26 Oct 6 October, 2020: Curious Connections
This week, Curious alumnus Hugh Purves joined us to share his ‘Pixel’ prototype; a new puppet he has been working on over the last six months. A digital screen allows Hugh to both programme and control eye direction, expression and animations. Hugh shared some of his process and programming, and also some of his ideas for how the tech may be adapted for use in theatrical productions or on screen.
Sarah Wright- fresh from a two week Research and Development with Kneehigh Theatre- shared some of the Covid-proof rehearsal processes the company developed along with some of the photographs from their resulting prototype performances in front of a small audience. The company created a residential bubble at the Kneehigh Barns in Gorran Haven, and experimented with smaller performance bubbles within that whilst creating. They started with a refuelling week, with mask workshops run by Paul Hunter, before moving towards their source material: Calvino’s Italian Folk Tales. Local residents from Gorran Haven were then invited to experience the result, which was also an interesting case-study of managing audiences in these times.
It was also an opportunity for all our alumni to jump in and share any of their own projects, at various stages of development. Amber Donovan Kahn shared some images of some traditional puppets she has been restoring for a client during lockdown:
There was something innately inspiring about travelling through a myriad of puppetry styles throughout the session, from Hugh’s hi-tech Pixel, to Amber’s traditional string puppets. It was a useful reminder that it’s still possible to make work in the current climate. By gently cooking ideas, we can still get puppetry out and about both digitally and terrestrially.
For more of our student’s projects in development, you can visit the ‘Still Curious’ part of our website (click here)
Our Still Curious Tuesday sessions are enabled thanks to the generous support of Arts Council England.