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Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to Offer Three Live Virtual Puppetry Workshops This Fall

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Register now for Introduction to Toy Theatre with Blair Thomas, Shadow Puppetry with Tom Lee, and Playing with Crankies with Myra Su.

Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to Offer Three Live Virtual Puppetry Workshops This Fall

Actors, artists and craftsmen, interested in expanding your skill set? Learn the art of puppetry with live, online workshops from the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival. Registration is now open for three live, online workshops, each a virtual introduction to a different form of the art taught by Chicago's top professional puppeteers.

First, Chicago Puppet Fest Founder and Artistic Director Blair Thomas will lead A Miniature Universe: Intro to the Toy Theatre, October 31-November 7.

Tom Lee follows with Experiments in Light and Shadow: Shadow Puppetry, November 7-14.

i??The third is Playing with Crankies: Explorations in Shadows and Scrolling Panoramas led by Myra Su, November 14-21.

The Festival's live online workshops are for adults, ideally with some performance and/or builder's experience, who are interested in honing their craft or learning a new one. Students will gain new skills through a combination of live zoom instruction, individual work, performance coaching, and group presentation. Participants will use found objects and materials from their homes to create their own original works, while veteran Chicago puppet theater artists will help guide them from conception, to construction, to a live presentation.

Cost per week is $185 for five, two-hour sessions. One third of all registrations offer scholarships prioritizing BIPOC artists.Learn more and register now at chicagopuppetfest.org.

"First of all I think of puppets as sculpture. They are sculpture that moves. You could label it any way you want, but for me it always starts in my mind as a sculpture." - Artist Wayne White

i??A Miniature Universe: Intro to the Toy Theater

Instructor: Blair Thomas

October 31-November 7

Saturday, October 31, 1-3 p.m.; Sunday, November 1, 1-3 p.m.; Thursday, November 5, 7-9 p.m.; Friday, November 6, 7-9 p.m., Saturday, November 7, 1-3 p.m.

The power of object theater is brought to life in the miniature proscenium frame of the toy theater in this introductory workshop. Festival Director Blair Thomas leads participants in this hands-on Zoom workshop through conception, fabrication and performance of a short tabletop size cardboard-constructed toy theater. Capturing the tradition of the itinerate puppeteer, the end result will be a short toy theater performance. The workshop culminates in a sharing of work by participants.

i??

Experiments in Light and Shadow: Shadow Puppetry

Instructor: Tom Lee

November 7-14

Saturday, November 7, 7-9 p.m.; Sunday, November 8, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday, November 12, 7-9 p.m.; Friday, November 13, 7-9 p.m.; Saturday, November 14, 7-9 p.m.

Tom Lee, co-director of Chicago Puppet Studio and puppeteer from War Horse and Madama Butterfly, introduces a shadow puppetry workshop for the age of social distancing. This Zoom based workshop will take you through a process to create a shadow theater in your home using commonly available recyclables and simple tools. Building a theater, creating shadow figures and simple mechanisms, light sources and techniques, and puppetry performance with silhouettes will all be covered. The workshop culminates in a sharing of work by participants.

Playing with Crankies: Explorations in Shadows and Scrolling Panoramas

Instructor: Myra Su

November 14-21

Saturday, November 14, 7-9 p.m.; Sunday, November 15, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday, November 19, 7-9 p.m.; Friday, November, 7-9 p.m., Saturday, November 21, 7-9 p.m.

Myra Su is a multimedia artist who works with shadow puppetry, video, and crankies (i.e. scrolling panoramas). This workshop serves as an introduction to the crankie from a performative approach. Participants will learn basic construction tips and tricks as well as a cinematic framework to help storyboard and choreograph a crankie piece. We will also touch upon other performative elements that work well with crankies, like shadow puppets and acting in silhouette. The workshop culminates in a sharing of work by the participants.

For the latest updates, visit chicagopuppetfest.org.



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