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
Lottie and Cupcake
Cupcake was a special puppet build for our friend Lottie, who has been a fan of Broken Puppet Theatre ever since 'Aunty Clare' founded it. Lottie invited us to run a puppet workshop for her 9th Birthday, and it was brilliant fun!
Lottie making mini puppets
Lottie was the first Puppeteenie to have a solo workshop, in which she led our creative director (AKA 'Auntie Clare' to her) through the story she wanted to create. We have worked with a few families now to give some very special puppeteenies their own private workshop. Accompanied by a Parent or guardian, we invite children who cannot access public creative learning sessions (for health reasons) to come into the workshop on a quiet day to create whatever they like.
Make Your Mark
Make your Mark was a creative learning programme we delivered at a community festival in our first year, and we still love looking back at the photos of all these beautiful smiling faces!
LAUNCH PR sm flyer
Our latest Creative Learning Programme for primary schools, 'Ephelant!' is in production right now, and uses puppetry to support children learning to live with chronic illness.
Stiltskin F and G Fest3
Creative Learning can happen anywhere...here we are under a tree, teaching these lovely little pink fairies how to make a pecan puppet from a scrap of paper!
Stiltskin F and G fest2
We often gain mini fans at festivals who share such enthusiasm it makes us wish we could run many many more creative learning initiatives!
Respect Festival set up
The Aziki Project team get ready for a weekend in which we made a whopping 112 puppets with visiting children and families, all the while discussing the themes and issues of the Respect Festival.
Mother Daughter time
Spend a little one on one time with your little people at one of our creative workshops for families.
Creative Learning is not just for schools...it's also great for community events and family time too!
Crafty workshops can be a great way to learn about all kinds of public holidays. Here is a photo of our Halloween workshop bench.
We show you how to set up a simple, cost-effective shadow theatre screen.
Halloween Shadow Screen
Halloween shadow puppetry screen - great for teaching kids about light and shadows, movement and story telling.
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.