thru the clemency of an Emperor celebrating a victory in battle. In the Pinocchio book his release is just a matter of luck. Ogier has to win his release thru his curiosity, cunning, loyalty and courage; qualities I deemed appropriate for Pinocchio to acquire.

In the 18C, Hogarth drew this cartoon using marionettes for his satirical purposes. His public would have recognized that these were marionettes because they have a single iron rod attached to the top of the head. By this they are moved. For centuries this was the European marionette.
It is said that a Sicilian puppeteer was
dismayed when his colleagues added a second
rod (to the right hand,) a string to the left hand,
plus they even made the head so it could fly off. The
changes caught on, and Sicilian puppetry became as we
now know it. Our dissenter moved his theater to Belgium,
where the older form of marionette, with a single rod and
no strings, is still in use.
Manipulating marionettes only by strings had already occured in Asia. But it didn't happen in Europe until as recently as the mid-19th C.
see Puppet Mechanics
‘marionettes,’ ‘move them’

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