It’s been a while since I’ve done regular blog posts. Here are some images from a November 2018 puppet show at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Mike Cuccaro and I developed a series of shows about the Pittsburgh folk legend, Joe Magarac. We wrote a script, crafted puppets and then built three shows to perform in various galleries of the museum. We adapted a variety of Magarac legends, weaving in content from the works in the Westmoreland collection. The shows were played throughout the day on the museum’s Family Day.
Legendary steel man Joe Magarac could bend hot steel with his hands.
Joe Magarac and Newsie Ned. Photo by Larry Rippel.
Mike Cuccaro sings the Joe Magarac Song to open Part II of our show. Joe works 24 hours a day, doing shifts in the Homestead, Monessen and Braddock steel mills.
Homestead Harry, lifting a 500 pound dolly bar. Photo by Larry Rippel.
Getting ready to start Part I of the puppet show. A wheeled stage made it easy to move the show to various galleries of the museum.
In the final act of the production, Joe Magarac falls into a vat of hot steel, and is then poured into steel beams used for the creation of a new bridge. In this scene Joe has become the bridge.
Part I, Newsie Ned comments on a contest of competing steel workers at their annual Kennywood Picnic.