Puppet, puppetry, puppeteer, design, voice, estill voice technique, animation, voice over, character, characterization
Puppets have been entertaining, educating, and mesmerizing American audiences since the birth of our nation. Both in live theatrical events and TV/film, audiences have watched puppeteers bring their puppet characters to life with clever voice quality choices, unique characterizations, and vivid visual designs. This thesis is a case study that first borrows insight from cartoon character designers, animators, and voiceover actors to provide considerations for voice quality choices, characterizations, and design elements when creating a new puppet character. It then investigates the connections that exist between those three elements once a puppet is fully realized. In order to identify these connections, a test was developed in which participants were asked to use a set of blank puppet heads/bodies and a variety of facial features to each build a unique character and then provide their puppets with a unique character voice. The data collected from the test was then deconstructed and analyzed by comparing each included design element to specific Estill Voice Training System™ vocal attributes identified within each individual puppet character's voice to find where connections occurred. The goal of this thesis is to provide a systematic method for creating vibrant and rich original puppet characters.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Skiles, Ryan, "Connections Between Voice and Design in Puppetry: A Case-Study" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 1179.