" Making puppetry. For everyone."
Puppetry for Wellbeing
Puppetry for Wellbeing online workshops during the pandemic.
“Joyous sessions that were friendly, warm and great fun.”
Session participant evaluation response.
PuppetSoup created a ‘Puppetry for Wellbeing’ free adult afternoon meeting in October 2020, initially as a pilot project, to offer a friendly and supportive online group where people could come together to create puppetry and develop related arts and crafts. This was a project aimed at people from all backgrounds and all experience levels, offering an inclusive environment to those of all abilities including those who may be feeling isolated or lonely in the daytimes or those who just wanted to learn some new puppetry skills and be part of a friendly group.
We teamed up with Alfie James Productions, which is headed up by Alfie James who has extensive experience in running theatre groups which support mental health and wellbeing. We also worked with designer Jacob Anderson to offer a variety of design focussed mini workshops within the course to add a design element to the puppetry we were creating with the group.
“It was great beyond expectations...very friendly and supportive for an amateur/beginner”
The project focussed on offering a free to attend afternoon session for adults who felt that learning about and participating in puppetry related theatre crafts, could benefit their mental health and wellbeing. The group was free to sign up to via PuppetSoup and also advertised to members of Black Dog Theatre group and Women Unscene.
In weekly classes the group learned about a variety of styles of puppets, made puppets from items from around their homes, learned about story construction, participated in performance activities and learned about design and storyboarding, all in a fun and friendly group.
The group was engaging and supportive with a range of learners from a wide variety of locations (the UK, Europe and the USA) and encompassed a broad age range with people in their twenties through to retired people attending.
100% of respondents from the course felt they enjoyed the course, they learned something new, felt their knowledge of puppetry was expanded and agreed that we achieved our goal of creating a positive atmosphere where people could develop their confidence and be creative.
Puppetry for Wellbeing will continue in 2021 with exciting new activities to expand the group’s reach and engagement.
“My favourite part was the feeling of being so immersed into the creative processes of creating a mini stage or a puppet that I had forgotten all of my problems at least for a second. And I liked the child like joy it brought to me.”
“This was just what I needed at this time. It got me back into making, gave me new skills, encouraged me to push myself a little and I was really pleased with the puppet I made. Plus I took a little time for myself. Thank you so much to all the team who gave their time and shared their skills.”
(Comments from group members on the survey about the course).