Unicorns & Rainbows

While the performance part of the Smithsonian Shadow Family Night was fun and successful, we had just as much fun working with the many children and their families who came to our table to make shadow puppets and try them out on a simple screen. Shadow puppets are one of the simplest kinds of puppets to make–all you need is some thick paper, scissors, tape and something to be a control rod. We had very small children whose parents cut out their fish or bear puppet and older kids who insisted on doing everything themselves. The screen and lights were enough to keep some participants busy the entire time, as the picture below shows, you really only need your hands and a light to have a good time with a shadow screen!

playingwithscreen

Most kids stuck with the stencils that we provided, and made their own adjustments using scissors to make (among other creatures) a fish with circular scales, a bear with jagged hair or a ‘dolphin-butterfly.’ However, we had two older girls who decided to leap past all of those and instead create unicorns, grass, a huge butterfly and a rainbow, to tell their own stories. We were blown away by their creativity and meticulous attention to detail and remembered once again how perfect puppetry is for letting people accomplish as much as they like through imagination.

The lovely unicorns and green fields designed by workshop participants.

The lovely unicorns and green fields designed by workshop participants.

What DOES a shadow of a rainbow look like?

What DOES a shadow of a rainbow look like?

The girls who designed the puppets above, with a young admirer.

The girls who designed the puppets above, with a young admirer.

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Coyote at the Smithsonian

We had a blast at Shadow Family Night at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on February 1st. Thanks so much to everyone who came, watched our show and made shadow puppets with us! Here are some photos from the night:

We had so much space in the Kogod Courtyard--and look at our brand-new sign!

We had so much space in the Kogod Courtyard–and look at our brand-new sign!

Our puppet-making table, all set up.

Our puppet-making table, all set up.

A behind the scenes view of our puppet stage.

A behind the scenes view of our puppet stage.

Lots of busy hands cutting out shadow puppets.

Lots of busy hands cutting out shadow puppets.

Cecilia and Genna performing Coyote Places the Stars.

Cecilia and Genna performing Coyote Places the Stars.

Demonstrating the lights and puppets to our audience.

Demonstrating the lights and puppets to our audience.

Shadow Family Night

Don’t miss our performance at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Shadow Family Night this Friday! From 5-8pm in the Kogod Courtyard, the museum will be offering free performances and activities for children and their families. Stop by our table and make a shadow puppet, then stay to see our brand-new shadow puppet show, called Coyote Places the Stars. This new tale was inspired by a story from the Wasco Indian Nation and you can see Genna drawing a few of the puppets below. We hope to see you on Friday at the museum!

Genna drawing