Turn-Around & Upside-Down Transformations

TURN-AROUNDWhen the witch turns into the good fairy, or the beast into the handsome prince, the turn may be horizontal or vertical. And the marionette should have full skirts or a flowing cloak.

The horizontal turn is very simple. A two-faced head is made, with a face front and back (if there may be considered to be a back). Fuzzy or flowing hair divides the two, which should differ from each other as much as possible in form and colour. The costume is in two similar contrasting halves. A single stick supports hand, shoulder and head strings. No legs are necessary with the flowing costume; a walk is suggested by the motion of the shoulders.

This marionette must walk on stage in "a cautious, sidling manner, lest the other side be seen too soon. And at the proper moment it must turn very neatly, and not too far around. If the back is made all of dull black, and it turns before a dull black background on a not too-brightly lighted stage, it will disappear.

The vertical turn is almost as simple. With this type the marionette may show its back without revealing its split personality. Two complete characters are made to the waist only, and there joined. A full skirt, each surface of contrasting colour, is attached at the waist. There are two control sticks, each supporting the hand, shoulder and head strings of one character.

By lowering one and raising the other, the marionette is made to turn, and the skirt hangs over the lower character.

This turn must be made very quickly, "with the audience's attention deflected by some other movement, a sudden noise or light. And the skirt should be weighted to turn without sticking.