" Making puppetry. For everyone."
PuppetSoup Partnerships - working with Schools to create shows
PuppetSoup have partnered and developed work with several schools over the years to create and show new work to the pupils and then go on and tour the work more widely.
Partnerships have worked in a positive way for both PuppetSoup and the schools giving PuppetSoup the opportunity to get ideas and feedback from young people whilst they are creating a show but also giving the pupils a chance to learn about the process of theatre creation, learn new skills and meet professional artists. Schools have benefitted from faster access when artistic opportunities such as external events become available.
By developing a relationship with specific schools and their pupils, PuppetSoup encouraged the growth of a critically aware young audience with the ability to evaluate pieces of theatre and understand the process that had been undertaken to create it.
Llanfoist School kindly 'adopted' PuppetSoup for several years whilst Jon Murphy was the headteacher allowing PuppetSoup to develop and showcase works such as the 'Memory Keeper', 'The Cauldron of Ceridwen' and 'Arthur the Bear King - Yr Arth Frenin'.
The pupils became used to learning with and from PuppetSoup who provided workshops about all aspects of theatre production and in return PuppetSoup received feedback for shows to improve storylines specifically for young people. Llanfoist were extremely helpful in all aspects of show creation, offering space and opportunities to PuppetSoup as they saw it benefited the children in practical and academic ways whilst also encouraging young people to think creatively, work together and problem solve.
The partnership built confidence in many children who were able to not only learn puppet building and technical theatre skills, but who also developed oracy skills through being able to articulate their lived experiences of theatre. In addition to regularly performing in the large school hall, Jon kindly organised coaches for the whole school to see PuppetSoup perform the development stages of Arthur the Bear King in Abergavenny Theatre, giving the children the chance to experience going to a real theatre and be an audience member.
It was with great excitement that when PuppetSoup contacted Llanfoist after Jon’s departure as head that we were able to go to perform our new show ‘Cat Town’ in its pilot tour under the new head Mr Stewart Davies. Many of the children in the older years of school remembered every show we had developed and performed with them in detail, including ‘Land of the Dragon - Gwlad y Ddraig’ which Jon had booked as a special event for the children at the very start of us spending time with the brilliant Llanfoist School.
LLanbedr School (Powys) is another school which PuppetSoup has been lucky enough to work with extensively. A smaller rural school of about 30 children in total, Llanbedr children have become very used to PuppetSoup’s presence through The Church of Wales booking us to teach a weekly Puppetry Club and also through the close association of Llangenny Village Hall which has kindly provided space for extended rehearsals to PuppetSoup. The children regularly have the opportunity to see shows in the making at the village hall and in addition to having weekly puppet making classes, the school also had ‘Cat Town’ visit during its pilot tour.
These two long term school partnerships have been very beneficial to all parties concerned and PuppetSoup is very much open to other school partnerships after having such a positive response to the work we have done.
If your school would like to consider a partnership with PuppetSoup we would love to hear from you.