Marionette Design and construction with Stephen Mottram The aim of the workshop with Stephen Mottram is to show how the construction
and design of the marionette can be informed by a knowledge of movement to give “dignity and elegance” – and thereby theatricality - to the marionette in performance. We will look at the way identifiable movement qualities can be constructed into the marionette to give it the potential for shockingly realistic movement.
The workshop is aimed both at performers who experience puppet theatre for the first time and at performers with craft experience and at puppet makers wanting to develop their understanding and abilities with marionettes. We will study design issues and historical approaches to the string puppet.
At the end of the stage (8 days), each participant will make a modern, performable marionette to take away with them.
We will work primarily in wood, and although experience of cutting and shaping wood will be an advantage, the course will still be suitable for people with little experience of working in the medium. There is a short list of tools participants are expected to bring with them: 3 chisels, a small saw, a knife for carving, pliers, etc (not expensive – after application participants will receive the list).
Stephen Mottram is recognized as one of the most important puppet maker and performer of string puppets.
He has already held workshops on marionette design and construction all around the world; the latest at the Institut International de la Marionnette of
Charleville Mezieres, the most important school on puppet theatre in the world.
There, he also performed during the World Festival of Puppet Theater in 2009.
He began to work with a troupe of traditional puppets performing shows in which puppets mimed real actors. Then he won a scholarship to attend the Hungarian, State Puppets Theatre, School in Budapest and this experience opened his eyes to the great potential of this form of art and theatre in general.