Marianne Kubik, University of Virginia Department of Drama associate professor of movement, visited Kailie Larkin's Grades 7 & 8 Theatre Arts class in February to offer an introduction to puppetry and movement.
In this hands-on demonstration, Kubik showed students the different aspects of a form of puppetry called Bunraku. In this form, which hails from Japan, actors collaborate closely in groups of three to make a puppet "come to life" through realistic movement. Students worked to make the puppet breath, walk, and jump, as well as show emotion and personality details. Students then worked to devise scenes in groups and present them to their class.
"It is fascinating to watch the students work together in this way; it requires high levels of concentration, observation, and communication," Larkin remarked. "They have been surprised by how through excellent puppetry, the puppeteers fall away, and the puppet truly takes on a life of its own."Students will be constructing their own puppets and creating a "memory sequence" that will be showcased in the upcoming Grade 7 production of The Odyssey, which will be performed on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2:00 p.m. in Brennan Hall.