- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - CanadaContinent - North America, Country - Canada, Continent - North America, Country - United States of America
- Category Recreational artifacts
- Sub-category Public entertainment device
- Department Folklore
- Museum CMH
- Earliest 1930/01/01
- Latest 1945/12/31
- Materials Wood, Metal
- Measurements Depth 1.0 cm, Outside Diameter 31.0 cm
- Related activity Puppetry
- Caption Forsyth's Marionettes
Dancer-actor Joan Forsyth and actor Gordon Forsyth founded Forsyth's Marionettes in the mid-1930s. This small travelling company, which usually operated with two to five employees, toured throughout Ontario, eastern Canada and the United States. Forsyth's Marionettes performed at fairs, carnivals and large department stores such as Eaton's. Their marionettes and their repertoire were typical of the variety shows in vogue at the time, and included circus and music hall numbers, comedy sketches, fairytales, and even advertising skits – all aimed at adults and children alike. In addition to performing as puppeteers, Joan and Gordon Forsyth produced and directed all of their own shows. Gordon designed the marionettes, which were then built by an artisan. It also appears that Joan created all of the costumes, and that Gordon developed and installed the controls. Forsyth's Marionettes was active until about 1945: the year in which Gordon became a radio producer.
- Caption Marionette
(Alternate name: String Puppet)
This category of puppet is controlled from above using strings. Marionettes are usually fully articulated, with strings linking the different parts of the body - head, torso, arms, legs - to a hand-held "control". Several different types of controls exist, with various degrees of complexity (vertical, horizontal, angled). Marionettes can be made of a wide range of materials: wood, paper, fabric, foam rubber, etc.
Marionette combining two characters - sometimes more - which are usually placed side by side and attached to the same control. This type of puppet is most often used when similar characters must make identical movements; e.g., a corps de ballet.
A marionette constructed and strung in a way that allows it to perform precise and intricate activities (e.g., juggling, performing complex manoeuvres on a trapeze), or to transform (e.g., when one character changes into another). In the latter case, it should be noted that the term "transformation marionette" can also be used.