In this workshop for 2nd-5th grades, Hobey Ford combines storytelling with shadow puppetry and brings a variety of cultures to life in the classroom through folktales. During this workshop, Hobey will demonstrate shadow puppetry and teach students to make a simple “rod” puppet; basically a character’s body on one or more sticks. Students will become familiar with tales from several different cultures, ultimately choosing one to illustrate with their own easily-made shadow puppets and learn shadow puppetry performance techniques. Younger students will require extra adult supervision with cutting out templates. Limit of 25 student participants per workshop. Optimum workshop length is one hour. Classroom setup guidelines and materials list accompany this workshop. “In my workshops, I work with students in the art of shadow puppetry connecting it with the study of folktales. Students learn how to construct, engineer and perform with their puppets. They can use the puppets to interpret and retell folktales, but also use them as writing prompts, creating characters and retelling stories they have read.”
“As a puppetry performer and educator, I use arts integration in all aspects of my work. I cover topics like migration, metamorphosis, animal behavior and folktales. I use multiple forms of puppetry techniques including adapted Japanese bunraku, rod puppetry from eastern Europe and shadow puppetry from China in adapted contemporary form, but give context to the original traditions. I make all of my puppets and after the performances I show the students how I make and manipulate the puppets using different types of intelligence: art, engineering, animal science and movement.” Winner of the UNIMA Citation for Excellence, three Jim Henson Foundation grants, and member of the Kennedy Center Teaching Roster, Hobey Ford is known for his excellence in puppetry performance as well as his skill as a master storyteller. Hobey utilizes his artistic studies from the State University of New York and the University of North Carolina at Asheville to design and construct all of his puppets. Hobey’s performances present puppetry styles and traditional tales from the United States and around the world. He provides shadow puppetry workshops for students and teachers as well as writing process enhanced by puppetry for teachers and students.