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From the Political Marionette to Jim Henson: The Importance of Puppets

Puppets are greater than life, and we can learn funny and poignant truths by working with them. Learn about the European puppetry tradition. Create a puppet with no budget and how to perform your favorite song with it. We'll watch curated video footage of  traditional and contemporary puppet performances to help you understand the content and context of each lesson, and ultimately we'll have some great fun together!

the Political Marionette to Jim Henson
The Importance of Puppets

Taught by Arturo Martinini

Tuesdays, April 5 - 26 || 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Social Justice Action Center || 400 SE 12th Ave
Four weeks, $87 || Space limited to 20 students


Puppets are the most entertaining and educating way you can turn yourself into a great, lovable character.  Puppets, like masks, are greater than life, and we can learn funny and poignant truths by working with them or watching them perform. 

In this course, you will learn about the European puppetry tradition. You'll also learn how to create a puppet with no budget and how to perform your favorite song with it. We'll watch curated video footage of both traditional and contemporary puppet performances to help you understand the content and context of each lesson, and ultimately we'll have some great fun together!

You don't have to be an aspiring puppeteer or even a seasoned performer to take this class. Playing with puppets is one of the most affordable therapies you can imagine.


Week 1: Introduction. A brief history of puppetry, viewing of selected puppet performance videos, and an introduction to the practice of puppetry.

Week 2: The European Tradition: Italy. We'll look at the tradition in Italy. We'll also view puppet performance videos, learn basic lip sync techniques, sketch character, and choose our performance song.

Week 3: The European Tradition: Czech Republic. We'll look at the tradition in Czech Republic. We'll also view more puppet performance videos, learn advanced lip sync techniques, and we'll define our character and it's relationship with the song we chose last week.

Week 4: Jim Henson and Performance. We'll talk about Jim Henson and the arm rod puppet, view puppet performance videos, and will perform a song using the puppet lip syncing techniques we've learned.