MEET THE TEAM
We call all the kids that work with us and fall in love with puppetry our 'Puppeteenies' - These little Puppeteers in training are an integral part of Broken Puppet Theatre Company, and are already involved in filming and creating shows for our upcoming YouTube Channel!
Our work with children is so important to us because it's their voices we want to hear in our shows. We create stories and characters alongside the Puppeteenies and their beautifully bizarre imaginations, as they are just brilliant at expressing themselves in the most creative and enchanting ways, and this inspiration is a key part of making engaging theatre for young audiences as far as we're concerned.
The 'Puppeteenies' attend private workshop sessions often arranged by their parents, care givers or hospices, and we work closely with families affected by these issues to develop and run several different kinds of workshop, specifically geared towards creative expression for children with chronic illness or invisible disabilities and their siblings.
Sometimes we use puppetry to explore themes relating to their experiences of being poorly, and other times we run workshops purely for escapism - to give them something different and joyful to think about for a bit. Both types of workshop have proven to be of huge value to the children, their parents and to us.
To find out more about our public access workshops or commissioned creative learning programmes, click here.
We love to take the Puppeteenies and their parents/guardians out for a fun day with our puppets, and we're looking at filming a Puppet Fun Day or two over the summer holidays.
In the meantime, check out a few more snaps from our afternoon at Bring On The Smiles Charity Ride Out in July 2017, where our first official Puppeteenies - Shannon, Stacey and Jack - came to help their Mum Sharon run a stall for our friends and collaborators CFDA (Campaign For Disability Awareness) and ended up spending their day entertaining our puppets, teaching our puppets about disability and trying out all the fun disability awareness games, taking them on the bouncy castle and even drawing the raffle!
Broken Puppet has an ongoing relationship with CFDA, which is set to grow after a highly successful joint venture, launching M.E Awareness Day in May 2017. To find out more about CFDA's founder Sharon and the work they do, click here.
If you'd like to get your little people involved with our growing team of Puppeteenies, please get in touch. This is not a formal programme (yet) as we are not funded to deliver any work like this. We just do it for fun with children who want to learn and play through puppetry.
Parents/Guardians must be present at any Puppeteenie adventure, and attendance is by invitation only, so you need to get in touch with us if you'd like to join in with this budding project or arrange to set up a Puppeteenie programme in your setting.
We are very keen to collaborate with any children's centres, schools or hospices that would like to work with us to develop a programme for young puppeteers, especially if the work you do happens to overlap with our organisations central aims.
Joining the Puppeteenies...
Jack is 14 years old and very much into creating and building things. He always had a fascination with electrical as well as mechanical work, and is very passionate about power stations and prison vans, even advising us on their merits as a potential alternative to our Puppet Bus concept! Jack is also a talented artist so has an abundance of creative flair, with a recently discovered talent for making his favourite marionette - Olivios - dance like a pro!
Shannon is 10 years old and has a certain affinity with our Creative Director Clare, as they both have to deal with the constant demands of M.E. For Shannon the illness - Myalgic Encephaolmyelitis - has a significant impact on her life and affects her childhood in many ways, including posing a challenge with her schooling. Shannon raises awareness for ME in the media and is one of the proud winners of Pride of Plymouth Young Hero Of The Year Award for her courageous battle. She has a great imagination which creates her artistic flair and she really enjoys playing with and designing puppets, as well as providing a child's perspective of what living with M.E is like, which helps our shows to remain authentic and relatable.
Stacey is Shannon's twin sister and has been a tower of strength and support helping Shannon deal with her illness. She has a great imagination which helps her come up with some brilliant ideas and working with Broken Puppet Theatre helps her creative side come out. Stacey also enjoys drawing and her favourite puppets are Mousie, Boggle and Daisy.
Lottie has grown up around puppets because her 'Auntie Clare' runs Broken Puppet Co, and has nurtured Lottie's instinctive, artistic nature since she was very young. At age 5, Lottie would come to Auntie Clare's house and happily spend whole days making tiny shadow puppets out of foam, telling stories and inventing characters and even directing mini performances in our pop up storybook theatre.
At age 9, Lottie invited us to run a puppet making workshop for her birthday party, which is where she met a very special furry friend for the first time. She named the creature 'Cupcake', and they have been great friends ever since!
Lottie's little brother Stanley is our youngest Puppeteenie at just 3 years old, but knows each one by name and is always very keen to play with them whenever they are around. Stanley's favourite character is a big orange bird, which he named 'Birdie', though he is also making friends with a baby bird marionette, Bobbie, and they are helping each other learn how to walk! Auntie Clare is probably responsible for Stanley's love of puppets, as she gave him the penguin puppet book that first started his obsession off...not to mention all the times when a random, discarded sock used to find it's way onto his hands whenever he needed distracting as a baby! Lottie and Stanley's baby brother Bertie is already beginning to show signs of a puppet obsession too, with his tiny hands finding their way inside any paper packaging or odd sock he can reach, but Mummy Bekkie is our treasurer, so she probably won't mind too much!