Do you speak puppetry
Puppetry as an alternative form of communication
Passover Shadow Puppetry
I did a short-term artistic residency for a Jewish community in Michigan. One of the projects that I did there was a shadow production of the Biblical story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. I worked with two fifth grade classes. Before I arrived, the principal had worked with fifth grade teachers in defining different scenes of the story that they thought should be highlighted. The teachers taught and discussed the stories, the characters and the themes with their students. When I arrived, the two classes were divided into groups according to the scenes they were going to work on. We created a puppet stage, scenery, and puppets in an intensive morning workshop. The teachers participated as well as the students so that they could acquire the skills necessary to continue to use this art form. We rehearsed the scenes, and in the last hour of the school day, we presented the puppet show for the entire school. The children in the audience had many questions about the shadow puppetry, about the Bible story and about the motivations of different characters. One fourth grader asked, “Do we get to make the shadow puppet show next year for Passover?” It was truly an experiential learning experience!