Now Booking: Shadow Theatre Performance/Workshops/Residencies

“I loved playing with the lights and saw lots and lots of animals.”
“I made a puppet and saw shadows everywhere!”
3 year-olds, Chapeltown Childrens’ Centre

This year, we are lucky enough to be working with shadow artist and early years active learning specialist Chris Hoy, who has over twenty years experience of working in arts/ community education.

We are offering a range of workshops, performances and residencies for Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2. We also offer training for teachers and support staff based around shadow-play and storytelling and ways in which this exciting medium can be incorporated into the curriculum.

We hope you may be interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity. Sessions can be tailored to the school’s individual needs – please contact us for details.

Light is exciting to both children and adults alike. It can be a topic for reflection, a tool and a material to be explored. Light is a powerful learning resource encouraging wonder and imagination whilst connecting with many areas of the curriculum.

We deliver a lively, interactive storytelling experience using a cross-art form approach which supports the development of children’s language skills, self-esteem and independent learning.

The children explore storytelling/story-making through creative play – encouraging curiosity, enjoyment, motivation and imagination.

Under 7′s

Shadow play is a particularly inspirational medium for the under 7′s, especially for those children who may not be engaging in their learning.

We employ a multi sensory approach to children’s learning using movement, drama, sound, text, mark making and shadow puppetry. Our storytelling sessions can also act as a stimulus for further work on developing children’s interests, emotions and skills.

“We all really enjoyed the workshop and the children were still buzzing from it at the end of the week. We put out resources for them to carry on making puppets and we have hung a hula hoop from the ceiling with white paper covering it – the children have been using torches and continued to make up their fabulous stories. I learnt lots of things from the workshop also. It was just a really lovely day with lots of children really engaged in the activities you set up.”  Reception Teacher, Little London Primary School.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to step back and experience the activity from the child’s perspective, and see what they were able to get out of it.” Foundation Teacher, Holy Rosary Primary School

Parent/carer involvement

Whenever possible/appropriate, we can involve parents/carers in our sessions and we have many years experience of exploring ways of engaging family members in the learning process of their children. We are aware of the barriers to learning experienced by many people and are able to create safe and engaging learning situations which encourage a joint learning experience between child and adult.

“Normally my son is always shy but today he was very confident. He told jokes because he wanted to join in.”

“Storytelling is a good way to entertain the kids with props and puppets … I’ve got loads of ideas on what I could do at home with him.”

“Brilliant interactive sessions. Lovely to see all the children having so much fun and hearing the laughter … children got a chance to bring their potential and talent out. Thank you!”

Parents at St Matthew’s CE Primary School, Bradford

Key Stage 2

Story-making with Year 3 – creating landscapes and storyworlds

Our work with older children encourages problem solving, storytelling and group work – using a range of diverse materials, techniques and light sources, to motivate the children towards creating and telling their own shadow stories. Workshops use themes of light and shadow in a creative setting and provide an exciting jumping off point for further learning in both Science and Literacy.

Training

We also run training sessions for teachers and other staff to explore ways in which they can incorporate shadow theatre/play, drama and story-making into the curriculum. These sessions can be tailored to suit the needs of individual schools and we are keen to meet with staff before engagement in order to discuss requirements, ideas and areas of interest.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the training day. It was wonderful to have the space to express ourselves through story telling and den making. It enabled me to support the schoolchildren in exploring their ideas and imaginations.” Housing Support Worker

“It was an amazing learning opportunity for me and supported my studies.” Trainee nursery nurse, Chapeltown Children’s Centre

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Pilot Shadows Project a Success

Thanks to the grant from Awards for All we were able to provide a series of interactive shadow theatre workshops at venues across Leeds in 2011.

Workshops gave the participants the chance to experience a high-quality piece of visual storytelling, to explore the story through drama and movement and retell it in their own words with their parents and carers. In addition, the workshops provided an opportunity to explore and play with shadows and light. Children and carers worked creatively using torches, OHPs and a range of different materials. They succeeded in making pictures, images and simple stories both together and independently. The children were proud of the work they made and wanted to share their discoveries with each other, with their family members and with the workshop leaders.

Feedback from the adults involved – both parents and staff at the venues we worked with – all said that they had gained new skills from being involved. Parents were keen to continue exploring shadows with their children at home and staff-members felt inspired by the work and planned to use the techniques they had seen in their own practice.

Feedback on workshops

Below are some responses from staff at three of the venues we visited.

“We all really enjoyed the workshop and the children were still buzzing from it at the end of the week. We put out resources for them to carry on making puppets and we have hung a hula hoop from the ceiling with white paper covering it – the children have been using torches and continued to make up their fabulous stories. I learnt lots of things from the workshop also. It was just a really lovely day with lots of children really engaged in the activities you set up.”  Reception Teacher, Little London Primary School.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to step back and experience the activity from the child’s perspective, and see what they were able to get out of it.” Foundation Teacher, Holy Rosary Primary School

“It was an amazing learning opportunity for me and supported my studies.” Trainee nursery nurse, Chapeltown Children’s Centre

Some responses from parents and carers who attended the workshops with their children:

“Normally my son is always shy but today he was very confident. He told jokes because he wanted to join in.”

“Storytelling is a good way to entertain the kids with props and puppets … I’ve got loads of ideas on what I could do at home with him.”

“Brilliant interactive sessions. Lovely to see all the children having so much fun and hearing the laughter … children got a chance to bring their potential and talent out. Thank you!”

Some responses from 3 year-olds, at Chapeltown Childrens’ Centre, who attended our activity day at Inkwell.

“I loved playing with the lights and saw lots and lots of animals.”

“I made a puppet and saw shadows everywhere!”

Feedback on Training

We were also able to train a small team of volunteers to help us deliver the workshops, all of whom felt the experience was valuable and that they had learnt new skills which they could use in other contexts.

We worked with four volunteers in all – Pippa Julings, Carly Elliott, Pippa Spowage and Kathryn Connell. Pippa Julings is a trained art therapist, who was interested in learning more about shadows and thought it likely she would use the techniques we worked with in her own practice. Carly is a housing support worker who works regularly with children and young people and was keen to find ways of working more creatively. Pippa Spowage is a trained lawyer, who was looking to retrain and work in the arts and Kathryn Connell is a classroom assistant and working mother who felt that the training would help her to be more creative in both of those roles.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the training day. It was wonderful to have the space to express ourselves through story telling and den making. It enabled me to support the children we worked with in exploring their ideas and imaginations.” Carly Elliott

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Shadow Theatre Opportunity for Volunteers

Moveable Feast Productions are looking for a group of five volunteers to work with us on a new project combining storytelling and shadow puppetry.

Through April, May and June, we will be running a series of workshops with family groups throughout Leeds. The aim is to get parents and children working together on a creative project and each workshop will include:  a short shadow performance of an aboriginal folk tale; a chance for those involved to design and create their own puppet characters; facilities and guidance for parents and children to make and tell their own shadow stories.

The project has been funded by Awards For All and we’d like volunteers to help facilitate a minimum of four sessions each, alongside storyteller Matthew Bellwood and shadow artist Chris Hoy.

If you’re interested in being involved, then please send a short letter (no more than one side of A4) to tell us about your interest in the project and let us know of any relevant experience you may have had.

Volunteers would need to be able to attend a short interview on Thursday the 24th of March and a day of training in shadow theatre and puppet-making on Wednesday the 20th of April.

Successful applicants will have to undergo an enhanced CRB check and we will also ask you to undertake free training in basic child protection issues via the Leeds Safeguarding Children Board (organised by us).

Expressions of interest should be sent to:

Matthew Bellwood
Moveable Feast Productions
19 Bentcliffe Drive
Leeds
LS17 6QX

Or e-mailed to Matthew Bellwood at: info@moveablefeastproductions.co.uk

Moveable Feast Productions strives to be an equal opportunity employer and we welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and abilities.

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Welcome

The Moveable Feast Productions website is currently undergoing maintenence.  Normal service will resume shortly and we apologise for any inconvenience.

For enquiries and bookings please contact Matthew Bellwood on 07779 088 878 or email info@moveablefeastproductions.co.uk

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