Have you ever been asked to work with children using puppetry but didn’t know what to do? This workshop will focus on the use of puppetry with children in a manner appropriate to their age and development. Together, we will discover how puppetry and objects can be applied to learning in a process-based format of education using puppet drama while steering clear of a formalized puppet show. In this workshop, participants will gain confidence with their ability to design and implement the methods of puppet drama. An interactive discussion will be held on the developmental stages of children in prekindergarten through grade four as we explore the language of education and children, puppet drama vs. puppet theatre, and the Puppet Drama/Theatre Continuum. Using an assortment of puppet drama tools, participants will be guided in building a lesson plan in the puppet drama process format that attends to the skills, social-emotional development, and knowledge for a specified age group. How to engage with and extend-story will be covered along with how to weave puppetry into a lesson through in-role characters and extension characters, including objects and technology as character. This workshop is perfect for puppet artists who wish to work in early childhood and/or elementary schools or educators both in and out of the classroom environment.
Samantha Anne Maggio is Executive Artistic Producer for Suspended Belief Theatre, an educationally-focused, puppet-arts company in Bloomington, Illinois. She holds a Visual Arts B.A. from Naropa University and formally studied sculpture, puppetry, creative dramatics, and child development. Through internships and apprenticeships, she became skilled in puppet engineering and manipulation techniques, and set construction and properties design for film and stage. Samantha has worked with young children for a quarter-century and currently teaches fine arts and theatre internationally. She additionally presents professional development sessions that address development of early-childhood skills through dramatic play.
Michael J. Vetere III, Ed.D. is Associate Professor of Creative Drama and Puppetry at Illinois State University (ISU), Normal, IL and Artistic Director for Suspended Belief Theatre in Bloomington, IL. He received his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from ISU; Theatre Pedagogy MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University; and BFA from West Virginia University in Creative Dramatics, Puppetry, and Youth Theatre. Michael’s performing and teaching credits include The Puppet Co., Spectrum Puppets, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Milwaukee Rep. Dr. Vetere, a published author, presents at conferences on arts education. Currently, he directs the ISU Creative Drama program for youth and accepted the 2018 College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teaching Award.