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Arts and culture

A Summer of puppetry in Beirut

BEIRUT | - July 04, 2014, 06h33
Par Sophie Spencer
Next week the Arab Puppet Theater Foundation (APTF) are launching their summer of puppetry, a series of workshops for adults and children, giving newcomers a first glance into the world of puppetry and its positive effects on children... and adults.
The Summer of Puppetry workshops, which start next Tuesday 8th July and run through till 31st July, will give kids and adults alike an introduction into the history of puppetry and the chance to make and perform with their own puppets.

The first workshops will go through the theory of puppetry, how to create and manipulate puppets, movement techniques, content and character development, storytelling and will be followed by short performances. All the while the participants will be working with trained professionals with a lot of experience with puppets.

The Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation was created in 2008 to encourage puppetry practices in the Arab world and to introduce puppetry to new generations as a tool for expression and entertainment through residencies, workshops, performances and tours. They believe puppetry can have positive effects on children as they learn to express their emotions, build confidence and develop social skills and on adults who can explore their own creativity.

Since its founding, APTF has helped to engage many people in puppetry who now use it in their professions. This year they have already staged two projects. The first, a performance tour of the play "Zeina loses all", which focuses on the issue of early marriage. The play was performed to around 3000 Syrian refugees living at the Syrian-Lebanese borders.

"We had some great reactions to these performances" Mahmoud Al Houran from APTF told, "People aren't used to puppets and seeing their lives reflected in this way, but we believe it is an effective metaphor."

Around one month ago they finished another project, "A performance in desperate need of an audience" which was a puppet performance by students at APTF. The play used puppets to deal with other issues of displacement and refugees being forced to leave their countries. "Using puppets offers a light, non-political perspective to contentious issues", Al Houran explains.

The summer of puppetry workshops, which are priced at $300, will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9am- 12pm for children under 11 and their parents and from 3-6pm for children 12 and over.
#Puppets, #Puppetry
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