Joe Magarac Puppet Show

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.

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Legendary steel man Joe Magarac could bend hot steel with his hands.

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Joe Magarac and Newsie Ned. Photo by Larry Rippel.

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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.

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Homestead Harry, lifting a 500 pound dolly bar. Photo by Larry Rippel.

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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.

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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.

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Part I, Newsie Ned comments on a contest of competing steel workers at their annual Kennywood Picnic.

 

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