Creating Monsters

Creating Monsters

The theater department’s recent play, “She Kills Monsters,” featured an assortment of puppets based on monsters found in the game “Dungeons and Dragons.” Bugbears, gelatinous cubes, Beholders, and even a dragon named Tiamat were constructed for the show by an 11 student team under the tutelage of Matt Sorensen.

The puppets were mostly constructed using Ethafoam and PVC pipes, with additional usage of metal supports, fur, yarn, and fabrics in varying amounts for each construct. Ethafoam was pivotal to the project because it could be melded with other pieces using a heat gun, giving a single, sturdy construct rather than gluing components together. Additionally, the Beholder puppet, at 6 feet tall, used a large 3 foot balloon for its eye while the five-headed dragon, Tiamat, had metal frames inside each head for support. Theater student Heather Rogers said, “Most of the challenges we encountered had to do with scale — a lot of trial and error, going back to the drawing board and finding another way to make it work.” 

One of the most impressive puppets was Tiamat, the five-headed dragon. Each head was a different color, and each ranged from 2-3 feet tall and 3-4.5 feet in length. Tiamat was the end of the play and having been mentioned several times prior as part of the main character’s quest was the grand reveal of the show. Rogers noted, “Audience reaction made it all surreal — the cheering, the gasps you didn’t see a lot from the other puppets.”

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