The marionettes are brought to life during a performance of "Beauty and the Beast."
The original production tells audiences the heartwarming tale of the literary classic.
David and Carol Carranza first fell in love with the art of puppetry back home in their perspective elementary schools. Three hundreds miles away from one another they saw a traveling marionette puppet show by Lewis Parsons.
Years later, after the Carranzas met and married, they began to look for a means of self-expression and looked into the area of puppetry. They came across Parsons performing at a local elementary school.
After a nostalgic performance the Carranzas invited Parsons over for a friendly lunch. Parson encouraged the Carranzas to pursue puppetry and an idea was born.
CREATIVITY, PASSION AND DEDICATION
The Carranzas went to the community library and checked out every book on creating puppets. They attended every convention and workshop pertaining to puppetry. Eager to learn everything, the couple said they learned a lot through trail and error and endless hours practicing in front of the mirror.
"It is a misconception that we control the puppets, " David said. "The Puppets tells us what it can do."
What started as a hobby has turned into a full time profession. The Carranzas have turned their home into a complete workshop. Most of their home is dedicated to various aspects of the production including puppet, sewing and woodworking rooms.
The Carranzas have a gift for creativity. Each production is an original. The Carranzas research each literary work to find the earliest version of the story. The scripts are written for each individual production.
"We wanted to keep true to children's literature." David said.
David, a musician, writes the music for every production. Along with the help of a sound engineer and an orchestrater, all the sounds and music is created unique for each performance. The music is the most meticulous part of the show. David considers every mood and scene and carefully writes music to compliment the puppets emotions.
Carol assembles and paints the puppets. Each of the handmade marionettes is carefully constructed for each show. The puppets take 80 to 120 hours to complete. The number of puppets varies from show to show. The Carranzas shows have as many as nineteen puppets.
"We keep each show complete in itself," Carol said. "Each puppet is unique for every show, remaining true to the culture and period of each story.
Production of a puppet show can take a year to develop and put together. Once the vision for the show is in place, construction of the set and puppets begins.
The Carranzas dedicate one hour for every minute of the show to rehearsals.
"We spend hours refining every show, making each one better then the next," David said. "It truly is a labor of love."
MARIONETTES BROUGHT TO LIFE
The Carranzas are one of 100 "Texas Touring Artists" names by the Texas Commission of the Arts. The Carranzas consider this an honor.
The library of productions includes original versions of "Cinderella," "Hansel and Gretel," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," and "Pinocchio." The also run Halloween and Christmas specials as well as special shows for birthdays.
Performances can be attended by as many as 700 children, and the Carranzas love it.
"We have the children all to ourselves," said Carol. "It draws them in a little, then a little more and then a little more. They really care about the characters. They forget that they are just puppets."
The Carranzas end ever performance with an eight-minute variety show. The children get to see the live show which displays the inner working of the marionettes. The variety show is their favorite part of performing each production.
"Our Favorite thing is the smile on the children's faces," said Carol. "Our greatest joy is to bring joy to the children. We can't see them so we love to hear their reactions to the characters."
For more information on the Carranza Puppets you can contact David and Carol Carranza at 281-890-5210 or visit their website at www.carranzapuppets.com.
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