Do you speak puppetry

Puppetry as an alternative form of communication

Farryl Hadari has been an educator in the field of puppetry for more than 30 years. She has initiated many puppetry projects... read more.

Puppetry as an Alternative Form of Communication

Anna was a first grader at a grammar school in Boston where I was doing an artistic residency. Her family had just moved from Bali to the United States. At the beginning of the academic year, she was very quiet and shy. By March, she had not yet succeeded in finding a space for herself or making friends. At this time, I conducted a puppetry project with her class. She made a puppet whose name was Miss Beautiful and who was a rose. The girl wrote the following story about her puppet:

Once upon a time, there was a rose that lived upon a hill. The hill was dry and it made the rose dry up, too. The rose needed water, but the people didnít know how to get it up the hill to her

They tied doing a rain dance, but it didnít work. They tried to bring water from the lake, but this didnít work because it spilled before they got it up the hill. The people tried another idea. They stood in a line from the rose to the lake. They passed water in buckets up to the rose. This worked. The rose bloomed.

The other children in the class were curious about the story and they asked Anna questions about Miss Beautiful. Anna bloomed! She had been able to introduce herself to her classmates in a creative, wonderful way. She had initiated an alternative form of communication, as the conventional form had not suited her. Her loneliness in the classroom was metaphorically making her feel ďdried upĒ. The attention of her classmates rejuvenated her as the water had give life to the rose. An open mind and an open heart could easily understand the message of this story.

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