My New Favorite Thing: Glove Puppetry!

Hello Puppet fans,
It's your favorite time of the week, "My New Favorite Thing" from me, your favorite puppet, Bella Monster! This week I want to tell to you about glove puppetry. Glove puppetry is totally awesome! It's one of the most recognizable and common forms of puppetry. Being one of the oldest forms of theatre, you might recognize it as one of the most famous puppetry acts, Punch and Judy.

Brad Shur, my friend and artist in residence here at PST, is teaching a class for adults this Summer on glove puppetry. (photo right)  I wanted to know what glove puppets are all about, and boy did I find out!

Glove Puppetry Boot Camp
Instructor: Brad Shur, Artist in Residence

I took the class and can now unleash the expressive power of my hands in glove puppetry, like a pro. I also got to interview my pal, Brad for all of you to become experts on glove puppetry too. 

Here is what the glove puppet master had to say:

Me: Hi Brad!
Brad: Hey Bella

Me: When did you know you wanted to be a puppeteer?
Brad: I grew up watching the Muppets and the Fraggles and Dark Crystal, and I always loved to act and write and make things. By the time I got to high school, I realized that I could do all those things in one job as a puppeteer and be a part of the art form that I'd loved so much.

Me: What is a glove puppet?
Brad: A glove puppet is a very old style of puppet that fits over the puppeteers hand. The fingers are used to move the head and hands of the puppet. It's called a glove puppet because it fits over your hand like a glove.

Me: I'm a mouth and rod puppet, what's the difference between a glove puppet and the kind of puppet that I am?
Brad: Glove puppets mostly don't move their mouths like you do. They use body language like clowns or mimes do. That's how they communicate. A mouth and rod puppet like you takes two hands to manipulate, but I only need one hand for a glove puppet, so I can perform two puppets at a time, and that's a show!

Me: What was the first glove puppet show you saw?
Brad: The first one I remember was Liz Joyce's Punch and Judy show. Punch and Judy is a show that began in England hundreds of years ago. People perform it all over the world today. I'm not quite that old. I saw the show about twelve years ago and loved it.

Me: What was the name and personality of your first glove puppet?
Brad: I made a puppet in college named Oatmeal because he was made from brown paper the color of oatmeal. He didn't really have his own personality, I used him in different stories and he would become the character the story needed.

Me: How do you prepare before a show?
Brad: I'll go through the show in my head to make sure I remember everything and all the puppets and props are set up where they need to be.

Me: How do you start creating your awesome characters for your puppet acts?
Brad: The idea comes first. I think of the story that I want to tell, and then I figure out what characters I need to make to tell it.

Me: Thanks for letting me interview you!
Brad: Thank you! I've never been interviewed by a monster before.

Now that you love glove puppets as much as I do, check out Clown Circus performed by Brad Shur this week: Wed, July 25th through Sat, 28th, performances as 10:30am and 1pm!  The show and all of the glove puppets are hand made by Paul Vincent Davis, and Brad brings the characters to life with silly voices and lots of laughs! See you at the theatre!


Bella Monster
Clown Circus by Paul Vincent Davis
Performed by Brad Shur, PST Artist in Residence
July 25th-28th | 10:30am & 1pm