Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monster Maché: Build Your Own

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival is offering a unique hands-on opportunity to learn about stagecraft. As part of community support for Rolly Turner, a central Illinois theater enthusiast whose home burned down, injuring him and destroying all of his possessions, the ISF is hosting a puppet-making workshop for “kids (5 and up), artists, educators, theatre-makers, and anyone else who might like to build their own 7-foot-tall paper mache rod puppet!”

Yes, you read that right. They’re not talking about just any puppets, but 7-foot-tall puppets. These huge, ugly faces, hoisted on poles like broomsticks, can make great monsters on stage.

The ISF flyer connects this to their current production of “The Tempest,” “in which the sorcerer Prospero rules an island inhabited by spirits and monsters.” So this workshop will allow participants in the workshop to create their own monsters, suitable for Prospero’s island, and when they’re finished, they can take their very own monsters home to scare their brothers and sisters or put on "The Tempest" (or boogie down to "The Monster Mash") in the back yard.

The monster-building workshop takes place on two Sunday afternoons in a row – July 25 and August 1 – from 3 to 5 pm, with potential puppet masters required to attend both Sunday sessions. They’ll build on the first one and paint on the second. Cost is $20 per person, and they will provide all the materials, working space, and skilled professionals to lead the way. Maximum capacity is 60 participants, so reservations are required. Call 438 2535 for reservations or more information.

And, as I noted up there at the top, anything they collect will go to benefit Rolly Turner, who is the center of the Rally 4 Rolly campaign as he attempts to put his life back together following the fire.

Good cause, good fun, good skills to learn!

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