Please support the Valley News during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy — and many of the advertisers who support our work — to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at www.vnews.com/coronavirus because we feel our most critical mission is to deliver vital information to our communities.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, we are asking for your support. Please consider subscribing or making a donation today. Learn more at the links below.

Thank you for your support of the Valley News.

Dan McClory, publisher


Out & About: Fairlee group reworks workshop for giant puppet crafting

  • Examples of the life-size puppets people can make during Fairlee Community Arts' Giant Puppet Workshop. Last year's workshop took place at Fairlee Town Hall, but with the covid-19 pandemic, the event has moved online. (Miranda Clemson photograph)

  • Examples of the life-size puppets people can make during Fairlee Community Arts' Giant Puppet Workshop. Last year's workshop took place at Fairlee Town Hall, but with the covid-19 pandemic, the event has moved online. (Miranda Clemson photograph)

Valley News Calendar Editor
Published: 4/4/2020 10:06:02 PM
Modified: 4/4/2020 10:06:00 PM

Anyone could benefit from a touch of whimsy right now.

And what better way to get in touch with your whimsical side than making life-size puppets?

Here’s your opportunity: The Fairlee Community Arts “Giant Puppet Workshop,” where members of Puppeteers Cooperative of Boston will teach participants how to make fantastical creatures using everyday items, will take place online from April 13-17. People can register for the free workshop at fairleearts.org.

“What we plan to do is send out sketches and plans for how to make the puppets, have some video conferences where parts of the fabrication are demonstrated,” said Miranda Clemson, a member of Fairlee Community Arts who is the coordinator of the event. “We’re hoping to have everyone join so we have some kind of a virtual community. That’s part of what this is all about.”

Sara Peatie, co-founder of the Puppeteers Cooperative of Boston, will provide instruction to people through video streaming apps along with a colleague. Peatie instructed about 30 participants during last year’s workshop at Fairlee Town Hall, although that event took place in person.

“We had young kids all the way up to retired people,” Clemson said. “That was one of the nicest parts about the workshop last year. We had younger people helping older people and older people helping younger people.”

This year’s event was slated to be similar until the COVID-19 pandemic caused organizers to rethink how to keep the workshop going.

“It was so well-received last year and people had so much fun. I had many people tell me they wanted to do it again,” Clemson said. “When all this new reality hit us, I thought the show must go on somehow.”

The Puppeteers Cooperative is modeled closely after the famed Bread and Puppet Theatre, based in Glover, Vt. People make large puppet heads they put over their own. Their bodies become the puppets’ bodies.

“The kind of street theater these puppets embody is really about using what’s at hand,” Clemson said. “You are the puppet.”

If people don’t have the recommended supplies around their homes, they can improvise. Instead of cloth, they can use construction paper or string instead of masking tape.

“Who doesn’t like papier-mache and designing a face?” Clemson said with a laugh. “It’s almost like working in clay but faster. Just as messy.”

There’s no set age range for the workshop, though smaller children will need help from their parents or caregivers.

“We’ll have a central place for people to upload photos and videos of themselves with their puppets,” Clemson said. “All these clips will be put together into a video presentation.”

Megan Helm and members of the Adventure Kids Choir will provide the soundtrack.

People who live apart from each other and are practicing social distancing could sign up together as a way to stay more connected.

“We maybe have to expand the definition of community,” Clemson said. “I think it helps to have something to do as a project. People need cheering up and those of us that can, have an obligation to do it.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.




Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784
603-298-8711

 

© 2019 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy