A week-long winter break camp | Ages 8 - 14 | Monday, Feb 18 - Friday, Feb 22, 2019

40 kids and teenagers joined us during winter break to explore the creative world of puppetry. We made all kinds of puppets, from small to large: we started by making our own finger puppets with clay. We learned that a puppeteer can bring any object to life, turning our books, coffee cups, and other inanimate objects into characters. We created sock puppets of all types, experimenting with creative ways to construct eyes, lips, mouths and monsters. We built marionettes with recycled materials, and then practiced the art of puppet movement and dance, taking inspiration from pop culture and music videos (like Missy Elliott’s Where They From). We used paper mâché to make singing hand and rod puppets. We watched videos of shadow puppets from around the world, and then made our own: both cutting out shapes and using our whole bodies to tell stories in shadow. We even made large puppets big enough for 2-3 people to wear, using cardboard and paper mâché.

Throughout the week some kids dove into the art of playwriting: turning their favorite stories into puppet shows, and writing original scripts. Some kids became a Foley Arts team, creating sound effects, like the sound of monsters mashing their teeth. An amazing crew of teens joined us as volunteers for the week, helping their younger peers and creating their own projects. The teens helped kids to design sets, props, and an ultra-popular line of Marshmallow DJ masks. In addition to all the cutting, gluing, paper-macheing, sock-design, scriptwriting, and performing, we also took took time each day to share appreciations with each other.

At the end of the week, we invited the public to join us for an epic lineup of puppet party performances, featuring: an original show that told a dramatic story about the battle between anger and love; a musical meal, with singing food-puppets that popped out of a table; a vinyl DJ party, featuring 5 DJ-puppets; a karaoke sing-along rock band, performing pop hits; and a rendition of Where the Wild Things Are.

A special thank you to our two brilliant lead teaching artists: Molly Allis and Greg Corbino. Thank you to our amazing crew of volunteers (Michelle, Eli, Kelly, Heylan, Rebecca and David), and to our crew of teen volunteers, who spent their Spring Break helping out (Gavin, Deja, Egypt, Gabriela, LeBron, Pierre, Frankie and Kyla). Thank you also to the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) for their support for this program.