The aesthetic possibilities of traditional toy theater will be explored under the guidance of Stephen Kaplin and Trudi Cohen. Participants will discover the fascinating history of toy theater, learn its techniques and crafting secrets, and be guided through the process of creating their own original toy theater performances.
All necessary tools and materials will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own favorite pliers and cutting tools. We also encourage participants to consider subject matter for their piece in advance of the workshop – songs, poems, dreams, news items and visual materials suitable for transformation in to mini-spectacles.
Stephen Kaplin has over 35 years experience designing, building, directing, writing and performing for live puppet theatre. A graduate of the UConn Puppetry Arts Program) and the NYU’s Performance Studies Department (1989), Mr. Kaplin’s professional work includes award winning productions with Julie Taymor, Lee Breuer, George Wolfe, Ping Chong and Michael Curry. Mr. Kaplin is the co-founder and Co-Artistic Director (with Kuang-Yu Fong) of Chinese Theatre Works and also a founding member of the performance ensemble Great Small Works. Mr. Kaplin currently serves as Vice President of UNIMA-USA.
Trudi Cohen is a theater maker, puppeteer, festival organizer, musician, and founding member of Great Small Works – a visual theater collective created in 1995 in New York City, whose six members share roots in Bread and Puppet Theater. Great Small Works creates performative events of all sizes that investigate folk, puppet, avant-garde and popular theater traditions, and that address contemporary issues of social and political importance. Together with John Bell, Trudi was the recipient of the 2014 Paul Vincent Davis Award from Puppet Showplace Theater; and of the 2017 Rebecca Blunk Award from New England Foundation for the Arts. She currently serves as Secretary for UNIMA-USA.