Currently browsing Posts Published February 2014

Koopa Troopa Puppet

“This shell was made to order. That’s why it fits me so well. I mean, how cool do I look?”
—Koopa Troopa, Paper Mario

We posted about the progress about Koopa Troopa on Valentine’s Day, and we are so excited to show you more development and an official shot by Lauren Wessel of the Koopa Troopa with his puppeteer Ali Keirn.  We have to agree, he looks super “cool”


How excited are you to see these two in action?  Hilarity and cuteness over-load!!

Publicity shot by Lauren Wessel

Re-imagined Look

When our director Joseph H White met with our costume designer Amber Kessler Freer, he said he envisioned bringing the Mario world a sense of grounded-ness and reality. We are so excited with the creative ideas Amber is bringing to the table to execute this idea.

Here are the re-imagined accessories she has chosen for Princess Peach and Bowser:

Princess Peach has jewelry and shoes that are practical yet fashionable for her busy life style.


Bowser will wear colored contacts, custom-built Samurai armor created by Amber, and Ninja Tabi shoes to give him the sense of warrior-meets-turtle/lizard look.


Koopa Troopa ahead!

Hey followers of The Princess Peach Conspiracy blog, before we share the latest puppet progress, we wanted to show you the final touch of the “Bob-bomb”: his key!  Isn’t it perfect?


And now we are excited to share with you the newest threat to the Mushroom Kingdom:
The Koopa Troopa
This fellow is another custom design by Frank Sjodin. He is still a work-in-progress, but he is looking great! Below is a test video of his mouth mechanisms (featuring his lovely wife Susan Sjodin). Hope you are as excited to this guy in action as we are 🙂


Dangerous Bob-omb!

“AY-O! What’re you doing bringing hazardous materials aboard?! You just better make sure he stays calm! I don’t want an angry Bob-omb on this ship!”
Lubba, Super Mario Galaxy 2

That’s right folks, Frank has completed another danger for the Mushroom Kingdom: The Bob-omb.  This fellow is an original Frank Sjodin design.  We are so excited to have this fantastic puppet part of our show!


Here is a video close-up of his mechanics (remember his awesome use of the mechanic toy, here it is in action!):

And here he is in full movement.  We love the movement of the wick!!


From a thrown away tinker toy, beat up pillows, and used papers to this rockin’ puppet of destruction!  The Bob-omb has arrived!!



The Snifit is complete!!

Meet our puppet designer, Frank Sjodin:


Frank has just finished the fully functional Snifit for the show.  This sneaky guy can shoot pellets, so be cautious when you meet him.

Our costume designer Amber Kessler Freer helped him build the costume out of a red t-shirt.  Frank based the design of the Snifit from a style he learned at Von Orthal Puppets from puppet master Cynthia Von Orthal.  If you are looking to build something similar to this guy, you should definitely check out classes with them.

Here is the final list of materials (most recycled items) that Frank used:

a corner of an old bedsheet
stuffing from one of those pillows and leftover polyfill from my last puppet
a nerf football
two pieces of scrap foam from a camping mattress
woven fishing line
two dried up paint rollers
two rods from a set of tinker toys I found in an alley
a wire coat hanger
a few slices of thin craft foam
paper mache (old scripts/resumes, trader joe’s bags, red eyes + wallpaper paste, water and wood glue)
two tin cans (one can of beans, one of those small 25 cent tomato paste cans)
a bike tire inner tube
wood glue
scotch tape
gesso paint
black/white paint from the New Millennium stock of leftovers
a dab of red acrylic
gorilla glue
widgets from cans of Guinness draft
red t-shirt
piece of white ribbon from Amber’s leftover stock
piece of ribbon from my junk fabric stock
image(Big shout out to Frank’s adorable model/wife Susan Sjodin.  Do you see how awesome those pjs are?!? )

2014-15 Season Script Submission

NMTC logo 2

New Millennium Theatre is currently accepting show submissions for future seasons! We here at NMTC are all about making theatre accessible, relevant, and fun for Chicago theatre-goers. Our shows are original works that pay homage to an element of pop culture that is near and dear to our hearts – while also turning it on its head. Some of our past seasons have contained the acclaimed world premieres of Silent Night of The Living DeadThe Texas Chainsaw Musical, and The David Bowie Hepzikat Funky Velvet Flarney Solstice Spectacular, Live…From Space! If you believe that you have a script that fits our artistic mission AND our avant-garde, parodic sensibility, please submit the following items:

Cover Letter
Theatre resume
One page outline/synopsis
Contact information
Please email submissions to
Should your materials interest us, we will contact you and ask for the complete script. Shows performed by New Millennium Theatre run no longer than 1 hour with no intermission. Complete scripts MUST be received no later than May 4th, 2014.

Need to get in touch with New Millennium Theatre?

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