P inocchio - Seattle Children`s Theatre



P inocchio - Seattle Children`s Theatre
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Valued Contributors,
School Children Access Program
Table of Contents
Synopsis .....................................................................................................................................................
Washington State Learning Standards .........................................................................................
Carlo Collodi and a Revolutionary Puppet ..................................................................................
A Chat with Chris Schweiger, Stage Manager .............................................................................
About the Set ...........................................................................................................................................
About the Costumes .............................................................................................................................
The Evolutions of Pinocchio – From Carlo Collodi to Walt Disney to Soviet Russia .........
Pinocchio and the Italian Puppet Theater .................................................................................
Trust Yourself ..........................................................................................................................................
Do-It-Yourself Theater .........................................................................................................................
Listen ...........................................................................................................................................................
Words & Phrases That Might Be New to You .............................................................................
Jump Start – Give This a Try ..............................................................................................................
Drama in Action – Learn by Doing .................................................................................................
Activity Pages ..........................................................................................................................................
Booklist ......................................................................................................................................................
Share Your Thoughts ............................................................................................................................
Five workers are fixing up the theater with scaffolding, ropes, ladders, tools, fabric and paint.
As one flips on the lights, he is surprised to discover an audience. He learns everyone is there to
see the story of Pinocchio. He regretfully tells them to come back another day. The
others, however, convince him they can bring this tale to life using only what they
have on hand. They begin to act out the marvelous tale.
Old Geppetto is about to chop his last piece of wood for his winter fire. Suddenly,
the wood speaks out in a small voice. Delighted, Geppetto whittles away and
fashions a little boy puppet to warm his heart. Geppetto names him Pinocchio. He
proudly reveals to Pinocchio that he is his papa, and introduces him
to his only other companion, tiny Cricket.
As Geppetto and Cricket teach him how to walk, Pinocchio behaves very rudely,
grabbing Geppetto’s glasses and kicking—not out of anger, but ignorance.
Nevertheless, Geppetto declares that he loves his little puppet. But Pinocchio
says he wants to be a real boy. Geppetto tells him real boys have to go to school.
Pinocchio refuses to go unless Geppetto comes along to play with him. He throws
such a tantrum that the neighbors believe Geppetto is mistreating the poor puppet. Geppetto is
arrested and thrown in jail for the night.
Left alone with Pinocchio, Cricket tells him he will never be clever enough to be a real boy. When
Geppetto returns, Pinocchio agrees to go to school by himself and to work hard. Proud papa
Geppetto sells his only winter coat in order to buy Pinocchio a schoolbook.
On the way to his first day at school, Pinocchio hears the lively music of a fair. He trades away
his schoolbook for a ticket to a Punch and Judy puppet show. The owner of the show, amazed to
see a puppet moving without strings, offers Pinocchio a job. When Pinocchio says he wants to
be a real boy, not a puppet, the owner locks him in a cage. The only way
to get out, Punch and Judy tell him, is to make the owner feel sorry for
him by crying. Pinocchio cannot cry real tears, but his plaintive wailing
for Geppetto wins his release, along with five gold coins from the owner,
who tells him to go home to his papa.
A very sly Fox and a not-so-sharp one-eyed Cat size up the gullible Pinocchio
on the road. They propose a trip to the Field of Miracles in a place called
Tricksville, where he can double his money. Stopping at an inn, they search
the sleeping Pinocchio’s pockets for the gold coins, but flee when they are
interrupted by the arrival of the Innkeeper. He warns Pinocchio that his new friends can’t be
trusted, but nevertheless demands Pinocchio pay for their dinner. When Pinocchio resumes his
Continued on the next page...
journey, the now disguised Fox and Cat try to rob him of the remaining coins, but he clenches
them tightly in his mouth. Fox and Cat tie him up in the snow, deciding to return after the
freezing cold has made his teeth chatter and release the coins.
The magical arrival of the Good Fairy and her foul-tasting medicine saves poor frozen Pinocchio.
She asks Pinocchio to explain why he is not at school. Each lie he tells to cover his tracks makes
his nose grow longer and longer. Terrified, Pinocchio admits his recent
missteps. With his nose returned to normal, he follows the Good Fairy’s
advice and heads back home to his papa.
Waiting at the fork in the road are the now undisguised Fox and Cat. They remind
Pinocchio of the magical Field of Miracles, and convince him to bury his money in the
earth. Pinocchio waits for a tree to grow bearing gold coins. When no tree appears,
Pinocchio digs and finds his money has been stolen. He cries, but still no tears come.
Suddenly a crowd spots an old man foundering in a boat out at sea. It is Geppetto,
sailing the ocean to look for his dear little puppet. As Pinocchio cries out, “Papa, Papa,” the boat
disappears under a huge wave. Pinocchio, heartbroken, resolves to honor his papa’s memory by
finally going to school.
In the classroom, most of the students bully Pinocchio. But one boy, Lampwick, befriends him
and convinces him to run off to Playland, where every week “there are six Saturdays and one
Sunday.” At first, all is fun and games. However, as time passes Pinocchio
realizes to his horror that because they have not developed their minds
in school, each child eventually turns into a donkey.
Faced with a future of pulling coaches and being worked to death,
Pinocchio runs and jumps into the sea. The fish nibble away his donkey
features, but he is swallowed whole by a monstrous whale. Whom should
he find inside but his papa, alive and
well—but how to get out? Pinocchio
has a plan. Climbing up to the front of the whale’s mouth,
Pinocchio tickles it with a feather. The whale sneezes, blowing
puppet and papa into the water. Pinocchio manages to bring
his father to shore. Geppetto is very weak. The Good Fairy
appears again, but her magic fails. It is Pinocchio’s hard work
that must save Geppetto. He hauls water from a well for an old man to earn the milk that restores
Geppetto to health. Pinocchio continues to work hard—he goes to school, learns to read and
write, and earns money to buy his papa a new coat. One morning he awakes from a wonderful
dream. He feels different. He is crying for joy—real tears! He has become a real boy.
Pinocchio touches on many themes and ideas. Here are a few we believe would make good
Discussion Topics: Selflessness, Trust, Trickery, Storytelling.
We believe that seeing the show and using our Active Audience Guide can help you meet the
following Washington State Standards and address these 21st Century Skills:
• Growth Mindset (Belief that your intelligence and ability can increase with effort.)
• Perseverance
• Creative Thinking
• Critical Thinking
• Communication
• Collaboration
In our 2014-15 season guides we will transition to Common Core Standards along with
Washington State schools.
Washington State K-12 Learning Standards
1. The student understands and applies arts knowledge and skills.
1.1 Understand arts concepts and vocabulary.
1.2 Develops theatre skills and techniques.
1.4 Understands and applies audience conventions in a variety of settings and performances of theatre.
3. Theatre: The student communicates through the arts (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts).
3.1 Uses theatre to express feelings and present ideas.
3.2 Uses theatre to communicate for a specific purpose.
4. The student makes connections with and across the arts to other disciplines, life, cultures, and work.
4.1 Demonstrates and analyzes the connections among the arts disciplines (dance, music, theatre,
and visual arts).
4.2 Demonstrates and analyzes the connections among the arts and between the arts and other
content areas.
4.3 Understands how the arts impact and reflect personal choices throughout life.
4.4 Understand that the arts shape and reflect culture and history.
4.5 Demonstrates the knowledge of arts careers and the knowledge of arts skills in the world of work.
1. The student understands and uses different skills and strategies to read.
1.1 Use word recognition skills and strategies to read and comprehend text.
1.2 Use vocabulary (word meaning) strategies to comprehend text.
1.3 Build vocabulary through wide reading.
1.4 Apply word recognition skills and strategies to read fluently.
2. The student understands the meaning of what is read.
2.1 Demonstrate evidence of reading comprehension.
2.2 Understand and apply knowledge of text components to comprehend text.
2.3 Expand comprehension by analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing information and ideas in
literary and informational text.
2.4 Think critically and analyze author’s use of language, style, purpose, and perspective in literary
and informational text.
3. The student reads different materials for a variety of purposes.
3.1 Read to learn new information.
3.2 Read to perform a task
3.3 Read for career applications
1. The student uses listening and observation skills and strategies to gain understanding.
1.1 Uses listening and observation skills and strategies to focus attention and interpret information.
1.2 Understands, analyzes, synthesizes, or evaluates information from a variety of sources.
Continued on the next page...
A definition and checklist from The Kennedy Center’s
Changing Education Through the Arts program.
Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate
understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an
art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both.
Some educators confuse any effort to include the arts in their classroom with arts integration.
While all types of arts-based instruction are encouraged, it is helpful for educators to know when
they are engaged in arts integration. To achieve this awareness, an Arts Integration Checklist
is provided. Educators answering “yes” to the items in the Checklist can be assured that their
approach to teaching is indeed integrated.
Approach to Teaching
• Are learning principles of Constructivism (actively built, experiential, evolving,
collaborative, problem-solving, and reflective) evident in my lesson?
• Are the students engaged in constructing and demonstrating understanding as opposed to
just memorizing and reciting knowledge?
Art Form
• Are the students constructing and demonstrating their understandings through an art form?
Creative Process
• Are the students engaged in a process of creating something original as opposed to
copying or parroting?
• Will the students revise their products?
• Does the art form connect to another part of the curriculum or a concern/need?
• Is the connection mutually reinforcing?
Evolving Objectives
• Are there objectives in both the art form and another part of the curriculum or a concern/need?
• Have the objectives evolved since the last time the students engaged with this subject matter?
For more thoughts about this subject and a wealth of useful information
(including lesson plans) go to:
Born in Florence, Italy, in 1826, Carlo Lorenzini was an Italian
writer, journalist, civil servant and patriot. He was better known by
the pen name taken from the name of the village where his mother
was born—Collodi.
Although he was one of many siblings brought up in poverty, Carlo
was given a good education with priests as his teachers, thanks
to his parents’ noble employer. Work in a prominent bookshop
brought him into contact with the liberal Florentine intelligentsia.
He became an ardent supporter of the “Risorgimento,” a movement
that strove to free the Italian states from foreign domination and antiquated regimes,
and to unite Italy as one nation. In 1848, a year when many revolutions broke out all over
Europe, he fought against the Austrians in the First Italian War of Independence. Austria
won the war, but Collodi returned home safely to embark on his life’s twin professions,
becoming a civil servant with the Tuscan legislature and launching a satirical political
newspaper. Eventually, frustrated by censorship, he began to write plays and later, novels.
At 32, Collodi enlisted for the Second Italian War of Independence, and in 1860 the war
was successful, bringing about the unification of Italy. In 1865 Florence briefly became
Italy’s capital and saw a resurgence of dynamic political and cultural activity. Ten years
later Collodi, who was a passionate theatergoer, music‐lover and journalist of mordant wit,
was commissioned by the Florentine publishing house of the Paggi brothers to translate a
collection of French literary fairy tales from the 17th and 18th centuries, including those
of Charles Perrault. Collodi brought a realism inspired by his childhood in the Tuscan
countryside to this book, I Racconti delle Fate (Fairy Tales); it sparked a new direction
in his writing, which, within six years, was to result in his classic work, Pinocchio. First,
however, he was commissioned to write a modernized version of Giannettino, a children’s
book from 1837; Collodi’s Giannettino employed a more natural and playful narrative
than had previously been acceptable. It was a huge success and led to a long series of
entertaining and informative stories featuring the same central character, a lively boy who
was not a model of perfect behavior. The books, including L’Abbaco di Giannettino (Johnny’s
Arithmetic Primer), La Grammatica di Giannettino (Johnny’s Grammar Book) and Il Viaggio
per l’Italia di Giannettino (Johnny’s Journey through Italy) were used as school textbooks.
This was a period of considerable development in writing for children in Italy, and in
1881 Collodi was invited to contribute a serial story to a new and distinguished children’s
Continued on the next page...
weekly paper, Il Giornale per i Bambini (A Magazine for Children), published in Rome.
Pinocchio made his debut in La Storia di un Burattino (The Story of a Puppet), which
began in the first issue on July 7, 1881. Collodi meant the
story to be a tragedy; the series came to an end after 15
installments with Pinocchio dead, hung from the branch
of a tree by two robbers. Readers were grief-stricken.
They, along with Collodi’s publishers, demanded he
continue the story. In February 1882 under a new title,
Le Avventure di Pinocchio, Pinocchio was brought back
to life by the character who would come to be known as
the blue fairy. The series reached its happier ending on
January 25, 1883. It was immediately published as a book
with illustrations by Enrico Mazzanti, who worked in close
partnership with Collodi.
The fairy‐tale tradition had only a limited impact on
the development of children’s literature in Italy. But in
Pinocchio, Collodi made a unique, original contribution
Illustration by Enrico Mazzanti from Le
to the lore of fairies. His fairy is modeled on those of
Avventure di Pinocchio, 1883
Perrault, human in scale and character and a good fairy
godmother in type. Despite her dark blue hair, she gives practical, modern advice, urging
Pinocchio to be studious. Collodi’s fairy tale is illuminating and extraordinary both for
social and political satire and for exuberant fantasy.
Pinocchio was a great popular success. The fifth edition appeared in 1890, the year of
Collodi’s death; the first English translation, published in 1892, heralded innumerable
versions world‐wide and a vast international industry of adaptations, films, plays, toys
and other products. Pinocchio is one of the most translated books in the world and has
inspired a wide variety of ideological and philosophical interpretations.
Excerpted and adapted from:
Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales – http://www.answers.com/topic/carlo-collodi
The Literature Network – http://www.online-literature.com/collodi/
Science Control – http://www.sciencecontrol.com/carlo-collodi-biography-1826-1890.html
Please tell us a little bit about your working process.
When I tell folks I work in theater most of them think that’s pretty
cool, but when I tell them that I am a stage manager, a shadow of
confusion comes over their faces. A stage manager, I explain, is the
very organized person at the center of the director, actors and all of
the other artists and staff involved in each show.
My work is very satisfying and constantly challenging. When I start
on a show like Pinocchio, I spend one week before we start rehearsals
organizing things. These things include preparing the scripts, making
lists with phone numbers for everyone working on the show, starting
the prop lists and character lists for each scene, and then also making
sure we will have everything we need in the rehearsal hall.
Then rehearsals start and last for about four weeks. If rehearsals were a playground, I would be the
captain of the games. I work with the director to make sure we schedule the right actors for the right
scenes each day and I keep track of the very smallest details of what the actors are doing onstage—
we call that their “blocking.” I work with the actors to help them remember their blocking and to
support them by getting what they need to do their work. I make sure we have an environment in
which everyone feels safe and creative, and that they follow the rules. With the right energy in a room
and the right attitude, directors and actors are able to take risks and really tap into their imaginations.
About two weeks before the show opens, we start technical rehearsals. Only then do we work with
the full set, all final props, lighting effects, costumes and make-up. It’s a really fun but challenging
time because the days are very long (during tech we can rehearse from 11am – 11pm on some days).
We have all of our production staff and designers there, so we can solve problems right away. This is
one of my favorite parts of the process.
Finally, we add the audience. We may have a few preview performances and more rehearsals, but
then we will open the show and the director and designers all leave us for their next projects. I stay
with the actors and crew to run the show using my “calling script.” This is the script of the show with
all our lighting, sound and scenery cues written. During each performance I “call” the cues: I prompt
the running crews to do the right things at the right moments. I also maintain the show artistically by
watching for things we did in rehearsal and making sure the actors stay true to the director’s original
vision. Some things are allowed to change or grow during the run as the actors learn what works
well with the audience and what doesn’t. But sometimes I may need to correct or adjust some things
to stay closer to what they were in the beginning. So each day I meet the actors before the show and
talk about the previous show and make sure we keep on track. Often we are simply problem solving
together and the show evolves nicely as we work through the run.
I stay with the show until closing, the very last performance. After that day, I am done with that show,
and probably will soon be starting on the next one. Each show is different and unique, and with each
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show I feel like I am starting a brand new job with
new words, ideas and people. It’s really wonderful.
What is a particularly interesting or unusual
challenge on this project and how did you set out to
solve it?
Working on a new show with a new script is a unique
challenge for a stage manager because things are
always changing. Greg Banks (the director and writer
of Pinocchio), is very particular and precise, but also
quite collaborative—he likes getting input from his
Stage positions are described from the actor’s perspective
smart actors and creative team on ways we might
when facing the audience. Stage left is to the actor’s left,
change the words of the script to make sure each
stage right to the actor’s right, center is the middle of the
scene is funny, warm, makes sense and builds the
stage. An actor moving towards the audience is moving
downstage; away from the audience, upstage. The diagram story. Sometimes we worked a scene for a few hours
shows the shorthand theater artists use for those positions:
of rehearsal and then went back and completely reUR is upstage right, DC is downstage center, L is left, etc.
wrote it to try new ideas out. Sometimes the actors
even improvised the scenes to try out new things.
This was a really interesting process, but it was a challenge for me to make sure I tracked exactly
what the actors and musician were doing onstage in each moment, as well as tracking what they
were saying since they were also helping to create new words for scenes. I make a special book with
the script for rehearsals that has the script pages on one side and numbered lines on the other. On the
numbered lines I write down what each actor is doing and then put the number of that line next to
the words on the script page where they are doing that action so I can look back and forth between
the two pages and see what is happening when. I also have an assistant stage manager who helps me
track the script changes while I jot down the actors’ blocking. I have to go back and correct the script
as well as update the actors’ blocking moves throughout the whole rehearsal process until opening
The ultimate script updates and the final blocking will be very important to have when we prepare
to do the show again in Seattle. Plus, we will have the additional challenge of replacing some of the
actors with new folks. So I will have to make sure we use the record of exactly what we did before, but
also allow for these new actors to contribute their own ideas and input into each scene as Greg works
with them in the rehearsal process.
What in your childhood got you to where you are today?
When I was a little kid, my mom used to take my sister and me to plays and dances at many places in
Minnesota, including shows at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. I still remember those
shows quite specifically. I remember the actor playing the stepmother in Cinderella would improvise
a lot and sometimes stop the show and chat casually with the conductor—it was so funny, and so
surprising to me!
Continued on the next page...
But it wasn’t until I was in high school that I really got involved in theater and fell fully head over
heels in love with the work. At that time I acted mostly, and then when I went to college I focused on
acting and directing, but I also learned a lot about designing.
After I graduated from college I really wanted to travel, so I taught English in Japan for two years then
joined the Peace Corps and lived in Mongolia for three years training teachers to teach English. While
I was overseas I did a lot of theater and I used a lot of drama activities with both my young and adult
students. It was incredibly fun and constantly thrilling.
When I returned home to Minneapolis I got my first stage management job as an Assistant Stage
Manager for a new production of A Year with Frog and Toad at the Children’s Theatre Company. I
loved coming back to CTC and working at the same place that sparked my early love for theater as a
Chris Schweiger has worked across the country as a professional stage manager for over 12 years. Her
main residence is at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, where she has been a part of over 25
productions. Chris is absolutely thrilled to be part of bringing Pinocchio from CTC to SCT!
This is part of a page from Chris’ “calling script” for Pinocchio—
the script with all of the technical cues for the show. She
has marked the place in the dialogue or written down the
action that is happening when she needs to prompt the crew
to execute the cue. She also has written down reminders to
herself—TURN VOLUME ↓ WHISTLES tells her to turn down the
volume on the monitors in the booth because there are about to
be loud whistles onstage and she doesn’t want them to blast out
her eardrums, or the light board operator’s either.
These are lighting cues, which is why there is a letter “L” before
the number. She would write “S” before sound cues. Under each
cue number, Chris has written what the lighting cue does so she
can check that everything is working correctly: SL UP means the
light comes up on stage left; OPEN UP means the lighting fills
more of the stage; SR LADDER ↑ means the light comes up on the
stage right ladder. In the action written for the last cue, X is shorthand for “cross” which is theater-speak for “move” so
it means the cue is called when Maggie moves off the ladder.
You might notice that there are gaps in the cue numbers. The lighting designer might be saving those numbers in
case she needs to add more cues, or maybe there were once cues there that have been cut, or there might be cues
with those numbers that are programmed for the computer to do automatically. So Chris doesn’t need to write
them down or call them.
When Chris calls the cues, it will sound like this:
Stand by lights 52 point 5 through 58.
(The crew will let her know they are ready by saying Standing by.)
Lights 52 point 5 GO
Lights 53 GO
Lights 55 GO
Lights 58 GO
From Joseph Stanley, Set Designer
Pinocchio is a story that unfolds in many different places, from the inside of a house, to the
woods, to the edge of a cliff, to the belly of a whale and many places in between. In our version of
Pinocchio, the story is told by workers who have come to fix up and repaint the theater. The tools
they use to tell the story are the tools of their trades as professional painters, wallpaper hangers,
and handymen and handywomen.
The design for Pinocchio was inspired
by interesting looking hand tools,
wooden ladders and tool bags
The joy and challenge of designing the scenery and
props was discovering innovative ways to transform
the painters’ tools—brushes,
scaffolds, sawhorses, ladders,
buckets, gloves, and the like—
into different locations and
items. These tools also needed
to reflect the personalities of
the decorators. They are not the
neatest painters, so their world
is splashed with color. They’ve
been in business for many years
together, so many of their tools
are slightly old fashioned and
A scaffold is a temporary
well used. Everything has the feel
structure to stand on while
working high above the ground of a well-worn, comfortable glove.
Continued on the next page...
The wonderfully messy interior of a painter’s van
A digital sketch of the set design
The story, told by a fairly small cast playing
multiple roles, requires flexibility in the scenery.
The set had to be designed to allow actors to
climb to high heights and then to be contained
in small spaces. In one moment the set needs to
open up into the cavernous insides of a whale
and in the next moment focus down to a small,
intimate scene between Pinocchio and his papa.
There is room for wild celebration and tender
sorrow. We tried to use the scenery and props
to continually surprise the audience, to engage
their imaginations, and to transport them into the
magical world of Pinocchio.
When Pinocchio lies and his
nose grows, the storytellers
use a roll of wallpaper to
show the action
From Mary Anna Culligan, Costume Designer
Children have incredible imaginations; a bunk-bed becomes a ship, the wooden floor is an
ocean teeming with sharks, the rug is a deserted island. A towel or sheet is a beautiful gown or
luxurious long hair. That was the challenge of Pinocchio—finding the simplest of items to create
an entire world of characters.
The script says that the storytellers are workers painting the theater. I found some great photos
of house painters that I used as a reference. These painters’ clothes could be from just about any
time. And even though the painters are similar, they each have a very distinct look.
Research images for painters’ clothing
Once we had all the painter’s basic white clothes, I started aging
them—dipping them into various shades of off-white dye, fraying
edges and splattering them all over with paint. I wanted them to look like real and wellworn clothes that belonged to the painters. All the other
characters evolve from these painter costumes.
Paint splattered clothing research images
Continued on the next page...
Costume sketch and
photograph of one
of the painters
Costume sketch
and photograph of
the actor playing
The real puzzle came in trying to come up with those character pieces. Every piece had to be an
item that the painters come across on the set. The pieces needed to be simple and authentic. I
tried to avoid over-designing—I didn’t want anything to look
artificial. Also, the actors shifted from one character to another
so quickly that there really wasn’t time to have much of a
costume change. So that’s when I tried to think like a kid. What
were things that my brother and sister and I used to use when
we played? Paper hats, a towel as a shawl or blanket, mop hair,
paper bags as hats or purses... I played and the actors played. A
simple turn of the painter’s hat and the actor becomes a school
boy. A long piece of muslin becomes the fox’s tail. Yellow gloves
are puppet hands.
Then the audience’s imagination
takes over and fills in the blanks.
An upside-down
paper bag
becomes a hat
Folded newspaper hats on
Pinocchio and Geppetto
The Blue Fairy’s wig is a mop head
Centuries ago there lived—
“A king!” my little readers will say immediately.
No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood.
- Opening Lines of The Adventures of Pinocchio by
Carlo Collodi (1883)
Anyone familiar with the story and characters of Pinocchio through the 1940 Disney movie—and
that includes most Americans—is in for a shock upon reading the first few chapters of Carlo Collodi’s
original story. Geppetto, far from being gentle and kindly, is a violent hothead who wears a ridiculous
yellow wig and gets into fistfights with his neighbor. Pinocchio can talk and even
move while he is still a piece of wood. He steals Geppetto’s wig as soon as he has
hands, and kicks him in the face as soon as Geppetto carves his feet. And Pinocchio’s
nose begins growing uncontrollably while Geppetto is still carving it—before he has
told a single lie. Most shocking of all, Pinocchio kills the Talking Cricket (the name
“Jiminy” was added by Disney) within minutes of meeting him.
Collodi wrote the story as a magazine serial. At the end of the 15th chapter Pinocchio
is dead, hung from the branch of a tree by the Fox and the Cat. When Collodi bowed
to enormous popular demand and resumed the story, the tone moved a bit closer to
the Disney version. At this point The Fairy with the Turquoise Hair (Disney’s “Blue
Fairy”) emerges to bring Pinocchio back to life. The mysterious fairy sometimes
Pinocchio prepares
appears as the ghost of a young girl, sometimes as a beautiful mother figure and
to smash the Talking
Cricket in this
once as a goat. After this point, Pinocchio’s nose-growing becomes associated with
by Carlo
lying. And in chapter 25 Pinocchio finally develops the wish to become a real boy, as
Chiostri from 1901
mutual love grows between him and Geppetto. But Collodi’s story remains to the end
more violent and ridiculous than Disney’s. In one bizarre episode,
a giant snake with a smoking tail terrifies Pinocchio. But when
Pinocchio falls down, the snake dies laughing at him.
In Russia and the other countries that once made up the Soviet
Union, yet another version of Pinocchio has taken hold. Aleksey
Tolstoy (a distant relative of the famous War and Peace novelist
Leo Tolstoy) read Pinocchio as a child but lost the book, and began
re-imagining it in bedtime stories he told to his own children. He
published his stories in 1936 as The Golden Key, or the Adventures of
Buratino with his golden key, on a
Buratino. “Buratino” is a variation of the Italian “Burattino,” which
Russian stamp, 1992
means puppet or doll. Collodi’s original stories were called Storia
di un burattino (The Story of a Puppet). Buratino emerges as a more heroic figure than the original
Pinocchio. Together with his friends and allies, including Tortilla the Turtle, Buratino engages in a long
struggle against the evil puppet master Karabas Barabas. Buratino remains popular to this day and has
given his name to a popular caramel-flavored drink and a Russian rocket-launching system, so-called
Continued on the next page...
because of the “long noses” of the rockets. The book was adapted into an
animated film in 1959 and a live-action musical movie in 1975.
Pinocchio in Outer Space, one of
the more unfortunate of the many
adaptations of Pinocchio’s story. His
companion, a sort of outer-space
turtle named Nurtle the Turtle,
seems to have been inspired by
Tortilla, Buratino’s turtle ally.
In Italy, adaptations of Pinocchio have often stayed more true, in tone
and plot, to Carlo Collodi’s original. Examples include the excellent 1972
live-action miniseries, Le avventure di Pinocchio, which featured Gina
Lollobrigida as the Fairy with the Torquoise Hair, and the very successful
animated film Un burattino di nome Pinocchio
(A Puppet Named Pinocchio) which came out
the same year.
Pinocchio has been popular on stage as well.
There are Pinocchio operas, ballets (Pacific
Northwest Ballet will perform a student ballet
of Pinocchio in the spring of 2014) and, of course, puppet shows, as well
as musical and non-musical plays. The Windmill Theatre in Australia
presented a new musical version in 2012, which toured internationally.
The Seattle Children’s Theatre production is the fourth version of
Pinocchio in SCT’s history. The script, by Greg Banks, premiered at the
Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis in January, 2013. It is more
faithful to the Collodi stories than the Disney movie, though it borrows
some Disney plot elements and also adds some completely original twists.
The Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida
as La Fata dai capelli turchini (The
Fairy with the Turquoise Hair).
Guess what color her hair is.
It would be impossible to list all the adaptations and versions of Pinocchio—more are being created all
the time. As this article is being written, Robert Downey Jr. is in negotiations to star in a new version
directed by Ben Stiller. Here is a chart with a few more interesting attempts at the story.
Mokku of the Oak Tree
The Adventures of
radio play
live TV musical
Mel Blanc as Pinocchio
Mickey Rooney as Pinocchio
Fran Allison as The Blue Fairy
Japanese anime TV series
live-action feature film
animated episode of
Happily Ever After
TV series
Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Pinocchio
Martin Landau as Geppetto
live-action TV movie
Drew Carey as Geppetto
Seth Adkins as Pinocchio
Brent Spiner as Stromboli
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as The Blue Fairy
live-action TV special
Sandy Duncan as Pinocchio
Danny Kaye as Geppetto
Flip Wilson as The Fox
Will Smith as Pinocchio
Chris Rock as Woody the Cockroach
Della Reese as The Blues Fairy
In Carlo Collodi’s original Pinocchio story from 1883, Geppetto thinks of making a puppet
before he even begins to carve Pinocchio.
“I thought of making myself a beautiful wooden
Marionette. It must be wonderful, one that will be able to
dance, fence, and turn somersaults.”
A “marionette” is a puppet controlled by strings. Some people
believe the name means “little Mary” and comes from religious
puppet plays and festivals in which the Virgin Mary was
represented by a puppet. Maybe so. But marionettes are far
older than Mary. Plato, the Ancient Greek philosopher, wrote
400 years before Christ that:
Every creature is a puppet of the Gods…drawn different
ways by…strings. There is a soft golden cord which draws
him towards virtue…and there are other cords made of
iron…drawing him other ways.
This print titled I Burattini (The
Puppets) depicts a puppet show
starring Pulcinella. It dates between
1760 and 1770 and is part of a series
which focuses on the various street
trades of Eighteenth Century Venice.
That sounds like Pinocchio, all right. But when Collodi’s Geppetto first thinks of making a
marionette, he’s not thinking of creating a conscious creature that he will lead toward virtue
with a golden cord. He is thinking of making a living. As he explains:
“With [my puppet] I intend to go around the world, to earn my
crust of bread and cup of wine.”
Geppetto is planning to follow a long tradition. Italian puppeteers had
been traveling about Europe to make a living since the 1600s. Most
of the characters they brought with them came from the Commedia
dell’arte, the semi-improvised, highly physical style of comedy that
incorporated stock characters and became famous throughout
Europe. In fact, the development of puppet theater and commedia was
intimately intertwined. The most popular character from commedia
found fame around Europe as a puppet, changing his name and
character a bit in each country. Pulcinella, the sharp-tongued, bignosed, low-class, hot-tempered Sicilian peasant became Policinelle
in France and Kaspar in Germany. In England he transformed from a
marionette to a hand puppet and emerged as the famous Mr. Punch of
the Punch and Judy shows.
Continued on the next page...
Drawing of Commedia
dell’arte character Pulcinella,
In puppet theater, live actors often performed alongside puppets, as did live animals.
Puppet shows were often associated with hucksters, who used the shows to attract
crowds to whom they could peddle their dubious goods (such as patent medicines) and
services (such as tooth-pulling). This theatrical jumble is reflected in the magical, mixedup world Collodi created around Pinocchio, in which
animals frequently talk and swindlers abound. Some
Italian puppeteers had adventures almost as strange and
violent as those that befall Pinocchio. Francesco Briocci
came from Italy to set up a puppet theater in France. In
1655 the French long-nosed hothead Cyrano de Bergerac
encountered a live monkey performing in Briocci’s theater
and, believing himself insulted, drew his sword and killed
the poor creature.
Pinocchio himself has an encounter with a puppet theater.
In Collodi’s version he meets famous Commedia characters,
including Pulcinella and Arlecchino (Harlequin). In Greg
Banks’ version of the story at Seattle Children’s Theatre, he
meets Punch and Judy. In Disney’s film version of Pinocchio,
Punch and Judy marionettes
and in Banks’ rendition, the puppet showman is amazed
that Pinocchio can dance without strings. But in the original story, all of the puppets move
and speak without strings or puppeteers, though we know they are made of wood because
the puppet showman threatens to burn one of them to roast his mutton when he runs out of
One of the ironies of Pinocchio’s story is that though the world he lives in is similar in many
ways to the world of the Italian commedia puppet theater, and although he thinks of himself
as a puppet who wishes to become a real boy, he is not really a puppet at all. Far from being
physically controlled by anyone else, Pinocchio rebels against every attempt to control him.
He is much more obedient as a real boy than he ever was as a “puppet.”
Primary source:
A History of European Puppetry from Its Origins to the End of the 19th Century, Volume One by
Henryk Jurkowski, published by the Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY, 1996
Pinocchio gets into trouble at every turn. We may remember his nose growing when he lies, but
lying isn’t the only reason things go wrong for him. Pinocchio starts off as a puppet, not a real
person, so he’s missing things we take for granted. Those things are called instincts—knowledge
we are born with about ways to behave that help us survive and protect us from danger. That’s
not something little wooden puppets are born with, so when Pinocchio’s story begins, he doesn’t
have experience or instincts to warn him when things aren’t right.
Let’s take a look at how some instincts work—starting with newborn babies. Babies depend on
other people to survive. But even the smartest human being can’t read a baby’s mind to know
when that baby is hungry or has a stomach ache. That’s why babies cry. You know it is very
hard to ignore a crying baby, and that’s a good thing. Communicating is instinctive, and since
babies don’t have words yet, they do what they can to draw
attention to themselves when they need something. But a
baby doesn’t think to herself, “Hmm, my diaper feels full.
Maybe I should let someone know so they can take care of
that for me.” She cries. And she changes the volume and
sound of her cry depending on how urgent the need is. “I
need to be burped” is a different cry than “That really loud
noise scared me.” All of that is instinctual. Pinocchio doesn’t
even know how to cry.
Fear is a very powerful emotion and triggers many instincts. We are sometimes afraid of things
only because we have never done them before. We get over that fear once we face it and realize
we will be all right. You might have been afraid before your first day of school and by the end
of that day you were okay. And of course there are fears that warn us about things that really
are unsafe—like jumping off the top of a building, standing outside in a lightning storm, petting
a wild animal. Part of growing up is discovering what is really something to fear and what is
something you just need to learn more about. But you should start by always trusting your
instincts. Always. If something or someone is making you feel unsafe or uncomfortable you
should tell an adult you trust right away. Pinocchio, besides not having instincts to warn him,
doesn’t listen to people who try to warn him that he is in danger.
Look at this dialogue from the play. Pinocchio meets two strangers on the road—Fox and Cat.
Once they discover he has some money, they pretend to be his friends. They tell him they can
bring him to a place where his few gold coins will be turned into thousands. On the way there,
Continued on the next page...
they stop at an inn where they order a lot of food, leave him to pay for it, then try to steal the rest
of Pinocchio’s money while he sleeps. That night, he is ready to set off in search of them, but the
Innkeeper has some advice for him.
Innkeeper: Keep the rest of your gold safe. Forget your friends, go home instead.
Pinocchio: Tomorrow these four gold coins will be ten thousand, and I will be rich. Then I
will go home.
Innkeeper: Never trust anyone who
promises to make you rich in a day. They
are either crazy or liars. Listen to me. Go
Pinocchio: No.
Innkeeper: It is very late.
Pinocchio: I must go find them.
Innkeeper: The night is dark.
Pinocchio: I’m not scared.
Innkeeper: Be careful. It’s a dangerous
road. There may be robbers.
Pinocchio: A dangerous road, I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what a robber is, but
if I see one, I won’t talk to it. I will walk past and look the other way. Soon I will find my
friends Cat and Fox and then I will be rich.
The dark, a dangerous road and robbers. There are three big warning signs right there. But
Pinocchio hasn’t yet learned what robbers are or what a dangerous road is, and he doesn’t even
have an instinctive fear of the dark to keep him safe, so off he goes. And it ends with him tied up
in the snow, left to freeze by Fox and Cat. Makes you glad that you have instincts, doesn’t it?
As Pinocchio’s story continues, he starts to learn whom to trust and how to sense when things
are wrong. He becomes a real boy. As our lives continue we learn how to listen to our instincts, to
understand what they are telling us and what choices they help us make as we grow and explore
the world around us.
Many things help actors transform into characters and tell a story. Actors wear costumes. The
stage is often made to look like the place where the story is set. You might also have noticed
how actors use objects to help the audience understand the story. For example, a play about
Aladdin might need a lamp, and a play about Little Red Riding Hood might need a basket. An
actor might need something small and ordinary like a pencil or something unusual or large
like a rubber chicken or a motorcycle. In the world of theater, the objects that actors use on
stage are called “props.”
Often, a team of people is in charge of finding props and keeping track of them. Designers
usually try to make props look as real as possible—but not always. In this production of
Pinocchio, each actor uses many props but never what is actually in the story: the Blue Fairy
holds a wand that is really an old paint brush; when snow begins to fall, the actors sprinkle
sawdust; and a canvas sheet and a spray bottle become a giant whale. All of these props are
everyday items that you might find in your garage, but when we watch the show they are
transformed into something new.
When an artist makes everyday items into a new work of art, it is called “found object art.”
We can describe this version of Pinocchio as “found object theater.” The actors make everyday
items into props, and also costumes and sets. Kids around the world do this every day using
their imaginations. They can change cardboard boxes into far-away palaces, sticks into swords
and cardboard tubes into telescopes. When actors do this on stage, they are inviting the
audience to pretend along with them.
Actors use their voices and bodies to bring objects to life. They might tell us what they are
pretending an object is, but more important, they show us. Actors help us imagine that a found
object has become something completely different by using it clearly in a specific way that fits
with the action of the story. With some practice, this is something that anyone can do. Found
object theater reminds us that you don’t need fancy props to put on a play. All you really need
is imagination.
With a partner, find an object in the room that you are in. Hold the
object in your hand and imagine what else that object could be,
but do not tell your partner what you have thought of. Next, improvise
a scene that uses your prop. Remember NOT to tell your partner what it is;
see if he or she can guess by watching your movements and listening to what
you talk about. As soon as your partner guesses correctly, hand the object over
and watch your partner improvise a new scene using the prop to represent
something different. How many different props can you create from one object?
This production of Pinocchio uses a very imaginative, unexpected setting to tell the story. Not
only do the four actors and musician create props, costume and set pieces from the objects
around them, they perform all the music and sound effects live (except for one burst of thunder
near the end of the play).
They do it using this wide variety of instruments.
String instruments have tight strings on them and produce sound when the strings are stroked
with a bow, plucked with a finger or pick, or struck with a harder object.
• guitar
• violin
Wind instruments are played by blowing air through them.
• harmonica
• siren whistle
• slide whistle
A fancier
siren whistle
Toy siren whistles
Keyboard instruments are played by using a keyboard.
• accordion
Percussion instruments produce sound by being struck, scraped or shaken.
• bass drum
• cymbal
• flexatone
• glockenspiel
• goat hoof shaker
• musical saw
• sandpaper
• timpani
• vibraslap
• wind chimes
A glockenspiel is like a xylophone, but instead
of wooden bars it has a series of metal bars or
tubes of different sizes. Each bar produces a
different note when struck.
A slide whistle
A flexatone is a flexible
metal sheet suspended
in a wire frame with a
handle. On each side of the
metal sheet is a wooden
knob on a steel spring.
The percussionist shakes
the instrument so that the
knobs hit the metal sheet.
Trimmings of goat hooves strung
together make a clattering sound
when shaken. This is called, no
surprise, a goat hoof shaker.
Saws are played by pulling a violin
bow across the edge or striking the
blade with a hammer while bending
the saw to produce different notes.
Regular wood-cutting saws can
be used, but special musical saws
without teeth are also made in a
variety of sizes and thicknesses.
In Pinocchio the instruments are used in three ways—they
accompany songs, they set the mood for a scene, and they create
sound effects. Many of the instruments are used in more than one
way. For example, guitar, accordion and violin accompany the songs,
but they also set the mood in some scenes where there is no singing.
Setting the mood for scenes can be done with music—Pinocchio is
drawn to the fair by the accordion playing. The mood can also be set
by sound that has no melody—the violin makes a sound like a cold
winter wind. Often different sounds are layered together—the goat
hoof shaker adds an icy crackle to the cold winter wind.
Percussion instruments are especially great for accompanying
action. When Pinocchio is learning to walk, his knees seem even
wobblier because of the sound of the flexatone. Cricket’s chirping
is actually sandpaper being rubbed. The fairy’s magical flying is the
sound of a musical saw. Fox shakes Pinocchio to make him drop
some gold coins and the goat hoof shaker lets us hear the coins
rattling around in Pinocchio’s mouth. Pinocchio dives off a cliff into
the sea and a cymbal lets us know there are crashing waves.
Sound helps us connect emotionally to the story, adds energy to
moments that make them more exciting and can even make us
laugh. In Pinocchio having the sound performed live adds to the
feeling that the story is being told by five people on the spur of the
moment. It also helps us believe that a grown man is a cricket, that
the floor is the sea and that someone hanging from a rope is flying.
The vibraslap is a steel rod bent into a U-shape which
connects a wooden ball to a cowbell-shaped hollow
wooden box. The box has loosely fastened metal pins
inside. The percussionist holds the rod in one hand
and strikes the ball. This makes the box on the other
end of the steel rod vibrate. And this vibration, in
turn, makes the pins inside the box vibrate and rattle
against the inside of the box.
The pins inside the hollow box of the
To hear samples of a wide variety of percussion instruments, including the flexatone and the
vibraslap, go to this website: http://www.compositiontoday.com/sound_bank/percussion/
So, ah…goodbye! Ciao, arrivederci…
ciao – goodbye. An Italian word that also means hello.
arrivederci – until we see each other again. An Italian word used to say goodbye.
Actor 1: And I decide when we work. You got your violin?
Actor 5: Sì! – yes. An Italian word.
You clever little puppet. – smart
Where are your manners? – polite behavior
No strings and he dances like a dervish. – someone who is spinning or moving very fast. A
Dervish is a member of the Muslim religion who uses whirling dances to pray.
A fox. Who was lame in one leg. – disabled
It’s because of my foolish passion for study that I lost the use of my leg. – strong liking
Ignore them. – pay no attention to
He bubbled and spluttered, and bubbled and spluttered. – made spitting noises like someone
And tried to dodge the whale. – move out of the way of
When the actors start to tell Pinocchio’s story, one of them confuses it with other fairy tales. Can
you name the stories she is thinking of?
Actor 3: It’s all about a little girl called Gretel, who plants a giant and it grows into a beanstalk.
Actor 2: No.
Actor 3: Now I remember. It is about seven dwarves who chase a wolf called Red Riding Hood
through the forest and her hair turns into gold.
Ideas for things to do, wonder about, talk about or write about before or after you
see Pinocchio.
Looking at everything in the room you’re in right now, what five things would you use to tell the
story of Pinocchio? How would you use them?
Walk, run and dance like a puppet. Imagine you have strings attached to you and let someone
else control you. Then take a turn controlling them!
Draw what you imagine Playland looks like.
What promises have you made that are the most important to keep?
When Pinocchio becomes a real boy, what will be different for him?
What advice would you give Pinocchio about being a real kid?
What is your favorite story to tell? Tell it! Try using objects around you to help, like the actors do
in Pinocchio.
How do you decide what’s right and wrong?
How do you know if you can trust someone?
What do you wish for most in your life?
What do you think it looks and feels like in the belly of a whale?
What toy do you have that you most wish would come to life? Why?
Why did this play use an actor instead of a puppet to play Pinocchio?
Why does the Blue Fairy want to help Pinocchio?
Our noses don’t grow, but what does happen to us when we tell a lie?
What is the biggest lesson Pinocchio learns?
How would Pinocchio move if he were made of rubber? Glass?
Noodles? Balloons? Pillows? Try moving in those ways.
What does Geppetto learn about being a father?
Build your own puppet—sock hand puppets are easiest, but
for a real challenge try a marionette. You probably can’t get it
to actually come to life like Pinocchio, but see if you can give it
a distinct personality, and help it learn about the world.
This is a customized Pinocchio Dramashop* exercise for you to try.
EXERCISE: Puppet Sculptor
GRADES: First and up
TIME: 10 minutes
SET-UP: This exercise works best in an open space
Divide students into pairs; have them stand face to face, away from other pairs. Tell the students
that each pair needs to identify which of the two of them is oldest. Give them a time limit for
this by counting down from 10 to zero. Ask the older students to put their hands on their heads.
Inform them they will begin by being “Geppetto.” Ask the younger students to put their fingers
on their noses. Inform them that they will be “clay.”
Explain that you will announce a category such as animals; the Geppettos will then have
approximately one minute to shape their clay partner into a puppet that fits in that category. The
Geppettos should not tell their clay partner what they are creating. The Geppettos will use their
hands to gently move the clay’s body into a position that communicates a specific animal. It is the
job of the clay to be willing and open to the movement. Alternatively, have the Geppettos verbally
explain or physically show their clay partner the position or shape they would like created.
When the shaping time is done, explain that it is now time for the clay students to guess what
animal puppet they are. Rather than verbalizing their guess, have them bring their puppet to life
(just like Pinocchio) with sound and movement. Either cue the clay students to come to life all
together or cue them individually with a tap on the shoulder.
Repeat with another category like machines, or fictional or historical characters. You can also
give the Geppettos the opportunity to create a puppet of their choice. After 2-3 categories, have
the students switch roles.
VARIATION: Have one person be Geppetto and 4-5 people be the clay to create a full scene.
*A Dramashop is an interactive drama-workshop that Seattle Children’s Theatre offers to schools and community groups
through our Education Outreach Program. Dramashops explore the themes, characters, historical context and production
elements of SCT Mainstage productions. Professional SCT teaching artists work with students for an hour, fleshing out
themes and ideas through dynamic theater exercises. Dramashops can occur either before or after seeing the play and can
be held at SCT or at your location. Students get on their feet in these participatory workshops, stretching their imaginations
while learning about the play.
For information about bringing a Dramashop to your classroom or community group, email [email protected]
Use markers to give your puppet any
kind of clothes, hair, and expression.
Cut out all of the pieces with scissors.
Put your puppet together by matching up the letters and
fastening the pieces with brads or punching holes and
tying together loosely with yarn.
Attach popsicle sticks to the hands with glue
or tape. Now use your imagination to bring
your puppet to life!
Pinocchio wants to be a real kid… just like you! Think about some ways
to tell him about being a kid by answering these questions about
Write down your answers and share them with a partner or with the
whole class.
Name three people (friends and family) you love.
What is one time you were unhappy and they made you smile?
What is one time they were unhappy and you made them smile?
Name three chores you do at home.
Why are these chores important?
Whom do you help by doing them?
Name three things you do at school.
What is your favorite subject? Why?
Was there a time you thought something would be too hard or no fun, but it turned out to be the
For Children & Young Adults:
The Goat-Faced Girl: A Classic Italian Folktale
Leah Marinsky Sharpe
Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with Puppets
Kathleen Krull
Mouse Soup
Arnold Lobel
For Adults Working With Children
& Young Adults:
On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids
Lisa Bany-Winters
The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales
Maria Tatar
Splendors and Glooms
Laura Amy Schlitz
Making Puppets
Sally Henry and Trevor Cook
That Is NOT a Good Idea!
Mo Willems
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a
Medieval Village
Laura Amy Schlitz
Winner of the 2008 Newbery Medal, this book
brings a medieval village to life through short
scripts and monologues that are designed to be
read aloud.
The Velveteen Rabbit
Margery Williams
Wooden Bones
Scott William Carter
You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Fables
to Read Together
Mary Ann Hoberman
The Magician’s Boy
Susan Cooper
In this fun romp through familiar fairy tales, a
magician’s apprentice must find a lost puppet in
the Land of Story.
Booklist prepared by Erica Delavan,
Seattle Public Library
Engaging young people with the arts is what we are all about at SCT. We hope that the Active
Audience Guide has helped enhance and extend the theater experience for your family or your
students beyond seeing the show.
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Seattle Children’s Theatre, which celebrates its 39th season in 2013-2014, performs
September through June in the Charlotte Martin and Eve Alvord Theatres at Seattle Center. SCT
has gained acclaim as a leading producer of professional theatre, educational programs and new
scripts for young people. By the end of its 2012-2013 season, SCT had presented over 230 plays,
including 110 world premieres, entertaining over 4 million children.