A Permanent Professional Stage
This stage is designed for professional performances in a more or less permanent place. It
is for presentation of the type in which the operators hold the puppets overhead so it can
be long and deep with plenty of room for the puppets to move about. Enough room is allowed
on either side of the opening for satisfactory entrances and exits. There should be room
behind for three operators to work comfortably.
Backgrounds can be painted on cloth or cardboard covered frames or on window shades, which
can be fixed in series overhead and raised and lowered as needed. Lighting can be as
elaborate as wished, although the strongest key lighting should come from straight out in
front to prevent the puppet's eyes from being deeply shadowed. Puppets can be hung from
hooks or strong spring clips behind the stage-head down so that the operators can easily
thrust their hands into them and pull them free for action.
Although props can often be found in the dime store, many have to be especially made for the puppet stage. They can be placed on the playing board, as shown, A; they can be clipped to the back edge of the playing board or placed on it, as shown, B; or they can be placed further back into the playing area by use of brackets, as shown, C. Getting a puppet in and out of the doorway of a three-dimensional house is solved by use of brackets, as illustrated, E. Stairs must be shown in silhouette, of course. Paper foliage and manufactured paper ironwork and other decorations can be found in display stores. Props and set pieces that are going to be placed on brackets should be as light as possible.