“Animating the Inanimate”

Stephen Jon is a professional Mask and Puppet Maker, Performer and Workshop leader. He now has three sessions on offer, which demonstrate the essence of theatre magic.

Session One: “Mask Theatre” 

‘The Mask’ is probably the oldest form of Theatre and occurs in just about all cultures. Stephen will take you on a world tour, demonstrating  some of the ways in which masks are used for dance, drama and ritual.  He will show a range of masks from his collection, masks from around the world and those he has created for specific performances.  His lecture/demo is an entertaining experience of the world of the mask for his audience who will witnesses transformations and will have an opportunity to try out the masks for themselves and each other.

Session Two: “Fundamentals of Puppetry”

In this session Stephen will demonstrate some of the basic skills of puppetry, and show many styles of puppet from his collection. Object animation is the basis of the puppeteer’s art and Stephen will bring ordinary household objects to life so they can tell their stories. Every Object can tell a story and anyone can bring life to objects  with  these basic skills we shall play with a load of old rubbish, you will never look at discarded objects in the same way again.

Session Three: “Commedia dell’Arte”

The Italian travelling players of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had a profound influence upon the European Theatre which still resonates today. In England, it influenced Shakespeare, then the development of Pantomime, In France, Moliere, in Germany, Mozart and into the twentieth century with Music Hall and Silent Movies. In this session, Stephen will show how this important form of popular entertainment was staged , with a model theatre, and introduce the main characters with their masks and costumes. We will meet Harlequin, Columbina, Pantalone and many other characters who are the great great grandparents of much familiar comedy.

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