Puppeteer brings characters to life

May 21, 2010 12:55:42 PM PDT
For three decades, Lolly Extract has created, built and performed with her puppets.The art of puppeteering is centuries old. Over the generations, it has been shaped and reshaped by its practitioners.

" When I was a very, very little girl I remember wanting to be when I grew up a cartoon...so starting at the very beginning I was just fascinated by animation not one type of puppets but all types of puppets I just really loved them," said Extract.

Whether controlled by rods or strings, Extract's puppets run the gamut of variety. One lifesize cheetah puppet was inspired by a Lion King production.

"Wherever I was, I would start making puppets in a puppet show. No body does that. And, I found I was very good at it. So, I stuck with it. I've collaborated with so many different people because it is a collaborative art form."

One of her largest puppets is a beluga whale made for the Shedd Aquarium. At 20 feet, it is so long that one part of it can be found in the rehearsal space- and the other part in the workshop.

Extract's puppets also have a multi-media presence, including a TV spot in a commercial for furniture.

Extract is also an actress.

"Yes it takes a lot of courage to get out there and do the things I do, but that's what makes it so fun. It's a challenge, so I really, I don't recommend it," said Extract.

Jabberwocky Marionettes
5838 N Whipple St

Chicago, IL 60659