Amsterdam Marionette Theatre
props and sets are made in our own workshop. Sculptors, wood-carvers,
propmasters and costume makers from the Netherlands, Ukraine and Italy:
each has his specific expertise. In the unique theatre form of the classical
marionette theatre these various disciplines come together.
the design of Princess Pamina
For the design of marionettes, animals, props and scenery director/designer
Hendrik Bonneur looks for inspiration in several sources: paintings,
nature and sometimes a human model. The famous Neapolitan Christmas
cribs with their pastoral scenes were the inspiration for the marionettes
in Mozarts Bastien & Bastienne, the colours of the Breton landscape
were used for The Castle in the Air by Offenbach.
After the research phase all figures are being set up in clay by the
sculptor. If necessary, corrections can be made before the marionettes
are being carved out of wood.
year old Mozart
Each marionette is considered in its own typical character of movement:
a stiff noble lady moves very differently than a young shepherd. The
marionettes are being carved from lime-wood; in an early stage the joints
are placed into the wood to give the sculptor free range. Great care
is being given to the proportions and balance of the marionette: after
all the marionette moves by the grace of gravity.
for a costume in 'The Impresario'
a search is started for the very specific fabrics that are needed for
the costumes. Silk, lace and velvet must be strong but also supple so
as not to impede the marionettes - like dancers - in their freedom of
movement. The costume maker first makes the trial costumes of a simple
fabric and then the final costumes. The costumes are being decorated
or embroidered by hand.
moving stage-model in 'The Impresario'
While the marionettes are being made the propmakers are already busy
to make the small and big objects that soon will play an important role
in the performance. A hot-air balloon with in it a small man waving
a handkerchief, a ship setting sail and a movable set-model (picture
on the side): in marionette theatre the moving objects together with
the marionettes and animals form the company of ´actors´.
a plan for the light-design
Painters and set-builders get busy making the sets. Often there is cooperation
with Italian painters, who still master the craft of set-painting in
perspective. Finally, light-technicians and the director/designer make
the light-design: an often underestimated but essential part of the
production. In the marionette theatre light plays an important role
in the creation of an imaginary world and bringing to life the marionettes.
behind the scenes
During the rehearsal process of a new production the marionettes, props,
scenery and light are being continuously adjusted to theatrical demands.
For it is only on stage that it becomes evident whether a marionette
or an object functions well and has the desired expression. Often when
an existing play is being rescheduled new props or characters are added,
costumes and scenery adjusted.
A production is never ´finished´...
SEASON 2009 / 2010
design marionettes, sets and costumes: Hendrik Bonneur
marionettes: Liesbeth van Laarhoven, Hans Sietses, Jan Verheijen
costumes: Ivana Hodak
props: Gitte Clemens, Ivana Hodak, Liesbeth van Laarhoven, Hans Sietses,
the sets: Teus Klein, Hans Sietses
light: Pascal Puzio, Han Smits