As a Theater for Youth educator I’ve been exploring ways to bring my passion for puppetry in a meaningful way to the Honolulu community. This project is an interactive classroom experience where children are introduced to different forms of bullying by fun-loving and spunky puppets! The goal is to work through different bullying scenarios that elementary school children may encounter, using the puppets as stand-ins for the students. The aim of this would be to reduce bullying in elementary school classrooms by engaging the students in meaningful conversations with these puppets. Kids will be able to suggest scenarios and how to solve them, and then see them play out in real time with the puppets acting as different characters in the scenes. We will cover four of the main types of bullying, physical, verbal, social, and cyber, as well as any other scenarios the students may want to explore! My ideal production would include three hand made puppets of varying sizes and colors that are reflective of a dynamic and diverse student population. I’ve already started creating the first puppet and plan to have the second two created by the end of the summer! This project is projected to be performed in October of 2022 in different elementary classrooms across Oahu.
I really believe that TYA and puppetry are uniquely situated to introduce children to the arts at a young and impressionable age. Giving them access to the arts through in-classroom or extra-curricular engagement is the key to building a more compassionate and creative future generation. Organizations like Sesame Street have been using puppets for years to connect with children, and studies have shown that kids feel significantly more comfortable having these conversations in these settings.
My budget is highly concentrated around fabrication supplies because I will be making all of the puppets involved in this project.
Funded by Oahu, HI (May 2022)