Shadow puppetry with Richmond crew

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Kids doing shadow play
'Home' participants. Image provided by Anna Thompson.

Theatre makers Anna Thompson and Fina Po worked between COVID 19 restrictions in July 2020 to re-engage with the Richmond Drama Crew, a drama group for primary aged students that has operated at The Factory in Richmond since 2015. Previously the group has performed The Ugly Ducking (2018) and The Secret Life of Animals (2019) at Collingwood Children’s Farm Winter Solstice Festival and Gertrude Street Projection Festival.

In a 2-day workshop, participants created vignettes through shadow play, found object puppetry and body puppetry on the theme of 'Home'. They explored the idea of ‘home’ as where you lay your head, ‘home’ as community, ‘home’ as a nation, and ‘home’ as a connection to our environment. In previous projects this has included the exploration of myth and fairytales through verbal and physical storytelling, drawings and visual art, shadow puppetry, magic realism, and devised theatre techniques.

The project aimed to encourage experimentation with household objects and inspire creativity through the use of the “domestic” and to reconnect participants with each other in a non-educational environment.

"I liked learning about the lighting and doing stage management” Participant.

The project culminated in a performance for each other and their families, which was also made into a short film.

 ‘Even though it had been sometime since the children had all met, they had an abundance of ideas that they wanted to explore and had clearly retained many of the skills they had practiced in previous workshops. They also learnt new performance making skills that assisted them with reflecting on and expressing ideas around what has been a confusing time for everybody. ‘ Workshop facilitator, Fina Po.

The project was supported by a City of Yarra Creative Community COVID Quick Response Grant.


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