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    puppetry with transition Year : Session 10 Towards finishing! | A Year’s Practice

puppetry with transition Year : Session 10 Towards finishing!

Week 10

The papier maché fatigue which raised its head a couple of weeks ago is increasing. General fatigue was also evident in the room and there were five absent - a number of them are rehearsing for a musical and ’resting’ before performance apparrently. Last week I had attempted yet again to persuade them to simplify from the tabletop form in order to finish earlier by not completing the legs and operating from behind a playboard instead but on a vote they decided to continue. Now with only three sessions after this one I am also a bit frustrated to find them still making these puppets although I have to say they are coming along beautifully, and are going to be quite special. Next week though I really hope that they can either all be finished or at least that I sign off on the making, arranging for them to finish in their own time so that they can spend some time at least using my experience to help them operate them in some way and bring them to life. I regret letting them persuade me to let them undertake such a complicated form (my original idea was the simpler form of shadow puppets). The decision to do it with them in papier maché may also be responsible for the process being even longer. But part of what I was asked to do with them was to encourage them to work as independently as possible and as young adults I thought it was important that they lead the decision making. The papier maché being largely re-cycled meant that they were using materials they would have access to again were they to continue after the course. Hopefully they will finish them next week and be satisfied enough with the results that they forgive this difficult part of the process. People always underestimate how long it takes a puppet to be made!

A couple of students did start the final stages of painting the puppets this week however, and three or four others are making the costumes. When they get to this stage they get enthused and excited again and the possibilities for character development open up.

I need to get my thinking cap on to see how best to help them achieve some satisfactory performance experience in the short time that will be left to us - just two sessions probably. Perhaps video diaries or short filmed exchanges would be the most manageable. So I will run this by them next week to see how the basic story ideas they drafted last week might be suitable to this kind of development. I should also find out however if any of them have skills and interest in editing and processing the results or else that would become a lot of extra unpaid work for me and result in an ’invisible’ contribution to their process which would not be good for them either.

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