A visit from Lynne Jennings of the San Diego Guild of Puppetry

This fall, I am teaching an undergraduate course on Theatre for Young Audiences with a focus on social change. It’s great to go back to my roots. I started doing socially engaged theatre when I was 15 years old with Le Théâtre des Lueurs in Ottawa. I did not realize it at the time, but Le Théâtre des Lueurs really embodied what art as social practice ought to be. The play, devised after an entire summer of discussions with community organizers, health and social workers and ensemble work and theatre games, was really for and by the community. I have great memories of the 40 or so shows we performed every year in high schools, community centers, and various events. I performed for two years and then acted as a instructor-devisor the following year. I realize that this experience informs the way I teach, and the way I think about young audiences and young performers. This quarter has been amazing thus far: we read plays by Wajdi Mouawad, Larissa Fasthorse, Genevieve Billette, Kristin Idazsac, The New Paradise Laboratories, Naomi Iizuka, Suzanne Lebeau, José Cruz Gonzalez, and looked at projects by Mammalian Diving Reflex. My students are generous, engaged, thoughtful…

Last week, Lynne Jennings from the San Diego Guild of Puppetry gave us a two-day introduction to puppetry. We played with found objects, puppets of all sorts and it was amazing to see students dive in and create visually poetic work.