File puptcrit/puptcrit.0904, message 213


Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 08:36:05 -0700
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] High School puppet shows


In the near fifty years I have worked in Puppetry in Education I have  
never penetrated the Secondary school system to any great extent and  
it was due to the priorities involved, time being the most precious.  
This goes for performances and puppetry workshops. After Proposition  
13 passed in California my work with these schools  came to a virtual  
standstill. If you visit my facebook page you will see some of the  
fine work that came  out of my work with Jr and senior high school  
programs. You don's have any Summer School art programs anymore. In  
California in the 60's every school had an art consultant who you  
could go to and negotiate with. If you have one  at the state level  
you are lucky. You could also go to education conferences and do  
presentations and have a booth where you could book shows  
individually.  Boy are those conferences expensive to got to now.  
Today schools will apply to the state art councils for funding to  
bring in artists.

In the awareness programs I did with police department I was able to  
realize great results and use HS students to carry out these programs  
with the cooperation of the schools and the support of the police  
departments because it made no demands on their school time. If you  
talk to the students who worked with these programs you will find  
that even today as adults they value highly what we did together and  
it carried over to what work they went into in later years.

The trouble begins when you you find the economic pie is  
decentralized and the competition for funding is fierce. In addition  
the "Principal" is King and  their are more programs requiring  
funding and extracurricular activities are on the short end of  
things. Sports will always win out in terms of faculty  and PTA  
support while  Drama programs  rarely recognize the value of puppetry  
and don't see it as a way to teach theater techniques and prefer not  
to share what little funding is allocated to them. Students too, with  
raging hormones,  are focused on the social scene provided them. Here  
in Oregon most programming is realized though "Artists in the schools  
programs" and "Young Audiences" programs  tend to or provide a lot of  
the bookings. Where we are helped is in the development of magnet  
schools and it is to them that you can find the best opportunities.

Bruce



On Apr 15, 2009, at 7:34 AM, Fred Greenspan wrote:

> Funding and budgeting. I would love to book my Italian rod-marionette
> show into High Schools, as it provides a great introduction into a
> discussion of the emergence of "professional theatre" (Commedia Dell
> Arte) in Western civilization and it's evolution all the way up to
> the current times. Unfortunately, I don't see high schools spending
> or budgeting any money for puppet shows.
>
> Fred Greenspan - Traditional Puppeteer
> Ossining, New York
> http://www.traditionalpuppetry.com
> Punch & Judy, Italian marionettes, flea circus
>
> On Apr 15, 2009, at 9:29 AM, Ann Legunn wrote:
>
>> Ever since the Puppetry Center in Atlanta produced Ann Frank I have
>> wondered
>> who is doing shows for High School and what are you doing. Does
>> anyone have
>> an idea for a good show for that age group?
>>
>> I attended Bobbi Box's class at the last festival where he
>> suggested taking
>> the books that no one really wants to read and producing them with
>> puppets.
>> He also said something that really struck me...that we have no  
>> problem
>> getting children to our productions and even getting adults to our
>> productions but we sort of kiss our audience good bye between
>> middle school
>> and college....why?
>>
>> Ann Legunn -AT- the PuppeTree Inc.
>>
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