Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is the artistic director and choreographer of DGDG: Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. She also serves as Assistant Director of UT-Arlington’s Dance Ensemble. And she’s a member of Muscle Nation.
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.
Every wonder who makes that red nose glow? Well, I have the answer for you (at least an answer anyway, because this little lady still believes in that Christmas magic). It’s Kathy Kreuter, puppet designer and fabricator for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Musical.
This stage adaptation of the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated TV special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, promises to become a holiday favorite in its own right, at least that is the hopes of freshman production company, Wishing Star Productions. The inaugural production opens on opens November 29 at the Majestic Theatre.
With this show, parents and grandparents who grew up anxiously awaiting to see Rudolph, Hermey the Elf, and Yukon Cornelius once a year, can now share that same excitement by gathering the family together to experience this once-a-year event, where incredible costumes and amazing puppetry bring all of the iconic characters to life.
While she was busy putting the final touches on the puppets for the show, I had a brief conversation with Kathy about her background in puppetry and this holiday favorite.
Danielle Georgiou: What drew you to puppets? Was this always a passion of yours?
Kathy Kreuter: Jim Henson’s Muppet Movie! I was in awe of it as a child. It didn’t occur to me then I could make them though. I loved to make anything and everything, but puppets came later.
DG: Did you always have an interest in the theater?
KK: I got into theater in college. I was recruited to paint the sets, then I did carpentry, sculpting, costumes, etc. I loved it all, the behind the scenes.
DG: Do you ever see yourself stepping away from the design and working the puppets yourself?
KK: I don’t know. I’m not a puppeteer actually. I just love to make them, but I am not a performer.
DG: What inspired your designs for this production? Obviously, Rudolph is a story that we have all come to know and love, what did you do to make your designs new and different?
KK: The designs for this production were challenging because of the desired sizes. Each puppet has its own set of issues and possibilities. Balancing the limitations with the desired functions was always the goal.
DG: What was your favorite part of the research?
KK: Finding out how my childhood memory of the show differed from my adult perception.
DG: In puppetry, as well as all theater, there is always a healthy amount of invention. In this production, is there anything in particular that you had to invent for the first time?
KK: The King Moonracer puppet is probably the most unique puppet in the production for me. Luckily I saved him for last so I had the most time to work him out; lots of exploring the best options for him.
DG: What is next for you?
KK: I am not yet allowed to let that out of the bag!