Block title

Work Samples

JoeTheWoodcutter,mixedmediamarionettebyM J Oelke

Joe The Woodcutter, mixed media marionette splits a peice of firewood during a rehearsal

Stringling Marionette Company

We squeezed into a Charles street rowhouse to perform "The Silly Circus" at a local children's party. Puppet master, Mary Jane Oelke does a short "make your own puppet from a milk bottle" demonstration and performs with assistant, Susan Walton with Peabody master musician, Jay Walton, playing live trombone accompaniment in this scene....he played other instruments during the rest of the show. The original script, marionettes, voices and set design are also by M.J.Oelke. This is an excerpt and the live performance is 28 minutes long.

rehearsalvideoSpectresofWar

rehearsal video of Spectres of War papier mache' marionettes by M.J. Oelke. Video is accompanied by musicians from the group, Pulling Strings (with original electric violin also by M.J.Oelke)

Burdie Scene demo c 2018 M J Oelke

rehearsal of Burdie Scene, from HYSTERICAL HISTORICAL REENACTMENTS c M.J.Oelke 2018

Share:

About Mary Jane

Baltimore County

Mary Jane Oelke's picture
        Mary Jane Oelke is a puppetmaster, actress, artist, theatre artist and musician and has performed for and designed  sets, props, masks and puppets for numerous local theatres. Her puppetry performances have been seen at venues including The Walters Art Gallery, Towson University, Spotlighters Theatre, Fells Point Corner Theater, The Vagabond Theatre, and more. Using live voices for each character and sometimes including audience interaction with puppets, her original... more

HYSTERICAL HISTORICAL REENACTMENTS

A centuries old tradition is for puppeteers to mock the aristocracy and elite through veiled inuendo and thinly disguised social and political satire and allegory using puppets (and often slapstick humor.....think "Punch and Judy").
The First part of this project will be to spoof the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during which they actually called each other puppets. The title of this short will be "Puppets of Puppets that Called Each Other Puppets". Then I am adding Bernie Sanders and his pal, "Burdie" and few other characters including "Joe the Woodcutter" and some of his friends, "Melania", "Putin" and other puppets including adding the donkey and elephant marionettes I made for an earlier production to represent the "two parties".

THE FOREST CHILDREN

A brother and sister wander the forest, encountering wildlife and learning about nature.....but then there's the fairy tale woven in, add a little social satire and modern references....oh how shall I describe the complexity of developing a marionette show that will peak childrens's curiosity about forest ecology and yet be entertaining to all ages? Very loosely based on the German and French fairy tales, "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Lost Children". Each marionette takes 100 hours or more to construct. The set is designed to fit a portable marionette stage. MOST of pre-production has been done on this show.

  • 20170209_140444 (1).jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke
    "Raggedy Raccoon", mixed media marionette by M.J.Oelke...from "The Forest Children"
  • 20180320_082909.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke
    mixed media marionettes by M.J.Oelke...from "The Forest Children"
  • 20170211_165038.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke
    mixed media marionette by M.J. oelke...."Hungry Hound" from THE FOREST CHILDREN
  • 32618 007.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke
    Scene from "The Forest Children", theatrical work in progress with mixed media marionettes, set design and scene painting by puppet master, M.J.Oelke
  • 20161213_201136.jpg

    set design and scene painting
    Set design and scene painting by M.J.Oelke from: The Forest Children
  • 1026161512.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke, puppets, puppetry, puppet theatre
    "Joe The Woodcutter" mixed media marionette by M.J.Oelke (this marionette wields an axe) from The Forest Children and Hysterical Historical Reenactments
  • 3718 014.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke
    mixed media marionette from, THE FOREST CHILDREN, "Ducky" by M.J. Oelke
  • 015.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke, puppets, puppetry, puppet theatre
    mixed media marionettes by M.J.Oelke characters from "The Forest Children" work in progress
  • Wild Turkey marionette demo

    Demo of mixed media turkey marionette from, THE FOREST CHILDREN, by M.J.Oelke
  • 3718 022.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke, puppets, puppetry, puppet theatre
    Scene from THE FOREST CHILDREN, with mixed media marionettes, set design and scene painting by M.J.Oelke

Spectres of War

Papier mache' marionettes by M.J.Oelke.

  • Spectres of Poverty 006.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke, puppets, puppetry, puppet theatre
    "Spectres of War" papier mache' marionettes by M. J. Oelke
  • videoofspectres 006.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke, puppets, puppetry, puppet theatre
    Detail of the mother's head, "Spectres of War", papier mache' marionette by M.J.Oelke
  • videoofspectres 007.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke, puppets, puppetry, puppet theatre
    SPECTRES OF WAR..detail of papier mache' marionette - showing head of baby by M.J.Oelke
  • rehearsalvideoSpectresofWar

    rehearsal video of Spectres of War papier mache' marionettes by M.J. Oelke. Video is accompanied by musicians from the group, Pulling Strings (with original electric violin also by M.J.Oelke)
  • 20181220_161506.jpg

    Marionettes by M.J.Oelke
    papier mache' marionette by M.J.Oelke from, Spectres of War
  • 20181220_161809.jpg

    detail of papier mache' marionette from, SPECTRES OF WAR, c M.J.Oelke 2018

THE STRINGLING MARIONETTES

THE STRINGLING MARIONETTES, was founded by Mary Jane Oelke as a touring puppet troupe of hand crafted marionettes, with original scripts that feature live character acting and live music.

  • 1002101457.jpg

    set design and scene painting
    portable marionette show stage by M.J.Oelke for THE STRINGLING MARIONETTES
  • 163.JPG

    set design and scene painting
    Hand painted backdrop by M.J.Oelke for, THE SILLY CIRCUS, an original marionette play set, "In a town far away, in a land long ago...."
  • MatildatheHon

    "Matilda the Hon" warms up the audience before a marionette show . Mixed media puppet with live voice by M.J.Oelke

Connect with Mary Jane

Mary Jane's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.