\ Poko Puppets workshops

Every workshop and artist and residency program is custom designed to meet the need of the individual sponsor. Once we know the age group(s), number of students, number of sessions per class, and the desired goals, we can custom design a residency program that usually combines the following elements.

 Constructing puppets

Based on our videos, Making Puppets at Home and Making More Puppets at Home with Larry Engler (DMP Productions), we can demonstrate and/or create with the students a wide range of puppets of different types. Using materials ranging from things from around the house, such as paper bags, plates, socks, and cardboard tubes, to more professional ingredients, such as foam rubber and fake fur fabrics, boys and girls can create a whole range of characters that can be used for many different curriculum-based activities.

 Working Puppets

Based on Larry Engler’s and Carol Fijan’s award-winning book, Making Puppets Come Alive (Dover Publications), students get a “hands on experience” in the art of puppeteering. Finger, wrist, and arm movement, moving the mouths, creating puppet voices, using props, and learning to improvise are all part of the fun of bringing the puppets to life. Creative dramatics, theatre games, and use of simple musical instruments are added elements that enrich this learning experience.

 Multi-cultural Roots of Puppetry

Puppets from all over the world can also be a part of the workshop. Students learn the five basic types of puppets, their origins, and a simple way to make each type. Puppets are an excellent route to studying the cultures of many countries, which often have a unique and traditional style of puppets. History and foreign cultures come to life as students experience shadow puppets from India, China, and Indonesia, rod puppets from Africa, marionettes from Italy, and many more.

Video by Craig Norton for Young Audiences of Connecticut

Video by DMP Productions, NYC, Paul Dokuchitz, director