Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Save the Planet with Puppets!

A marionette made from recycled materials!

Build Your Own Recycled Puppets
With Brenda Huggins, PST Teaching Artist
Saturday February 2, 10:30 am - 12:00 PM

Cost: $15/Individual; $10/Member
*Children under age 13 must participate with a parent or guardian.  Recommended for ages 5 & up


Climate Action Week continues in Brookline through Feb 3rd, and Puppet Showplace Theatre is excited to participate with a SUPER FUN puppet making workshop!

Have you ever wondered what to do with those old jeans with holes and rips, or have a pillow that is not fluffy or comfortable to sleep on and more? Or maybe your recycling bin is piling up with cardboard and plastic bottles, and you have always wondered if maybe there was a more creative way to Reduce, Re-use, Recycle than just dropping the bin at the curb?

Join us for an all-ages workshop on Saturday to learn how to turn materials already in your home into creative characters that come to life! No need to stop by the craft store, or spend tons of money on a bolt of fabric!  All materials are included for this hands-on, all-ages workshop. Each participant will make a puppet from recycled materials to take home.

Teaching Artist, Brenda Huggins is today's guest blogger.  Let's find out what to expect during class on Saturday:

by Guest Blogger, Brenda Huggins

Brenda Huggins and her puppet Bella Monster, made by
Jon Little of Little's Creatures.
I love the idea that "any thing can be a puppet." It is a catch phrase that I use often in my teaching, and I am sure I picked it up from an immersion in puppetry education programs at PST for the past three years.  Often when I teach puppetry, I begin with "Object Theatre", or the idea that any everyday object can become "alive" when the puppeteer discovers how it can move, how it looks around in its environment, how it breathes, and perhaps even what its voice sounds like.  These are the fundamental basics of puppetry manipulation.  Why is this important in a puppet building class?  As a puppet builder, I like to think about how the characters I am creating will exist in the world, as this greatly inspires their design and the materials they will be made out of.

Yes, the MATERIALS! Let's talk about the materials, because that is why we are here isn't it?  When we are creating puppets from recycled, or re-purposed materials, the goal is to take an everyday object and be inspired to transform that object into something new-and also perhaps save a little money from not having to buy brand new materials at the craft or fabric store.  It is also a FANTASTIC way to recycle materials you wouldn't even think to recycle.  How many times have you thrown out an old shirt because it had a stain or rip in it? I know many of us are very good about donating clothing to Good Will or other second hand shops, but what do you do with those old things that cannot be resold?  Instead of flooding landfills with these precious textiles, let's make puppets!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, as seen in "Puppet Playtime"
When I am building puppets, I LOVE to be inspired by the materials I will be working with, especially the textiles.  Maybe this comes from my work as a costume designer.  As an example, some of the most recent puppets I built are for a new program at PST called "Puppet Playtime." The materials I used are  a towel and recycled clothing  (I have a huge suitcase full of cut up clothes and other goodies for crafty projects! I can't wait to share it with you!) To create the character of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, I used a bright green towel for the body, and created three dimensional spots by cutting circles out of a dress shirt I have from when I was in college. (I will admit that was almost 10 years ago! I held onto the shirt, because the fabric was so beautiful and I just HAD to use it for a fabulous crafting project!)

Join me on Saturday for an hour and a half of recycling, creation, and play! I can't wait to see each of your unique pieces of art come to life!


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