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(Re)animating Communities with Inanimate Objects: Handspring Puppet Company...

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University of Calgary

2500 University Dr NW

Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

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(Re)animating Communities with Inanimate Objects: Handspring Puppet Company’s Community Puppetry Project in Western Cape, South Africa

THIS TALK IS PART OF Puppet Power 2018: Story | A Conference on Applied Puppetry
June 1-3, 2018 (Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday)
Venue partner: University of Calgary's School of Creative and Performing Arts (2500 University Dr NW)

Purchase this talk individually or click here to register for the entire conference.

Information about the conference at https://wppuppet.com/puppet-power-2018/

Sonia Norris will discuss the power of storytelling in a community suffering the impact of historical marginalization, seeking to transform its positioning while struggling with the desire for reconciliation amidst inconsolable atrocities through the work of Handspring Puppet Company’s Barrydale project. The Barrydale project is a large-scale outdoor community puppet production focused on shifting the racialized rift created by Apartheid when it was split into a white community, Barrydale, and a non-white community, Smitsville. Each year, on the Day of Reconciliation in mid-December, Handspring stages a puppet parade and community production telling a story based on traditional legends of the Khoisan people, interwoven with current social issues important to the residents of Smitsville.

Norris will discuss how this project is impacting what South African puppetry scholar Jane Taylor terms “the racialized deformations of the Apartheid state”, as well as transforming the lives of youth within this community through the imaginative power of puppetry arts and storytelling. Norris will explore the question, “Do we become more human by temporarily becoming other than human, when observing puppets?” with respect to her experiences working with Handspring’s Barrydale productions in 2016 and 2017.

About Sonia Norris

Sonia works internationally as a director, devisor, playwright and teacher in theatre, circus, puppetry, mask and clown. Her work spans professional and community projects including Movement Director at the Stratford Festival; Circus Director with Cirque du Soleil in the Arctic; Mask Director at the Banff Centre’s Indigenous Dance Program and with Red Sky Performance; Clown Director with Vancouver’s female clown company The Assembly; Director with LEGacy Circus creating/performing with double-amputee aerialist Erin Ball; directing Shona emerging artists in Zimbabwe for the HIFA Festival; and most recently, working with Handspring Puppet Company in South Africa.

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University of Calgary

2500 University Dr NW

Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

Canada

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