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Course Information

Instructor Info:Anna Sobel
TA Info:Megan Howard
Nate Flannery
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Monday
01:00 PM - 03:50 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 3

When used as an educational tool, puppetry works like magic.  Our class has two streams: teaching puppetry and performing educational puppet shows. Students will gain hands-on experience using puppetry with children, and will go through the process of a developing a show for a range of ages. Students will also learn about professional-quality construction techniques as we create puppets for a production by the concurrent class, Take the Show on the Road.  In the course of this class, students will assume the roles of art teacher, playwright, director, puppet builder, and puppeteer.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this class, you will know how to make a range of simple puppets that children can make.  You will learn how to manipulate different styles of puppets and give voice to them, and you will go through the process of developing an educational show for children.  You will gain experience building professional puppets for a show for young audiences. You will be familiar with traditions of puppetry from around the world, and will know who the educational puppet troupes are in the U.S. that are hiring. You will be able to write a lesson plan and get hands-on experience teaching puppetry in a classroom.  In short, you will be an educational puppeteer!

Evaluation Criteria:

I expect students to attend every class, and to put sincere effort into preparing presentations.   The reading assigned for homework will be short, but I expect students to read all the assignments carefully, to watch the videos I post, and to participate in weekly class discussions about which elements in the reading were personally relevant, new, or inspiring.  In this course, students are expected to spend at least six to eight hours a week of preparation and work outside of class time. This time includes reading, writing, watching youtube videos, independent work on puppets, and small group rehearsals. When it comes time to prepare for in-class performances, it is your responsibility to schedule and find space to rehearse with your small group.  You will make things easier on yourself at the end of the semester if you begin thinking about your final show early on.  Plan for one long or two short rehearsals per show outside of class, with additional time to build the puppets for your show.  In the final presentations, I am looking for effort, originality, and collaborative use of the innate talents within your group.  A portfolio documenting your work in this class will be due at the end of the semester.

Additional Info:

This course satisfies distribution for multiple cultural perspectives and independent work.

Textbook: Puppetry in Education and Therapy, Matthew Bernier and Judith O'Hare, eds.