By approaching puppetry as a theatre art and applying some “basic theatre know-how,” participants will grow as performers, writers and directors. Theatre games are an incredible way to introduce and strengthen the concepts behind puppetry performance! We’ll begin our adventure with activities that warm up the building blocks of the artist: voice, body and mind. We’ll then dive into games that explore focus, ensemble, storytelling, and character building; games that can be applied to your warm-ups, rehearsals, classes, workshops, and performances. Come prepared to move and play (they’re called “plays” for a reason!). FOR ALL EXPERIENCE LEVELS, though participants need to be able to leave ego at the door and be up for a challenge!
Aretta Baumgartner is a performer/teaching artist specializing in puppetry, mask and movement. She’s been a professional puppeteer and actress/vocalist/movement artist since 1992, and is proud to be the Education Director at the world-renowned Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA—the largest non-profit organization dedicated to the art of puppetry in the United States (www.puppet.org). She’s worked as a special projects puppeteer with companies such as The Puppet People, The Object Theatre and Ninja Puppet Productions, and toured extensively with Madcap Puppets and Voyageur Puppets (as well as with her own puppet theatre company, ImagineNation). Aretta has performed, puppet coached and taught all over the United States, and in Australia, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Canada and Honduras as well. This is Aretta’s 11th time presenting at a PofA Festival (and this is her 15th Festival!) – the most inspiring place to teach AND learn! She’s a member of Association of Theatre Movement Educators, Atlanta Puppetry Guild, Educational Theatre Association and UNIMA-USA – and considers herself beyond fortunate to serve as Vice President on the Board of Directors of our Puppeteers of America. When not puppeteering, Aretta sings in 2 bands and acts on Atlanta-area stages.