Telling with Shadow Puppets

Storytelling with Shadow Puppets? Absolutely! Jeff Gere shows 20 years of know-how secrets. By performing shadow shows using an overhead projector and his ‘lap top’ shadow screen he illustrates the art & craft & performing skills of shadow tells, with various styles of cut-outs from simple to complex. As he performs, satudents fashion shadow puppets, ask questions, and end doing a shadow show too. Add this skill to your storytelling tool kit!           73

At the end of this workshop, participants will be 1) inspired by showing finished works to want to try this technique with stories, 2) educated by teaching students the mechanics, considerations and challenges of shadow puppetry and by having them construct, move, and tell with their puppets 3) enabled by leading participants to conclude through experience that they can do and use this technique to perform stories with Shadow Puppets in 90 minutes.

Jeff will quickly begin presenting the advantages of shadow puppets for tellers (big visual aide, retains teller/audience relation, easy set-up, easy storage). Then he’ll start participants working to create shadow puppets (a hands-on arts activity). As they begin to draw and cut out ‘puppets’, Jeff will show & tell (perform & explain) two 20 minute sets of stories using several styles of shadow puppets (bold figure cut-outs with no moving parts, intricately carved puppets with several hinges; Turkish & Balinese examples; Xeroxed, torn, hand-colored, and found object puppets) on two different stages (using the overhead projector and his ‘lap-top’ stage). Stories will be selected from: Silver Nose (Italian, 15 min), The Envier and Envied Man (Persia, 8-9 min), The Man With A Doe (Persian, 12 minutes), The Legend of the Poinsettia (Mexico, 7-8 min), Wind ‘N Rain Ballad (England, 7-8 min), ‘Malagon’ (French, 15 min.), ‘Tale of the Obi’ (Japan, 15 min.). After each story, Jeff will show puppets and discuss puppet creation & manipulation, problems and problem-solving strategies. Between the two sets, Jeff will pass around the room coaching, suggesting, commenting and encouraging the class, showing their creations, anticipating manipulations. The last 30 minutes will be devoted to a lively story improvisation/ learn- by- doing session by the students, with comments on these beginning explorations. 

Opening Lecture (5 minutes),& starting the craft activity (next 5 minutes. This crafting continues throughout the class and his tells)= 13%.

Jeff’s Shadow Shows 42% (2 X 20 min. period),

Coaching 12% (10 min to circulate & coach puppet creations),

Student Shows 33% (30 min students explore/ manipulate)= 90 min.

Jeff will give out a handout on shadow puppets, including the attached article (Storytelling Magazine 1999). An evaluation form will be given out, voluntary responses.  285

Jeff gave this workshop at the National Storytelling Network Conference (1999, San Diego) and many times to Parks Department staff on Oahu. He gave it at the National Karagoz Shadow Puppet Festival (Turkey 2004) and Kennesaw University (Georgia, 3/08) and many Hawaii venues including Story Camps (2010 & 11).

He does shadow puppet presentations continually.

See Puppetry & Arabian Nights) and many YouTube videos (Puppetry in Meida section of ‘About Jeff’: