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PUPPET MAKING WORKSHOPS

Puppet making is for everyone, and we've been running workshops to introduce groups of all ages to the joys of puppetry and puppet making for over 5 years now. We offer a wide variety of puppet making techniques and always gear our workshops towards the participants needs and interests.

From classic paper folding techniques and sock puppets to shadow puppets, newspaper characters and cardboard animals all the way through the production process to gourmet papier mache, fabric and fur, rod and cable controlled puppets, marionettes, monitor/TV style hand & arm puppets, epic parade puppets or walkabout characters, we can show you how!

 

Each puppet build is unique and workshops are always full of experiments, encouraging team work and enhancing key skills such as understanding kinetic energy, simple engineering, character design, storytelling and performance.

PLEASE REMEMBER: We are NOT therapists or psychologists, or medically qualified. We are just a group of theatre makers who live with illness ourselves and have developed a range of creative practices to help us cope, which we are now able to share with you. We are very happy to collaborate with qualified professionals, but we prefer to treat everyone we meet as fellow humans, and believe sometimes that connection is all you need to help find your smile again!

ILLNESS & DISABILITY AWARENESS WORKSHOPS

WORKSHOP 3. Creative Exploration > These workshops tend to be a bit more involved and are aimed at those who really want to delve a little deeper into the more challenging or 'darker side' of sharing your life with chronic illness / disability.

 

The aim is to acknowledge and come to accept the role that illness has to play in your world, in order to help you move forward in the best possible way, with a few more tools to help you cope with these transitions.

 

These workshops are designed for people who need a little bit of cathartic-ism while remaining focused on the positives, the potential and the purpose that we sometimes lose sight off in the face of ill health.  We use every creative technique available to us and externalise the issues in order to obtain new perspectives and different ways of engaging with them. 

We specialise in developing creative learning workshops for children and families learning to live with chronic illness and invisible disabilities, because our core team have all been through this challenging transition themselves, and we know how tough it can be, and how support services are lacking in this area.

 

We offer three types of workshop;

WORKSHOP 1: Creative Expression > helping children and their families express themselves and share their experiences in order to improve communication and promote empathy.

 

This workshop is primarily geared towards encouraging openness and honesty within a family or small group, by using the artistic processes we employ in our work to express often complex emotions and personal perspectives. 

 

It helps to break down misunderstandings and provides a wealth of positive coping strategies to assist the transitional period as everyone learns to adjust from being healthy to becoming 'disabled', acknowledging that friends, family, schools and the wider community may need some support in making such a transition successfully.

WORKSHOP 2: Creative Escapism > for when life has been effectively taken over - or you feel you have been taken hostage -  by illness, and you just need a safe space to escape from reality for a bit. (Trust us, we know the feeling!)

 

This workshop offers a chance to explore your creativity with a group of like minded and supportive people who just 'get it'. Workshops are participant led and guided by our creative team.

 

We may make puppets, films, theatre, artwork or anything else and it's entirely up to each workshop group to decide where their creative inspiration takes us. A perfect distraction to allow your mind to take refuge elsewhere and recharge, or to allow you a platform to be heard and supported.

PUPPETRY & THEATRE PRODUCTION WORKSHOPS

We create all our theatre work from scratch, making our team very knowledgeable about many different aspects of puppetry and theatre production - but we're still learning. In fact, puppetry is one of our favourite forms of theatre because of how much we've still got left to learn, and creative experimentation is a significant part of a new performance's development, often continuing even while new work is touring, to prevent it from becoming too static.

We're by no means experts in any of what we do, and enjoy opportunities to continue growing our skills alongside the people we 'teach'. Because we multi-task a lot as a small company, we all have a broad range of skills to share, and love working with other artistically minded people who enjoy doing the same.

 

From idea conception to scripting, blocking a show and devising on the floor, to designing and building characters for each new show, we are more than happy to pass on the knowledge we do have through these informal, relaxed and accessible puppetry and theatre performance workshops.

 

We also have a number of freelance professional creatives in our team to support the creative development and discovery of new skills with you throughout your projects, depending on its individual requirements and focus.

Our latest production workshop is a unique collaboration with adults who are house or bed bound by chronic illness, and is taking place via a series of online interactions as participants are unable to attend in person.

 

The project, 'Broken:Live!' is a first for us and for the diverse group of creative collaborators involved, and takes an innovative approach to generating material to put into a show for 2018/19, using social media and technology to allow participants all over the globe to contribute their stories, experiences, writing and art in many forms, which our team will combine to produce a touring show! Read more about the project here.

 
 
 

CREATIVE LEARNING PROGRAMMES

Creative Learning Programmes are usually a series of 10 or more workshops, or regular workshops taking place weekly throughout a school term or half term. They can involve using the many creative arts processes we employ here at Broken Puppet to create a school play, explore an area of the curriculum, a social theme, or a specific skill set. 

We can custom build a creative learning programme around your needs, or bring you one of our existing programmes. We are always developing new creative learning initiatives based on the needs and requests of our community, so feel free to make a suggestion or commission us.

 

We currently offer 2 creative learning programmes for different contexts, and delivery of these can be adapted to suit your timetabling requirements.

CURRENT CREATIVE

LEARNING PROGRAMMES

An 'Ephelant' is a metaphorical Elephant who got his letters all in a muddle. That's because Jj - the 9 year old who invented them - suffers from a mysterious, invisible illness, called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, which often makes her brain, and her body, do very strange things.
 
M.E (also known as ME/CFS) is a complex, multi-systemic neuro-immune disease, that not even the world's top scientists and doctors really understand yet. It is reported to be the number 1 cause of long term absence from school in the UK and the USA, and affects over 17 million people Worldwide, with around 1/4 of these being children and young people. 
This creative learning programme has been developed by people who have M.E, and comprises of a puppetry performance, workshop and story book package with accompanying resource pack for primary schools and children's centres. The full pack with show will be available from Spring 2018, with smaller outreach and introductory workshops available from September 2017.
It's targeted at children aged 5 to 11 (with age adapted workshop components) and aims to help promote empathy and peer support for children learning to live with invisible disabilities or complex health needs.
 
This programme introduces positive coping strategies and support structures to improve a child's relationships with friends, families and the institutions that are supporting their inclusion in wider society.
'Ephelant!' Project (Autumn 2017/ Touring 2018 -19) [Audience: 5 to 11yrs, schools, children & families]
'Broken:Live!' Project (Spring 2018/ Touring 2018 -19)
[Audience: 14yrs +, secondary/HE & FE & social care professionals]
Borken:Live is our first offering intended for an over 14's audience. Currently in its research and development phase, this creative learning programme is presently working with around 35 online creative collaborators, who each have their own personal experiences of living with chronic illness and/or invisible disabilities. 
 
We share with them a determined ambition to create professional level performance work that will share their stories in a positive, engaging but brutally honest way; in the hope of shedding a little more light on what life really looks and feels like through an ever present lens of illness, in the face of social pressures that too often fail to adapt or provide relevant support. 
This creative learning programme will include a live theatre performance, with film, animation and puppetry, accompanied by a seminar/conference presentation, drama workshops and classroom resources. The full programme will be available in 2018 subject to new funding, with smaller research and development workshops available from October 2017.
 
It seeks to actively engage with audiences of 14 years and up, being that it does not shy away from the more intimate themes and challenging aspects of living with chronic illness, and is therefore unsuitable for younger groups. 
The programme is essentially a patients-eye-view of how lives can be turned upside down by a transition from health to illness or disability. It's central purpose is two-fold;
1. To support individuals living with these issues themselves to participate fully in a creative arts programme, and use it to have their voices heard by the people who can support them in turn, and
2. To open a more positive dialogue with the health care professionals and social care students who are so often charged with our care, but do not necessarily have the resources, training or insight to effectively equip them to manage cases such as those featured in our show, through no fault of their own, as a result often feeling helpless themselves.
 
This programme aims to break down some of the common myths and preconceptions that persist around invisible disability. It is an open invitation for collaborative exploration of long term ill health, it's treatment / management and how best we can work together as patients, care givers and peers to improve the quality of life for those suffering in silence or isolation. We hope this programme will be of value to those seeking to develop knowledge and skills in the caring professions, enabling further development of policies and procedures with patient's at their heart. 
 

OUR WORK

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Daisy Cake

Daisy likes to frequent coffee shops and be sociable whenever we are well enough to take her out and about. Her appearances make people smile and she's becoming quite the celebrity!