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Study the Art of Puppetry This Winter With Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

Registration is now open for the following One-Week Intensives ($225 each) and four Six-Week Courses ($285 each).

Study the Art of Puppetry This Winter With Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

This winter is the perfect time to stay inside, dive into live, hands-on puppetry workshops and make something extraordinary. That's why, due to popular demand, the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival is expanding its teaching artist roster and tripling its winter line-up of live, online puppetry workshops for actors, artists and theater craftsmen interested in expanding their skill sets and creating new works.

Chicago Puppet Festival workshops cover a range of puppetry styles including Shadow, 3D Fabrication, Crankies and Pop Up Books. Classes are taught by Chicago's top puppet theater artists, who guide participants from conception, to construction, to a live presentation, all in a fun, communal format. Students typically use found objects and materials from their homes to create their original works. Live work sessions, group sharing and personal feedback combine to make Chicago Puppet Fest workshops enjoyable and productive.

New in 2021 is the option to choose between one-week intensives, or one class a week over several weeks. Likewise, the Chicago Puppet Festival has grown its roster of teachers, and introduced class levels from one to five - one for beginners, five for experts, with graduating levels in between.

Registration is now open at chicagopuppetfest.org for the following One-Week Intensives ($225 each) and four Six-Week Courses ($285 each). The Festival's live online workshops are for adults, ideally with some performance and/or builder's experience. Limited scholarships available upon request. BIPOC encouraged to apply. To request email info@chicagopuppetfest.org with a brief statement of interest/need.

One-Week Intensives:

i??Toy Theater (Level One)

i??Toy Theater One is an introduction to the form, teaches basic skills and concludes with a showing. Make your first toy theater stage using recyclable materials. Learn conceptual and design approaches in building an original work. Build basic jointed 2D puppets and moveable set pieces and discover the unique theatrical language of the Toy Theater.

Session One: February 15-21, with Roberto Rossi

Session Two: March 1-7, with KT Shivak

Session Three: April 19-23, with Blair Thomas

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Shadow Puppetry (Level One)

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Experiments in Light and Shadow: Shadow Puppetry One is an introduction to the form for the beginning puppeteer. Students will create a desktop shadow theater, build and create basic shadow figures and environments and devise their own short pieces with music or text. An overview of world shadow puppetry traditions is included as well as an introduction to light sources and fabrication. The course makes use of basic materials including home recyclables.

Session One: February 15-21, with Tom Lee

Session Two: March 1-7, with Lake Simmons

Session Three: April 19-23, with Tom Lee

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Crankie Theaters (Level One)

This workshop serves as an introduction to the crankie, or scrolling panorama, 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. The workshop culminates in a sharing of work by the participants.

Session One: February 15-21, with Myra Su

Session Two: March 1-7, with Myra Su

Session Three: April 19-23, with Myra Su

Six-Week Courses

Pop-Up Book as Stage Design with Jaerin Son (Level One)

March 8-April 12, Mondays, 7-9 p.m.

This class introduces pop-up book paper designs as a technique for puppet theater set design. The revelation of each turned page in the pop-up book is translated into a revelation in puppet stage design. This technique enables the creation of a variety of easily transportable backgrounds.

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The Short Well-Made Puppet Play with Tom Lee (Level Three)

March 10-April 14, Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m.

This course is designed for practicing puppeteers interested in developing a self-contained, short puppet piece they can pull out of a suitcase. In the class, puppeteers will devise a concept through storyboarding, design the portable stage, set and puppets and develop the piece through critiques. Creating sound, music, lighting and proper documentation will also be outlined. This course requires experience and access to basic hand tools.

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3D Puppet Fabrication: Strings, Hands and Rods with Mark Blashford (Level One)

March 9-April 13, Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m.

This class introduces the principles and function of the 3-dimensional puppet. Participants will learn basic construction techniques and manipulation strategies for a balanced stringed marionette, the traditional hand in glove puppet, and the principles of table-top rod puppet. This class requires purchase of a materials kit that will be mailed to each participant.

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Cardboard Sculpting with Jeghetto (Level One)

March 11-April 15, Thursdays, 7-9 p.m.

Learn to sculpt and build a puppet out of cardboard with master puppeteer and builder Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins. Jeghetto's unique style integrates functional puppet armatures and controls with a variety of found materials. Think outside the cardboard box by creating a rod puppet with it. Jeghetto will share his unique building techniques as well as manipulating your creation.

For the latest updates, visit chicagopuppetfest.org, follow the festival on Facebook at facebook.com/ChicagoInternationalPuppetTheaterFestival, on Instagram at instagram.com/chipuppetfest and on Twitter @ChiPuppetFest.


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