Introduction to Puppetry

Instructor: Libby Marcus

Supplies/Materials Fee: $40

Enrollment limit: 12

Level: All levels welcome

Syllabus/Overview (PDF)

This workshop will begin by exploring the essential nature of puppetry as the animation of inanimate objects in performance. Working in small groups or pairs, participants will create and perform brief impromptu found-object and shadow theater works that will open up creative channels and expand conventional notions of the puppetry form. Hand, rod, string puppet styles will be demonstrated followed by hands-on instruction in the inexpensive, non-toxic, “green,” durable, and amazingly versatile technique of papier mâché puppet head construction which will be used to build one (or more) puppet in the puppet style(s) of choice. In addition, puppet scale (pageantry to match box) and the relationship of design to function will be considered. Participants will leave with at least one finished puppet, practical, transferable construction experience and know how, a sheaf of up-to-date resources to encourage and facilitate continued puppet work, and a familiarity with the styles and trends of puppetry today.

Libby Marcus, B.A. Hampshire College, M.A. Emerson College, M.F.A. Goddard College, is a mask maker and puppeteer who uses traditional materials such as wood and papier-mache. Her work has been seen onstage at The Puppeteers of America National Conference Fringe Festival, Storrs, CT; The Tennessee Williams Festival, Provincetown, MA; Bowdoin College; The Beau Jest Theater, Boston; The Ziggurat Theater Company, Bowdoinham; The Theater of Monmouth, ME; Second Stage, NY, NY; The George Street Theater, Brunswick, NJ, among others. Libby has taught theater and puppetry at Bowdoin College, Babson College in the two-year MBA program’s Creativity Stream, Central Maine Community College, Emerson College, The Boston Latin School, and k-12 schools throughout Maine and greater Boston. Her aim as an arts-educator is to facilitate learning experiences in which students realize their own creative processes and potential through puppets and mask-making.