Thingumajig Theatre was invited to lead a one-day puppetry workshop in Seoul for the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Foundation. They were holding a conference of international arts–one day was workshops in Thai dance and traditional music, another day was world music from artists throughout Europe and the Middle East and the third day was us!
They asked us to bring a team of artist along so in addition to artistic director Andrew Kim, we invited Mark Whitaker (director of A November Day and Hullaba Lulu and one of our most frequent freelance puppeteers) and Jimmy Davies a puppet maker from Italy who, like Andrew, is of Korean extraction.
The workshop was attended by about 40 Korean adults. Most were theatre artists, actors and visual artists; a few were students and a few were puppeteers working with their own companies or shows.
The workshop started with Andrew showing images and videos of both Thingumajig Theatre and Handmade Parade. This was followed by a hands-on workshop of basic puppetry techniques using pieces of fabric and found objects.
After lunch, Mark Whitaker taught skill-building with rod puppets, glove puppets and a table-top puppet on loan from Horse & Bamboo. Jimmy Davies finished the day with a talk about traditional Italian glove puppets.
It was all a bit ridiculous to travel all that way, with suitcases filled with random pieces of fabric, plumbing fittings and puppets, to teach for one day but it was great fun and hopefully the start of conversations which will lead to more elaborate projects.