So many things, if you are a puppeteer! After taking apart LOTS of umbrellas for various puppet projects this winter, we have a much better understanding of how they work–and why they break so easily! Fortunately we can use the broken pieces in many different ways. Here are a few of them:
We take large broken umbrellas apart and use the spokes as controls for shadow puppets.
An in-progress shot of a puppet from Cabinets of Kismet that uses the joints of a broken umbrella.
One of our Kismet puppeteers discovering the movements and personality of a brand-new paper puppet he had just created. The shape is pretty simple, but he gets a good range of motion out of it. Take a look at the video here:
I was delighted to spend February working with the kindergarten after-care group at School within School at Logan Annex, a Reggio Emilia inspired center of learning. We spent four sessions learning about different kinds of puppets, building our own puppets from recycled materials and inventing scenes and stories to perform in small groups. Here are some photos of their marvelous, creative work!
The student who made this was very clear that it was a duck, with gold wings.
This puppet is named Elizabeth. Her hair is scrap fabric and her body is a toilet paper tube.
Students performing a scene using chairs as a stage.
The chairs allowed students to play puppets both above and below the seats.
Three student made puppets hitch a ride on a chipmunk puppet that a teacher brought.
Our efforts have been focused on paper puppets for the past few weeks. With the help of Matthew McGee and puppeteers Heather Carter, Amy Kellett and Russell Matthews, we’ve created some new citizens of Paper World, out of scraps from SCRAP DC, local printers and the contents of the recycling bin.
Any guesses as to how these components might fit together to form a paper puppet?
Big or small, everything is made from paper!
Not too many tools needed–just a glue gun and scissors.
Two paper friends, ready to be animated by puppeteers.
As we continue to build paper puppets for Cabinets of Kismet, the materials have started to overflow and as a result, the first floor of my house was rapidly getting submerged in scraps. Genna and I spent part of President’s Day getting it all organized by color and weight.
Genna sorting our many scraps of handmade paper.
All nicely organized by color and weight, ready to be turned into puppets and set.
This is just a quick update to say that our Education Page has gotten a makeover! Now we have more information about the workshops that we offer, as well as photos of past workshops and puppets that the students made. Go take a look and admire the fantastic creativity of these kids! If you know a school looking for a unique arts event to offer, send them our way!
Anyone looking for a fun, unique (and cheap!) night out this Saturday? Look no further than the Puppet Slamwichbeing presented by Black Cherry Puppet Theater in Baltimore!
For those who have never experienced this kind of event, a puppet slam is a night of short acts by various puppeteers, sometimes with music, that allows performers to experiment with new and different material. For puppeteers who primarily work in children’s theater, this is often a venue for more adult-oriented content; for others it’s an opportunity to workshop unusual ideas.
We will be presenting an excerpt from the first half of The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet, so if you can come, you will be able to see the FIRST EVER glimpse of this brand new show. Black Cherry is located at 1115 Hollins St. Baltimore MD and directions can be found on their website here. Tickets for the event are $7 and can be purchased at http://www.brownpapertickets.com .
We have so many exciting projects and events coming up that I’m not even going to try to list them in one post. Instead, I’m going to focus on the two largest: The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet and our upcoming workshops at several D. C. public and charter schools.
We are thrilled to be partnering with the Friends Community School in College Park for a workshop in creating puppets from recycled materials later this week. Later in the spring we will be offering the same workshop, along with the opportunity to write and perform a show with their newly-created puppets, to students at Inspired Teaching Public Charter School and School Within a School at Logan Annex. These workshops will give us the opportunity to share our love of puppetry with several different age groups and encourage students to express themselves creatively through art.
Our work on The Amazing and Marvelous Cabinets of Kismet is continuing at a break-neck pace! Each week we are creating new puppet characters, as well as meeting with designers and our production team to talk about the environment and storyboard of the show. In January, we are looking forward to holding auditions for our puppeteers–we hope to add even more people who are passionate about puppetry and storytelling to our team. Check this page often for more updates and photos of our work!