Feb 4, 2017

La MaMa Kids: Puppets For The People Workshop

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Participants will join Jessica Litwak, master puppet builder, theatre artist and drama therapist for this fun and therapeutic puppet- building workshop. They will learn how to make a puppet and bring him or her to life. These puppets allow workshop participants to tell their stories and freely express themselves with hands, body and voice.

Using mischief and heart, these special puppets are easily and quickly made with newspaper and tape. First, we build the “brain” of the puppet; the heads are filled with poems, wishes, dreams and meaningful objects. After we find the face in the paper, hold and mold the face with masking tape, the faces are decorated with local crafts and found objects. Finally, the puppeteers write plays for the puppets and perform small shows with their new creations. The puppets are constructed so that they can be exhibited in schools, museums, in performances and in parades.

These workshops, done in Palestine, Israel, India, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and all over Europe and the U.S., serve local communities by encouraging self expression, community building.

Jessica Litwak, PhD, RDT is an award-winning playwright, actor, drama therapist and recognized leader in the field of socially engaged theatre. She is an innovative educator, director, and puppet builder who works all over the world. Litwak is a graduate of RADA, NYU, Columbia University and Antioch University with a BFA in acting, an MFA in playwriting and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change. Her collection of plays Wider Than the Sky and Other Plays and The Emma Goldman Trilogy: Love Anarchy and Other Affairs, The Snake and The Falcon, Nobody Is Sleeping, are published by No Passport Press and Indie Theatre Now. Her other works are published by TCG, Applause Books, Smith and Krause, and The New York Times.

Her company the H.E.A.T. Collective www.heatcllective.org produces workshops, events, and productions that bring together the practices of Healing, Education, and Activism through Theatre. She has worked extensively in Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, India, and throughout Central, Eastern, and Western Europe. Litwak is a trained practitioner of Playback, Psychodrama, and Theatre of the Oppressed. As the Founder and Artistic Director of The New Generation Theatre Ensemble (www.ngte.org) she built training and performance opportunities for youth. Litwak has taught theatre (Playwriting, Voice, Acting and Applied Theatre) at San Francisco State University, the Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College, Stella Adler Academy, Marymount Manhattan College, Columbia, NYU, Lesley University, Whitman College, Hollins University, Naropa University as well as Masaryk University in the Czech Republic and Jadvipur University in India. She has taught theatre at the International Director’s Symposium at La Mama Umbria and has performed, taught and conducted seminars for The Global Mobility Symposium, The World Economic Forum, Performing The World, The International Leadership Association, Arts Connect International and is a frequent contributor to The North American Drama Therapy Association Conference.

She is a convener of the Arts and Peace Commission for The International Peace and Research Association and an arts curator for The Rhodes campaign for European City of Culture. She is a core member and on the steering committee of Theatre Without Borders. She is a Fulbright Scholar. She is the creator and leader of Artists Rise Up, New York a creative forum for artists to build actions for peace and justice in reaction to the 2016 presidential election. www.jessicalitwak.com

La MaMa Kids


La MaMa Kids Online presents kids performances and hands-on workshops online, timed especially for “after school” viewing! La MaMa will continue to use emerging technologies to create a new venue for artistic expression that questions how art can function and how we as a society can survive challenging periods of history.

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