Odyssey Theatre

Spreading Roots with Odyssey Theatre Tree Puppet and Masks

When Odyssey Theatre asked us to make them a tree for their community arts project, it was a bit of a head scratcher. The tree had to be: white, 6’ tall, able to fold into the back of a small car, light weight (so that actors can easily pick it up during performance)
strong, and built with separate branches and detachable roots
And here it is!

Spreading Roots tree puppet - rag & bone

We used flexi-firm for the roots and branches. We use this interfacing/stabilizer fabric for a lot of projects. Inside the trunk is a removable piece of sonotube. Each branch is stiffened with wire, and slots into its own pocket on the trunk. The leaves are translucent organza – orange, yellow and pale green, twisted onto the branches with florists’ wire.

When the director of the project, Rebecca Benson, came over to discuss the tree design, we mentioned that we also make masks with flexi-firm. Masks? She needed eight masks: two bunnies, two squirrels, two bees and two birds. Oh boy. We had a lot of fun making these.



The show takes place at various community locations around Ottawa this month. Check their website for places, dates and times. The project is part of the AOE Arts Council’s Neighbourhood Arts 150 project, the same program that funded our Snippets of Canada 150 project. We’re looking forward to seeing the show – and maybe we’ll see you there!

Rag & Bone Puppet Theatre, September 25

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