Central Florida is home to an old fashioned puppet theatre, Good Knight Theatre. We are pleased that April Tennyson of Good Knight Puppetry Theatre took some time to talk to us about Good Knight Theatre and puppetmaking.
Jennifer Lawson: Good Knight Theatre is an old fashioned, traveling puppet theatre. Could you tell me a bit more about the theatre? Where do you travel? Where will you travel? What kinds of performances are expected?
April Tennyson: Our mission at Good Knight Theatre is to entertain, inspire and enrich the lives of our community through theatrical puppetry arts. We wish to sustain the traditions of old fashioned puppet theaters and are committed to producing high quality productions that are appealing to a wide range of audience members. Puppetry easily engages all walks of the human race and is an excellent vehicle for education and instilling morals and kindness. We have collapsible portable stages that are able to travel around Central Florida. We take them to perform at different events such as festivals, renaissance fairs and birthday parties.
Jennifer Lawson: You hand make your puppets, from what I gather. Tell me a bit about how you got into puppet-making.
April Tennyson: While attending Valencia Collage I studied film and digital media. A class assignment led me into a group which would be filming a puppetry short. We had to make all the characters ourselves, so I was really just thrown into it without any training. Soon after, someone suggested I take the puppets I had made and apply for a job at the City of Orlando Puppetroupe. I was employed there for several years until it was shut down, and was able to gain more knowledge about performance and about puppet construction. But, for the most part I the was self taught by just trying different things out to see what worked.
Jennifer Lawson: Currently, Good Knight Theatre is raising money for a brick-and-mortar location. Tell me about the vision you have for Good Knight Theatre for the future.
April Tennyson: We realized that to expand our dream, we would need to expand how we operate. We became an official not for profit as a step into that direction. While we are currently functioning with low paid performers, volunteers and in-kind donations we are hoping to evolve into a more advanced full time facility that can afford to employ more artists and performers.