Every performance of The Wizard of Oz needs an Oz head, and after working on Little Shop of Horrors in Oct. 2012, I found my phone ringing to ask if I would be interested in making a 6 foot tall, talking head of the intimidating manifestation that Dorothy and her troupe encounter in the City of Oz.
It needed to be big and talk. So once again I go to my old standby; foam, and piping...
Step 1: The frame of the head
The head of Oz is usually stationary except for the movement of the mouth. I wanted the head to be able to move slightly from side to side and to shake with rage when it 'yelled'.
When operating a puppet, even on a large scale, the more direct interaction with the puppet the better. This puppet is made to be held in one hand while the other hand operates the jaw.
The foam allows the head to be huge but lightweight. The frame for the head doesn't have to be as reinforced as say, that of Audrey II, because it is not under as much strain due to movement or direct physical interactions with the actors.