Applied Puppetry

A week of collaboration and dialogue between practitioners of Applied Theatre and Puppetry.

This is Dialogue’s second article in our series about Objects with Objectives at the ASSITEJ Cradle of Creativity 2017 – to see our first post, a teaser video from their workshops, please click here.

Objects with Objectives was an exciting week of international collaboration between practitioners of Applied Theatre and Puppetry. The Cradle of Creativity festival offered a wonderful platform for the symposium to initiate dialogue about how Puppetry could be utilised in Community Performance contexts. Facilitating these discussions was David Grant, Senior Lecturer in Drama at Queen’s University Belfast, who took the time to speak with me afterwards to explain the goals of the project (4 minutes):


The final session culminated in presentations and reflections from various groups such as the Handspring Puppet Company (South Africa), La Liga Teatro Elástico (Mexico) and the Dead Puppet Society (Australia). After presentations from each company, everyone was invited to join in a discussion which explored how ideas of ‘voice’ are negotiated when working with community groups. Exploring the role that puppets can play in such settings, the question of whether puppets have the potential to become brokers of agency was considered and debated. Overall, the discussion was rich with new ideas and marked an exciting beginning for the future of the International Symposium for Puppetry and Applied Drama.

Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that promotes Young People’s expression and engagement through Puppetry and Theatre practices. As well as collaborating and performing with ERTH Visual & Physical Inc and Welsh theatre company PuppetSoup, she has co-directed and worked alongside Shop Front Arts Co-Op Junior Ensemble of 8-14-year old’s to create the original devised production, The Unknown. Tegan is currently working as Teaching Artist for Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘School Drama’. This is a Teachers Professional Development Program designed to improve teaching and learning by modelling the use of drama-based strategies with quality children's literature.