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Dream Tale Puppets

Acting with Puppets: Workshops with Dream Tale Puppets

Dream Tale Puppets is launching an opportunity for people interested in joining our work. We started on a Monday evening, early in April, at the Puppet Showplace Theatre. Thank you PST for hosting the session!


Much of our first workshop was dedicated to fundamentals of acting and acting with table top puppets.  In Dream Tale Puppets we aspire to avoid manipulating puppets. We act with puppets. Deeds of an actor‑puppeteer are as important as the actions of a puppet. Both are usually present for the audience to see. The workshop introduces acting techniques we use in Dream Tale Puppets. We are aiming to create an opportunity for people interested in learning, practicing and maybe even mastering these techniques. The workshops will also be preparing for our upcoming projects.


Acting in theatre has its own rules for using the body, different from how we use our body in everyday life. In dance these rules are still further from rules of everyday behavior. Even bigger are differences between everyday life of the human body and life of the body of puppet and puppeteer. To perform on stage we learn new sets of techniques to use our arms and legs. This is as applicable to dancing and live acting as it is valid for acting when we partner with a puppet.


In Dream Tale Puppets’ newest production, “Alice in Wonderlands,” we are following our heroine Alice into absurd and puzzling worlds as she searches for her lost pet kitten and her identity. I am bringing to this project creative approaches and techniques from my earlier experiences. Margaret Moody is bringing her own bag of skills, experiences, and knowledge. We are developing material for the show during the rehearsals. To some extent in this project we explore how each of us could be a part of the creative process, who we are in this process, and how could we “write” the play together as we go. I use a variety of approaches and ways to create puppets. As Alicegoes through changes she is reinvented with table top, rod, long neck “snake,” and figure puppets. Some puppets are built following a design; others are assembled out of found and recycled materials with no earlier specific design.


Immersing in a creative process where each member of the ensemble brings something distinctive and they together shape the work of art, as we do in “Alice,” is an approach I used often in my European projects and in work with youth and children. It is a new work mode for Dream Tale Puppets. In producing “Rumpelstilskin,” a show in the table top style of puppetry, we worked in a more traditional way. The text of the play was mostly ready when we started rehearsing. Five puppets were built following designs. In our last show, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” we use still another performing style where one performer acts with puppets, performing objects, and in mask while the other performer gives voices to the characters and narrates the story.


As artists we give life to voices, sounds and pictures inspired by the changing fast world around us. We respond to challenges and seek to reinvent ways art and theatre are practiced and shared to better serve the communities we are connected with.


We are inviting people interested in working together, in learning and figuring out what we could do next. Workshops help lay the groundwork for upcoming Dream Tale Puppets’ projects and productions. We will also be seeking ways to accommodate and utilize a variety of interests, talents, abilities and levels of possible involvement of actors and artists participating in our future programs.

Please send us an a message if you are interested in joining upcoming workshops. Let us know about your theatrical or creative experience, attach a resume and relevant biographical information.


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