Tuesday, September 07, 2021
We get approached by a lot of theater and film projects who want to use shadow puppetry, and not every idea makes a lotof conceptual sense or just isn’t the right fit for the work we do. But [their] vision for how the shadow puppets operate in the story was really fully realized.
CANDYMAN Teaser 2020 by Nia DaCosta from Manual Cinema on Vimeo.
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Here’s proof, if it is ever needed, to show that Punch & Judy is still very much alive and as popular as ever!!This is a ‘chance’ picture I managed to take [August 14th] at the Fitzrovia Fête. It was ‘snapped’ through a window inside Pollock’s Toy Museum, (Scala Street, London W1). The Punch ‘Professor’ in the ‘booth’ was Mr Robert Styles.
[Photo Credit: Lars Peter Beaven] [MORE Fête photos!]
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Chinese Theatre Works
Excerpts from 3-Scale Zhongkui! -- The Chinese Judge of Hell brings Justice to the Lower East Side.
Yuling Fang as Chinese Opera Zhongkui
Jing Shan as Hand Puppet Zhongkui
Stephen Kaplin and Harrison Greene as Giant Puppet Zhongkui
Chinese Theatre Works, co-directed by Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin, brings together Chinese and Western performance styles and techniques. Its programs cut across ethnic and cultural boundaries and aim at sparking interest in Chinese cultural traditions among the wider public, as well as in Chinese Americans who have not had access to this part of their heritage.
Boxcutter Collective/Bread and Puppet Theater
Excerpts from The History of Laughter, a collaboration between Peter Schumann of The Bread and Puppet Theater and Boxcutter Collective (including Lindsay McCaw), initially created during a 3 week residency in spring of 2021. The History of Laughter looks at the role of fear in our society, and how the transcendent power of fools can subvert the crumbling empire and empower the masses to create something new instead. With appearances by Mikhail Bakhtin, Gargantua, the Suffering Valley, Santa Claus, and Satan!
Boxcutter Collective is comprised of 4 core members: Sam Wilson, Jason Hicks, Tom Cunningham, and Joe Therrien, with an extended family of puppeteers, painters, performers, builders, educators, workers, union organizers, and mischief makers who have been working together in various forms for the last 15 years. You can find them creating and performing original High-Art, Low-Concept political puppet shows in New York City regularly, appearing at The Jalopy Theater & Coney Island USA and beyond! They are currently working on a commission from Handmade Puppet Dreams to create a short film.
Bruce Cannon/Songs from Harlem River Drive, which celebrates the history and diversity of one of the most famous neighborhoods in the world. Harlem.
Bruce Cannon is Artistic Director for the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre and President of the Puppetry Guild of Greater New York.
Piedmont Blūz - Valerie and Benedict Turner
Piedmont Blūz is an acoustic, husband/wife duo, ambassadors of Country Blues music and the Piedmont style of fingerpicking. Their mission is to help preserve these rural, east coast traditions by educating audiences about this unique aspect of African American culture through musical entertainment.
AND - Great Small Works' own Roberto Rossi will be teaching TOY THEATER WORKSHOPS online through the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival!
Toy Theater introduction to the form, the basic skills concluding with a showing. Make your first toy theater stage using recyclable materials. Learn conceptual and design approaches in building an original work. Build basic jointed 2D puppets and moveable set pieces and discover the unique theatrical language of the Toy Theater.
Session 2/Toy Theater 2 (Level 2): July 26 - August 1, 2021
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat and Sun, 7-9PM CT; Sign up here
Session 3/Toy Theater 2 (Level 2): August 9 - August 15, 2021
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat and Sun, 7-9PM CT; Sign up here
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
- These pictures show how Jack has scratched his design into a wax “ground”. This ground is rolled onto the metal plate whilst the metal is warm and then "smoked" so it turns black using wax tapers. "Smoking the plate" is a pretty witchy process if I ever did see one. See pic of Jack holding aloft the flames to the metal!
- When the "ground" is blackened you are ready to scratch into it using fine-pointed tools to draw the design. This exposes fine lines of the metal. In the picture you can see the shiny lines catching the light!
- The plate is then dropped in acid which "bites" into the exposed metal creating grooves. These grooves are what the ink then squishes into but more on this part of the process in the next post...
Monday, May 17, 2021
Made with silver conductive nanoparticles, the marker ink conducts electricity, as shown in this pop-up-book-inspired Japanese commercial.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Pollock's Toy Museum, the oldest Toy Museum in the UK, dates back to the 1850s when the printer Benjamin Pollock created the famed printed toy theatres which have become our hallmark. Since the 1950s we have been an independent museum, now run by Eddy and Jack, the grandson and great-grandson of our founder, Marguerite Fawdry.
this crowdfunder aims to recoup this loss! We have had to furlough our small staff and we are struggling to pay our bills. We are concerned that our overheads will go up (the return of business rates and staff coming off furlough) before healthy footfall returns. This amount will help us stay open for the next year until things stabilise after the pandemic.
The good news is that first target was realized quickly, and now they have an important additional goal:
Thursday, February 04, 2021
Makerie Studio and Director André Gidoin have teamed up again to create a surreal world of paper wonder, this time high in an imaginary sky. The Fantastical Fairground is a fully functional set, created from a combination of paper and found vintage toys, which we injected with new life and fresh colours. Filmed over the course of yet another weekend in New York, the Fairground also features pieces brought to life by chains, cogs and old childhood favourites - Meccano motors.
Tuesday, February 02, 2021
I’m excited about a lockdown project that we can give you a taste of here. We let artist @keithkhanlondon into the archives of @benjamin_pollocks_toyshop and we can’t wait to see the results. Yes, animation is a slow process so we’ll have to be patient.
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Diamond’s Dream is a virtual puppet production that takes place on a CTA Red Line train traveling south through pandemic-era Chicago. Diamond, a pre-teen African-American boy, has fallen asleep on the train while on his way to visit his dying grandmother. When he awakes, time and reality have shifted, and he meets the ghost of a young African-American girl, a shape-shifting elder spirit who died of Spanish Flu 100 years ago to the date. Both are confronted with paranormal puppets and images representing society’s ills – ignorance, poverty and racism. While the spirit girl seeks only rest, Diamond comes to understand she must first be remembered in order to find it.
Diamond’s Dream is the first new work to emerge from the Springboard Project, a new initiative launched in 2020 by Chicago Children’s Theatre to foster new works for young audiences by diverse local writers. The piece was created by Jerrell L. Henderson and Caitlin McLeod.
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Xavi is a little girl with a big imagination, stranded alone in her bedroom. When a mysterious visitor drops by looking for a missing part to fix his magical flying machine, they explore the hidden depths of her room and use the power of imagination to turn her isolation into an epic indoor voyage.
This online interactive experience borrows techniques of the Victorian toy theatre (like paper cutout characters) and combines them with contemporary style puppetry and original songs. Designed specifically for online viewing, it invites viewers to turn their cameras on to participate in select scenes. A post-show talkback after each performance invites them to meet the puppeteers, ask questions, and explore behind-the-scenes. Audience members will also receive a printable puppet template that they can make and color at home.