Part One – Introduction
Dream Tale Puppets is offering a free online workshop in acting with puppets for actors from the Greater Boston area, Cape Cod, and areas in between.
We will be exploring acting with tabletop and figure puppets, as well as the relationship between live acting and acting with puppets. This will include developing more than one character, acting with multiple puppets at the same time, and employing elements of realistic and nonrealistic live acting (including elements of pantomime, acting in a mask, and principles examined by Theatre Anthropology). In this performing style, actors perform in full view of the audience. Instructions, training, improvisations, and developing scenes will form the basic blocks of the program.
This pre-production workshop links with Dream Tale Puppets’ upcoming production based on the folk tale about the Fisherman and the Golden Fish. In this comical adaptation, the fisherman and his wife are joined by characters from increasingly bigger dwellings. The wife, inspired first by neighbors and then by her courtiers, sends her husband to the golden fish to demand more and more wealth and greater power over bigger and bigger realms…until it is too much for the magic fish to handle. We will be working with characters, themes, and passages from the play.
Workshops will be led by Jacek Zuzanski, a director, actor, and puppeteer known for his mastery in combining puppetry and stylized live acting. https://dreamtalepuppets.org/about/jacek_zuzanski/ .
This initial workshop will be the first part of a series of similar projects. It will start on Saturday, May 15 at 1:00 PM, and will continue once a week through Saturday, June 19. The first two sessions will each be 90 minutes long. Subsequent sessions will range from one to two hours in length. Hopefully, in the end, we will be able to arrange at least one live session in the Boston area and one in the Upper/Mid Cape Cod.
You will need a computer with a camera and an internet connection. We will use Zoom. Since April 2020, Dream Tale Puppets has been rehearsing online for our present production of “Alice, or the Red King’s Dream.” The two actors and co creators involved in this project had known each other well before we were forced online. An online workshop with people who haven’t met before will be something new and, to some extent, experimental. You will need a table to set the computer on and an area about ten feet wide and ten feet deep in front of the computer. More will be better. You will need one more table about four to six feet long for the stage for your puppets. Make sure it’s not too heavy, so if needed it could be moved around.
We will work with easily accessible objects as puppets (like plastic bottles, blocks made of cardboard, and pieces of foam). On the Dream Tale Puppets blog, you will find instructions on how to create very simple puppets for exercises, training, and improvisations.
The outcome of the workshop will determine how the series will be continued. In the fall, Dream Tale Puppets will begin seeking actors to join the production of “Fisherman and His Wife.” This workshop introduces techniques used in Dream Tale Puppets and will give you an idea of the approaches we will employ in the project, so involvement in the workshop would be advantageous to actors interested in joining the production.
How to Sign Up / Contact
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would appreciate it if you could introduce yourself: let us know where you live, write about your theatrical experience, and tell us why you are interested in acting with puppets. A link to your website if you have one would be appreciated.
If you have questions or you would like to know more about plans for producing “Fisherman and His Wife,” please let us know.
Deadline for submissions: Friday, May 14, 2021. If you read this after the deadline passed and you are interested, please connect with us. We will contact you if joining the workshop is still possible and let you know when the next workshop is scheduled.