Last week we began a two-week puppet creation intensive with Astin Stratoti, our resident Puppeteer maker and creator.
Youth were introduced to a variety of puppet forms, from the familiar Jim Henson muppets to simple finger puppets. We have all have grown up with puppets -who hasn’t seen Sesame Street? Youth across all of our groups, from community kids to youth in locked residential facilities had a unique opportunity to design and build two original styles of puppets.
Our first puppet was a stick and rod character. By crumbling simple brown paper and masking tape, critters, celebrities and halloween creatures began to emerge. Our kids focused into the process of building their puppets and before we knew it, back stories and character voices began to emerge from the imaginations of our youth. There was so much joy in the room as the kids began to interact and play together, bringing their rod puppets to life.
Small groups of youth got together and created a 3 minute skit around the topic of an imaginary adventure. Youth were asked to identify a problem for their puppets to tackle and work together to solve it.
We also created flying bird puppets. This allowed the kids to not only design their puppets but learn how to animate their puppets to recreate birds in flight. It got them up on their feet and working together to create flocks of birds traveling through the studio. Look for their creations on display in the Cummings Center.
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for our 26th performance on May 21st, 2020!