Show Length  |  Show Set Up  |  Prices  |  Insurance  |  Terms  |  Booking a Show  |  Bios  |  Design


Show Information

arionette puppetry is a rare and dying art, yet Franklin Haynes Marionettes celebrates thirty years of pulling heartstrings.   We have over two-hundred professional handcrafted marionettes-- a lifetime of dedicated work. We have thirteen different shows, so you will get a new and different experience each time we come out to you.  Please see "Our Shows" link to see both our year-round and seasonal shows.

We are a self contained "one man" traveling show that come to your location. 

Our colorful, interactive, and child friendly marionette puppets stand about 18-20 inches tall and perform right out in front of the audience.  The children delight at the puppets' animated moving eyes, mouths and eyebrows.

The shows are well maintained.  There are no beat up or worn looking puppets in our shows.   We are well known for our fresh and colorful characters and beautiful stage curtains.

All costumes are bright, clean, and professionally designed and constructed by a former designer. 
 

Show Lengths

Half Hour

 

Forty-Five Minute Educational Workshop-Puppets

AROUND THE WORLD!  We have a fifteen minute educational puppet workshop extension that follows the puppet show.  This educational workshop is great for school and library shows.  However, this workshop is fun for birthday parties too, especially if you want to keep the birthday guests engaged in fun learning activities.  The show plus the workshop extension will last forty-five minutes!

During the workshop the children will explore, on their age appropriate level, the wondrous art of puppetry.  A collection of puppets from AROUND THE WORLD will be shared and touched.  It's a perfect tie in for multicultural or International Day celebrations.  Kids will see the five main genres of puppet types: hand, rod, shadow, sock, finger, and of course marionettes! 

For school and library shows, reading, language arts, literacy, and writing, are put in play when at the conclusion of the educational workshop, the children are read a classic story book.  After the story, all audience members will receive materials to take home to make their own hand puppets from the characters in the story!
 
 
For school shows, teachers are encouraged to make the puppets with the kids in the classroom.  The children are encouraged to perform their own show, and write their own scripts with their puppets.

 

Forty-Five Minute Photo Shoot Time

After the show have some relaxed time to take poses of the kids with puppets!  This is a great opportunity the birthday child or individual classrooms to have their photo taken with puppets with your smart phone!  Post your party pictures on Face Book or Instagram!

         

 

One Hour

Again, all shows run one half hour.  However, we also have a half hour puppet making workshop extension available!  You get a half hour show followed by a fun and engaging  half hour puppet making activity. The show with puppet making total one hour.

The children will make their own paper bag hand puppets with the puppeteer right after the show!  This is a fun activity, especially for children’s birthday parties where we will keep the kids busy for you and quietly engaged!

Setting up for puppet making is easy!  All we need is a table for the kids to work on!  We provide all other puppet making materials: scissors, glue stick, crayons, and paper bags.  

There is no limit on the number of kids for this fun activity! It will keep the kids busy and engaged,  and open the world of puppetry to them as they perform with their own puppets at the conclusion!

Keep in mind that the puppet making workshop involves coloring, cutting, and pasting, and is geared for ages 3 and a half to seven years old. 

Show Set Up

 Your puppeteer will arrive fifteen to twenty minutes before your show.  Our puppet stage sets up in minutes and takes up a 12’ X 12’ area, but we are flexible with smaller areas.   Other than stage shows, children are seated down on ground level, in the round, in front of the puppet stage.  Every one will be able to see the puppets!  The performer will mask (with tape) the area for larger groups in a horseshoe shape.  Click here to see a real audience show set up photo .  

Again, the puppeteer performs in front of the audience!  The puppets move around and interact with the kids. This type of presentation is called "Open Face" or "Theater in the round."  Also it is known as "California Style" and  is very exciting for the kids.   Again, there is a lot of child-puppet interaction.

Equipment

Our shows are self-contained.  We provide our own microphone, music, lighting, staging and amplification, and own power supply.

Since we have our own power supply, shows can even be done outside, i.e. backyards, parks, parking lots, etc., where electricity may not be available!  Outside shows are wonderful, but keep in mind that we have no cancellation policy due to poor weather.  Please have a back up plan for weather conditions. As in theater, “The show must go on!”

Pricing/Travel Fees/Booking Shows

Prices based on Value Pricing and start at $300.00 and up to $450.00.  But, generally prices are $300 for the half hour, and $350 for forty-five minute shows.Prices adjust for venue, high season, and show length.   There are discounts for same day multiple show bookings.  We also have a season package specials if you book any four shows throughout the year i.e. Christmas, Spring, Summer, 4th of July, Cinco de mayo, and Halloween, shows.  We serve most all of southern California, however travel fees between $25.00 and $50.00 apply to some areas.

The Value Behind Marionette Puppet Shows

Marionette puppetry is in a class by itself, and  a true lifelong art.  It takes two months to make one marionette puppet. Making a marionette involves sculpting the heads, hands, feet out of clay.  Then creating plaster molds out of those objects.  Once the molds are created, neoprene casting material is poured into the molds.  Once cured, the cast is carefully removed from the mold, and left to dry.  Once dried,  the head is cut open and a system of levers is created to enable the eyes, eyebrows, and mouth to open, shut, and move up and down.  See attached photo of inside a puppet head, and a dog tail wagging mechanism.  Once the these objects are created, they are sanded, and painted.   

Next is making the body, assembling all the pieces, then costuming.  Each step, especially the costuming takes a lot of time.  Each marionette has a  unique body style and size,  so patterns are not feasible to hang onto for other puppets.

Then a control has to be custom made for its specific marionette.  For example, a trapeze marionette will have a completely different control and stringing compared to a dog puppet, or a bubble blowing puppet. 

Marionette building requires hundreds of hours and requires of life time of experience to be able to engineer different types of marionettes.  We have puppets that roller skate, trapeze, blow bubbles, hoola hoop, break away (like the pirate skeleton that dances his bones off!)

So, having nice looking and well built marionette puppets is one gigantic task!  But there are also hours of rehearsal , building puppet stages that are customized to each specific show.  There is hours of finding the right music, and recording a sound track.  There transport boxes,  sound systems, and lighting that all has to be mobile and engineered to quickly set up.

I  have 200 marionettes, and 15 different shows.  I pride myself on celebrating 31 years of my craft. 

We accept checks and all major credit cards

 Booking Shows

Book shows by telephone, or better, here on our website.  Just click on "Book A Show" link!  Internet booking is always suggested for convenience in making show selections,  and answering frequently asked questions.  Usually shows should be booked a month or more in advance to guarantee openings and show selections. 

If you are booking for a birthday party, it is highly suggested you book your show a half our to an hour into your party, so nobody will miss out.  So, if your party starts at 1:00 P.M.  have the marionette show start at 1:30 or 2:00 P.M.

 

 Insurance

We carry a $1,000,000.00 general liability insurance policy through Specialty Insurance Agency (S.I.A.)  

See Certificate

With S.I.A., there is NO CHARGE if you need your own additional insured certificate!  We will fill out all additional insurance forms for you!  We just need the exact legal name, any special language to be included, address you want listed on the endorsement, and an email address.   S.I.A. will directly send you four pages:  certificate with your name and special language, endorsement, waiver of subrogation,   and a primary non-contributory endorsement.  What a deal!  Once we apply for your certificate, you will receive it in about two business days. 

 Terms

We have no cancellation, refund, or rescheduling policy.   You can not cancel due to low turnout, poor weather, changes in ownership, or any other reason.  Just make sure that you are certain of dates and times when booking.  As in theater,  "The Show Must Go On!"
 
Please be aware that you are reserving a date and time slot making it unavailable for others. 
Inthe VERY UNLIKELY event that we have to cancel due emergencies or any other matter on our part, you will receive a full refund and a free show anytime you like.  But in the meantime, we will do everything on our part to provide you with a different show title so you get a puppet show, and not leave you without entertainment.
Behind the Scenes-Marionette Building

Marionette puppetry is in a class by itself, and  a true lifelong art.  It takes two months to make one marionette puppet. Making a marionette involves sculpting the heads, hands, feet out of clay.  Then creating plaster molds out of those objects.  Once the molds are created, neoprene casting material is poured into the molds.  Once cured, the cast is carefully removed from the mold, and left to dry.  Once dried,  the head is cut open and a system of levers is created to enable the eyes, eyebrows, and mouth to open, shut, and move up and down.  See attached photo of inside a puppet head, and a dog tail wagging mechanism.  Once the these objects are created, they are sanded, and painted.   

Next is making the body, assembling all the pieces, then costuming.  Each step, especially the costuming takes a lot of time.  Each marionette has a  unique body style and size,  so patterns are not feasible to hang onto for other puppets.

Then a control has to be custom made for its specific marionette.  For example, a trapeze marionette will have a completely different control and stringing compared to a dog puppet, or a bubble blowing puppet. 

Marionette building requires hundreds of hours and requires of life time of experience to be able to engineer different types of marionettes.  We have puppets that roller skate, trapeze, blow bubbles, hoola hoop, break away (like the pirate skeleton that dances his bones off!)

So, having nice looking and well built marionette puppets is one gigantic task!  But there are also hours of rehearsal , building puppet stages that are customized to each specific show.  There is hours of finding the right music, and recording a sound track.  There transport boxes,  sound systems, and lighting that all has to be mobile and engineered to quickly set up.

I  have 200 marionettes, and 15 different shows.  I pride myself on celebrating 31 years of my craft. 

Franklin Haynes

  

Born in New Port Beach California,  Franklin Haynes has logged thirty years of experience entertaining families with marionette puppetry. He is the artistic creative power house behind the company.  A family man, he resides Riverside California with his wife and his three children.   He is a seasoned performer, a gifted and talented puppet builder.  A graduate of UC Riverside with a degree in theater and education, Franklin Haynes was a credentialed  bilingual elementary school teacher for Riverside USD for five years. He is a member of the Screen Actor's Guild. Credits include puppetry manipulation on television with Disney-Touchstone/ABC in Day Break with Taye Diggs.  He helped in the making of the Scapegoat Wax rock video on MTV.  He also was seen on UPN’s popular Blind Date program where he taught the blind date couple how to manipulate marionettes.  He is a recognized member of Puppeteers of America, and a member in good standing with the Los Angeles and Orange County Puppetry Guilds.  He has performed numerous children’s programs on cable. His rapport and experience with children is magical and unmatched by other entertainers. Because he is fluent in the Spanish language,  shows can be performed bilingually.

T.C.

Performing for 15 Years With Us!

Born in Italy and now residing in Diamond Bar with his wife and two children, Terry Conci (Cone-chi) has a great rapport with children and has extensive experience as a children's entertainer. He has owned and operated a clowns and characters business since 1992.  He studied theater and communication at Pasadena City College where he has been involved with children's theater since 1987. T.C. has been involved as an actor in front of the camera and on the stage. Credits include starring in the Pulitzer Prize winning play SHADOW BOX  on a television cable production of "Oh What a Night." His warm and genuine personality coupled with his 15 years of experience as a puppeteer with Franklin Haynes Marionettes, make him a wonderful performer both children and adults will enjoy.


James Conci

James Conci, son of Terry Conci, has continued the tradition of children’s entertainment. For the past decade, James has been involved in a variety of different entertainment acts, from theater productions, professional magic shows, to impersonating a plethora of childhood cartoon characters. James is also a musician, and only wishes to continue the bloodline of the performing and musical arts of his past generations.


Costume Designer

Patricia Lockhart

Patricia Lockhart has a wealth of costuming experience. She has been designing and sewing costumes for thirty years and has worked as a seamstress for both Walt Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm. In addition, Patricia has long history of sewing for the bridal industry. She has a passion to work with a variety of fabrics and loves restyling vintage garments. Her expertise, eye for fabric and use of color always enhance our beautifully hand crafted marionettes.  As a California State University Long Beach graduate, Patricia currently shares her passion for the arts with her junior high school Home Economics students. 


Puppet Builder

Vladimir Timofte

Born in Romania, Vladimir Timofte is a classically trained European children’s puppeteer.  He is well versed in all art forms of puppetry.  He is a graduate of the University of Art Iasi, Romania and  holds a degree of  Bachelor of Dramatic Arts, with a specialization of puppetry including  the fabrication, craft , and manipulation of puppets and marionettes.  Vladimir has fine tuned his performing, puppetry skills, and puppet building abilities after completing a  four year run as a performer at  the International Institute of Marionette Art, Prague, Czech Republic.  He has more than 2400 children’s performances under his belt touring through many countries all over  Europe.  Vladimir Timofte has experience with Wayang, Bunraku, traditional Czech marionettes and puppets, shadow theater, and black theater and is a guest puppet builder learning the techniques of American style marionette puppetry construction.  


Sculptor

Nadia Souetre


 

Nadia Souetre was born in France and raised in Paris.  One of her earliest memories as a child was going with her mother, on a Saturday afternoon, to see the marionettes' outdoor performances at the Rond Point des Champs-Elysees.  The interaction between the children who cheer loudly for the marionette heroes and boo at the villains, always brought much excitement and laughter. 

Nadia studied History of Art and Painting at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, England, where she received a classical art formation.  She went on to study at the Kunsthochschule in Berlin, Germany, a radically different art school, where modern art was taught with passion.  She later perfected her drawing at La Grande Chaumiere in Paris and was involved in the parisian art scene.  Nadia holds a B.A. degree from the University of South Africa, where she lived for six years.

Drawing, painting and creating have always been part of her life, and she has shown and sold her work, be it paintings, painting on silk, ceramics or sculptures, in Europe and the United States. Nadia now resides in Huntington Beach, California.