Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Project

I am in a costume group with 5 other people working on a Theatre For Young People production of Shakespeare's The Tempest to be performed at Ham House, a national Heritage site near Richmond. When we first met together to discuss this project and find out what we were doing on the production, i had a fairly closed mind, thinking that i would be costuming the actors in a fairly traditional, Shakespearean style. However, it became apparent in this meeting that we wouldn't just be dong costume as we began by playing with different types of puppets. Before i started this course, i thought that there was really not much difference between different types of puppets and that they all served one purpose. i quickly became aware that this was not the case. we started looking at the more traditional marionette puppets, then moved on to looking at puppets which were more decorative than usable. we played around with all the puppets, but i found myself drawn most the traditional marionette style puppets. i felt more at ease with this style of puppetry and managed to make her come alive, without the use of words, just getting to grips with movements, and gestures. It became very important to look at the way you were moving a puppet in the mirror so that you can see how the audience are viewing it, and also made me aware of how such slight movements could convey a massive emotion. After these puppets we moved on to a less naturalistic looking puppet made out of a large piece of material, using knots for the feet and hands. this style of puppet is called a Bunraku and uses several people to operate it because of it's size. I found this puppet incredibly hard to relate to as it seemed so unrealistic and i really struggled to bring it to life or see it's potential. after all this theory about puppets and how they could be used we were set a small creative project of choosing a character from the Tempest and creating a quick puppet to represent this character. I really enjoyed this project as i felt like i was getting to put my own individual creative stamp on something and would have been excited at the prospect of putting it into a production, but at the same time i found myself becoming quite attached to it, and felt like i was the only person who know how to operate it correctly. i think if i were to make a puppet to be used in the show, i would find it very difficult to let the puppet go to someone else. i also felt slightly less creative than everyone else in the group as i had used a mannequin's head to start off my puppet where as everyone else had thought outside the box and created a puppet out of an everyday object. i think i need to open up my mind in order to let creativity flow into what I'm doing.

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