Theatre Major Plans Career in Puppetry
Emily Bartelt was in the eighth grade when she fell in love with
puppets. Years later, she plans to make a career of operating and
The Worthington, Ohio junior saw a friend working on puppets and asked if she could help. Her friend’s mother, Nancy Locker, owns a puppeting company that produces plays and movies.
“With puppets, you can tell a story that you can’t with people,” she says. “Once you separate the human figure from the cartoon, it’s a great teaching tool. Children especially don’t feel like they’re being told what to do.”
started working and interning with the company in high school. After a
car accident interrupted her first year at Savannah College of Art and
Design, she worked with the company until enrolling at Alma as a
“In high school theatre I always liked being involved in all the different facets of the production. I knew I could do that at Alma,” she says. “Plus, I love to read plays, and after I saw the wall of plays on [Associate Professor] Joe Jezewski’s wall, I figured it was a good fit.”
Bartelt still works with the company over breaks. She says her most challenging experience was building puppets for “The Little Shop of Horrors” because of all the different sized puppets required.
“That’s what I like about puppets — all the little parts take so much time to make, but once the parts are done, the puppet comes together very quickly,” she says.
She also is a part of the company’s recent film, “Fifteen Minutes: Of Mice and Mops,” about a newscast. She helped build and make costumes for three puppets and operated five characters.
The puppets Bartelt works with are similar in structure to the Muppets. Hands are used to operate the mouth, and either one or two rods are used to operate the arms.
When she graduates, Bartelt plans to attend the University of Connecticut for its graduate program in puppetry.
Bartelt is also involved in Kappa Iota, Alpha Phi Omega and is the promotions director for the radio station, WOAC.
— Amanda VanLente-Hatter
Posted: Mon, December 22nd, 2008 at 12:44AM