Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

First Advisor

Cameron Prevatte

Second Advisor

Deron Overpeck, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dennis O’Grady, Ph.D.


Puppetry is a special effect- media magic that enhances the flavor of a fictional world. My dream is to harness that magic in order to teach preschoolers about their physical world. Puppets have a unique ability to provide an analogue that children can relate to, which makes them an incredibly effective and engaging vehicle for educational entertainment. My Senior Honors Creative Project is the culmination of studies in childrens’ theatre, media production, and early childhood education at Eastern Michigan University. The goal of this project was to create an original puppet design that could act as surrogate to my future preschool audience. The result was Winston, the World's Fastest Turtle, a two foot Muppet style puppet and the first Macrochelys Serpentina, in reference to his size and serpentine neck, known to man. This thesis follows the creative process through both the planning and construction stages which included characterization, 3D clay modeling, 2D pattern making, puppet foam sculpting, invisible stitching, and fine detail painting. Design choices and characterization changed hand in hand. Throughout the project, adjustments were made as necessary to maintain the integrity of the puppet’s functionality, character, and appearance as he transitioned from clay to fabric.