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NFA Scholars Learn From Area Puppeteer
NFA Main Scholars learned from Bradford Shur of Paper Heart Puppets. Puppeteer, puppet builder and arts educator Brad Shur is the founder and lead artist of Paper Heart Puppets. During their lesson, Bradford brought different materials and different ways of thinking of how to construct puppets. Bradford's visit to the Ms. Fay Pacht's Technical Theater class is part of the curriculum and will help the preparation for an upcoming performance by the Before Broadway Theatre Co.
First, Mr. Shur discussed the purpose of the puppets and the role they play prompting students to ask themselves: What does the puppet have to do? Are they a visual tool? Do they have to pick things up? Are they scary or playful? Then, he discussed the construction and materials that could be used to bring the imagined puppets to life. Everything from rigid pool noodles to squishy couch cushions to professional grade foams were discussed in terms of pros, cons, costs, and availability. Patterning to create larger puppets or multiple creations was also a point of discussion. Additionally, patterning was suggested for breaking down shapes to make a larger object out of similar shapes. For example, a beach ball was suggested for making a head or round object and using patterns to ensure all sides were symmetrical. Finally, construction options like sewing, gluing, and stapling were weighed depending on desired result.
Throughout the presentation, popular puppets like Jim Heson's the Muppets and JK Rowling's Harry Potter were referenced throughout.
The Before Broadway Theatre Co. will perform James and the Giant Peach - TYA on Thursday, November 14th at 7pm, Friday, November 15th at 5pm and 7pm, and Saturday, November 16th at 12pm and 2pm. All performances will be held at NFA Main in the Black Box Theatre.
The BBTC and the Technical Theatre class are led and taught by Ms. Fay Pacht. The class was also joined by Ms. Lynda Keech, NECSD Director for Fine and Performing Arts.
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