National Puppetry Festival 2017

July 18 – 22, 2017
Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota

Puppet Festivals are ideas made real. Imagination brought to life. Creativity shared. Bonds made and friendships forged.

The National Puppetry Festival 2017 brings together nearly 400 puppet artists of all kinds, from all disciplines, from all over the country and around the world for outstanding workshops, performances, exhibits and people.
July 17 & 18
Eric and Shoshana Bass teach an Intensive Workshop
Creating Puppet Theater from Social Testimony: How to Give Voice to a Story of Personal Injustice

This workshop takes participants through the process of gathering community stories through a story circle exercise, developed by John O’Neal in the Free Southern Theater during the civil rights movement. The stories we tell will become the material for exploring the potential of puppets to embody these stories and the choices we have to give the stories voice. The focus of the workshop addresses how we can tell the story of someone else without “playing” that role, and without appropriating that culture. So the process looks at song, at the actor/puppet relationship, and at simultaneous scenes, among other techniques, to explore what makes the puppet a special medium for evoking testimony. Participants will work with Sandglass’ exercise puppets from day one, and with any objects or raw materials that seem appropriate on day two. Wear comfortable clothing in which you can move. There are no materials fees for this workshop and no pre-requisite skills necessary.
July 21st at 1 and 3:30 PM
Shoshana Bass performs
When I Put On Your Glove

When I Put On Your Glove is a puppetry, dance and spoken word piece that explores a daughter’s relationship to her father’s work building upon a premise that puppets are containers of memory. In it, a daughter explores what it means for her to slip into her father’s art – and not just the form, but the actual pieces. This work addresses universal questions of belonging, childhood, fear of loss, death and the complicated nature of navigating generational artistic legacy. The passing of these puppets into new hands marks a pivotal moment of generational transition for Sandglass Theater. It is an engagement with what legacy means in the field of puppetry; how an art form endures and transforms as it is handed to the next generation; meeting the voice of the past with the voice of the present, and singing it into the future.

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