Puppetry is a great way to bring more reticent or shy children out of their shells, and to help everyone become more expressive. This is the technique that the drama teacher at Sartartia Middle School used when her beginning drama classes took the stage in a holiday performance. Children who were afraid to speak or act in front of the school enthusiastically emote in the voice of Frosty, the Grinch and even Rudolph. When a child operated the student-made puppets, the focus was on the puppet, rather than on the puppeteer, and the child forgot to be self conscious.
Watching the students operating the puppets; you saw every emotion and every movement of the puppet mirrored in the puppeteer. Without the students realizing it, the students really were acting while being cheered on by the audience. Megan Wallace, the drama teacher at SMS, had this to say about this experience, “Most students have made and used a hand puppet, but very few have even seen a GIANT puppet. Making the puppets bigger adds a level of spectacle to a performance that’s incredibly fun to work with and watch.” Wallace mentioned that her favorite aspect of this experience was watching the students take well-known songs and brainstorm creative ways to build puppets and create a performance. “My job was to listen to their ideas and encourage them to problem solve until they had puppets and a performance they were excited about presenting. “I am so glad that Sartartia provides a supportive environment for the arts and creative expression.”