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Puppet Portal Hospital C Day 17

Our elemental theme today was Air and some experiment with a fan from the hospital ward inspired aerodynamic puppets, kites and cloud masks for the performers. 

Trying to negotiate with a self-shutting-down, microphone-hostile computer meant we logged on too late to meet our partner hospital and exchange stories - all gone for lunch by the time we arrived :```(   But in the meantime, our techno-wizard  teacher here had been setting up a laptop and projector outside the schoolroom and so we linked up with an audience in the corridor instead. For our actual performance we entertained parents, teachers and doctor in the corridor.  It thrilled the participants when they saw the set up outside.

On returning from lunch we set the projector and laptop inside the schoolroom and projected onto the school room window....the following description is a bit longwinded for the blog but I loved it so much Im gonna tell the story anyway!..... 

....One participant rejoined us and we took a bath in a cloud swimming pool and then emptied it out to rain on the land below.  Her puppet wrapped her hair in a towel and suddenly we noticed clouds floating on the portal window beside us and some beautiful was Anna. So we met her `Earth person` who had also just been swimming (in a mud bath) and she invited us to dry off by her fire, given to her by a dragon from the Land of Fire.  We brought her some goggles and a towel.  It was magical - with so many screens (3!) playing in the room, and the lights turned down, we became completely immersed in the exchange. We flew a kite for the Earth person and magically a little green kite with ribbons exactly like ours appeared on the screen...Anna is a techno wizard in her own right!

It was really beautiful and worked wonderfully. The participant gave full marks to every aspect of the day in her evaluation and her pride in her achievement was immense.  This particular child has been steadily recovering from a road traffic accident and her progress has been incredible. In the 5 weeks I`ve known her, her progression has been reflected in the development of her puppets going from the first day when the activities in the schoolroom were just too overstimulating for her to come in further than the door, to the next weeks when she made a silent puppet, then a shy puppet and now this week her puppet can dream up stories, play football games in the air, swim in the clouds, fly to new lands, talk to strange creatures and dry her hair by a dragons fire.  Shes come a long way. I`m looking forward to see how far she takes us next week.

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