As promised, the following is an attempt to share my process. I tried to walk through the same steps I'll be taking with the kids this summer. The suitcase stories will be their stories and they are the protagonists. They can be based on a true story or completely fantastical or a bit of both. The suitcase or container, the puppet(s), and the story are the three key elements. In building my prototypes I began as I would with the children - with the stories and attempted to strip them down to crisp three-act structures. Easier said than done.
The first story was about me searching for mojigangas (giant / pageantry puppets) in Mexico. I built the puppet show to fit the perfect blue vintage suitcase I'd found. The puppets and props all had to be sized and built to work with the parametres of the suitcase. Initially I planned to build small puppets, but then worried about visibility for the Fresh Ideas workshop.