Fun facts about The Nutcracker’s Spirit of Winter puppet

Jim Morrow
from Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia had this to say about The Nutcracker‘s iconic Spirit of Winter puppet:

“The Spirit stands about 20 feet tall with his crown and is about 25 feet wide when the arms are outstretched.

“It took about a month to construct the puppet back in 1991. To make the head, I took a very large block of Styrofoam (about 4’x4’ cubed) and shaped it using an electric chainsaw. I then used a rasp file to do the detail work around the face, covered the foam with fabric for protection, and had the features painted on.

“The hair is made from strips of soft sponge foam with the individual pieces covered in fabric and painted white. The body is shaped like a cross with padded shoulders and a hanging fabric body and the arms are connected to the body with a strong rope. Wooden poles are attached to the wrists and are used by the arm manipulators to create the gestures.

“It takes three people to operate him… one very strong human (Scott Fulton – 2018 is his 18th year as Spirit manipulator) on the body, and two dancers on each arm.

“Sadly, the Spirit spends most of the year wrapped in a protective covering and stored in a warehouse somewhere in Halifax. He has been seen occasionally in the off season but the sightings are rare.”