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National Puppetry Festival  (Read 9648 times)
Out of the Box Puppets
« on: April 30, 2011, 01:16:56 pm »

I was wondering if anyone has attending the National Puppetry Festival.  What I am looking for are advanced building technique type classes.  Anyone know what level most of the classes are.  I've look at the classes listed so far and most look directed mostly to puppeteers not builders.  Just wondering what your experience has been.

Julie
Na
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2011, 09:35:02 pm »

I went in '09. I found all of the classes - and I would stress that this reflects only the ones I attended/experienced - to be very much for the beginner. In fact, I came away feeling I might as well had stayed at home and ordered a few books from Amazon. (I did do classes for builders mostly; a couple on writing/round table discussion too)

My point above though about it being my experience: I'd look at other people who were doing different classes to me, and they seemed to come away with more. I don't know whether or not it was just the quality of my particular classes, or the expectations that I had for them; or simply that other people 'knew less' about their particular topic and hence enjoyed their classes more. There was maybe one class in the whole event where I felt like it was 'advanced' and that was a marionette-building class with Kevin Menegus, who went through the whole process of how he makes his puppets.

My comments are also because in none of my classes did I get hands on experience in building anything. I know 3 hours or less is not a lot of time to do any building, and I did see other people had built things in their classes... but I wish there had been more of an attempt to get hands on.
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2011, 12:01:49 pm »

I think it is a bit of a crap shoot when you attend workshops. Smiley  When I went, like Naomi I came away feeling that I had not really learned anything except for the one class I took with Rose on internet and web building. There I got a lot of good info and resources. I think you really need to research who is running the workshop and look at their body of work.  I do think that many of the workshops are geared more toward the beginner.  I got more form meeting with and networking with the other professional puppeteers that where there but depending on the year you go that can change also.
Out of the Box Puppets
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 06:50:11 am »

Thanks for the information.  That's kind of what I gathered from the descriptions of the classes.  I have attended the regional puppetry guild festival and it was really geared towards teachers and daycare workers.  Things they could build with their students.  That's was great for them and much needed, but I didn't want to go all that way for just basics.  Anyone know of more advanced type puppet building conferences?
Shawn Sorrell
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 07:09:19 am »

UNIMA as a whole seems to be geared more toward professional puppeteers. Now I have not been to one of their festivals, but their membership is made up of more professional puppeteers it seems then PofA. Problem is that since they are international their festivals are not always in the states so it can be more expensive to participate in them.
Na
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 08:01:46 pm »

I've been to UNIMA and I have to say it's a completely different thing. Whereas NPF seemed to be 'by puppeteers for puppeteers' and focused a lot on presenting shows as well as beginner classes within the registration, UNIMA is very much for the pro. Everything at UNIMA was pay per attendance; shows, workshops, etc. Registration was only really for entry to the after party stuff, although it did offer discounts on some things. The quality of the workshops was very high, along with forums, keynote speeches, etc. The quality of shows was also high.

I have a comparison of the two here:
http://www.puppetsinmelbourne.com.au/blog.php/2009/07/30/festival-wrap-up

But I'd also add that the next UNIMA in China (2012) may not be of such high quality as the last one (2008, Perth Australia). They have been very disorganised so far, and the little I know suggests it might not be as good. Having said that, I think UNIMA on a whole will want to present the best possible event, so there certainly will be a push to make it good.

I'll also add that there's no website (yet) and no info as to what the program is (yet), so it's hard to judge.
MsPuppet
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 11:29:47 pm »

Interesting topic and one I too am interested in.  Does anyone know of any advance puppet building classes anywhere in the U.S.?  I know David Pannebecker use to offer occasional classes, but I have already taken his. 
If not workshops or classes, do any of them have dvd's they sell?
Na
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 12:38:34 am »

Have you tried checking out Puppeteers of America directly? They have a very good online store, along with a video library. They'll also have info on classes and stuff; also UNIMA USA. The latter will also have info about scholarships and links to training centres in America and around the world.
Onath
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 07:43:45 am »

Here are my recommendations after looking through the workshops. Based off of description, and teacher.

Paper Scale Models- Carole D' Agostino

Beyond Paper Mache advanced- Paul Spirito

And either of the marionette classes taught by Jim Rose.

For manipulation

Puppet Manipulation You can Believe in- Periale  (they are unbelievable puppeteers and fantastic teachers)


"walk your talk" Character Development- Leslie Carrera Rudolph (She is an amazing puppeteer you may know her better as Abby Cadabby on sesame street. I took a master class with her two years ago at the O'neill and I have used so much of the knowledge that she taught me since.)

Those are my recommendations

IF you are interested in serious advanced puppet training may I suggest the O'neill Puppetry Conference or the Sandglass Institute.
LJ
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2011, 10:49:07 am »

Quote
IF you are interested in serious advanced puppet training may I suggest the O'neill Puppetry Conference
Both my sons were accepted to the O'Neill this year. Matt will be going for the entire conference and Dan will be going just for the pre-conference.
They are excited!!
Angel in Tx
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 07:38:33 am »

Julie, have you looked at the MAX festival OWS is having this year?

]http://www.onewaystreet.com/category/542?r=[EN0511]
Playsoup and a few others look to be having some advanced classes.

I so wish I could go!  But time/finance won't allow it. Sad Maybe someday.
Out of the Box Puppets
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 07:55:41 am »

Yes, we've looked into MAX.  I'm sure it will be great.  Dave's classes are excellent, but we won't be attending as vendors this year, so attending for just the one class would not be feasible.  Most of the other classes seem to be for performers of which I am not. 

Angel in Tx
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 08:07:13 am »

I see. It is rather expensive, traveling etc. just for one class.  It's expensive to me either way! LOL
RYMANOFSTEEL
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 11:30:45 am »

I have never been and I would love to go. The only thing I have attended was a regional oneway street festival here in california back in november.
Out of the Box Puppets
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 11:33:04 am »

I-Fest is really great.  We love exhibiting there, but this year OWS is trying something new.  I'm sure it's going to be great as well.  You should try to go if you can. 
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