The past week has been crazy for me here in Israel. As usual in such a fleeting visit, too much to do and too little time! Unfortunately I missed the Palestinian Puppetry Festival in East Jerusalem, having had the flu when I arrived, but a short report of that will be posted here soon! I have been lecturing at the University of Haifa in the north, filming interviews for 'Looking for a Monster' on Wednesday in Omer in the south and leading a wonderful workshop yesterday in Holon, near Tel Aviv, which began Thursday night with a lecture on Puppetry and Politics at the Steinberg Cultural and Arts Centre. This is the Israeli Puppet Centre and where I also conducted the workshop on Friday.
We began with a Paper Meditation and exploring the theatrical possibilities of the paper in the dark. The discovery of the brown paper and its movement potential - Paper is a mystery – it’s a matter which we can shape freely, without restriction and can contain everything. The individual work in the darkness gives individual intimacy which later developes into group work to create short theatrical pieces animating the brown paper. In the Object Improvisation, we start with the sense of touch in feeling the object and the space surrounding it and we demonstrate the meaning of “thinking with hands”. The participants of the workshop learn to extract the rhythm, energy and breath from the object and explore its structure, sound and motion.
The introduction into the theatre of paper and objects is addressed to everyone feeling that they have a great yet unrealized creative potential, but have a barrier to start on this creative journey and to those broaden their theatrical horizons.
My thanks go to Ilan Savir, my Israeli tour organiser who planned this great exchange with Israeli puppeteers, teachers and therapists!