Over more than twenty years Snuff Puppets have developed a unique performance style merging puppetry and formal contemporary movement theories to create character-driven giant puppet performances on stage, in the street and among crowds. Our performances explore the bond of complicity between audience and performer and see just how far we can push it.
Our Snuff Skool performance workshops train participants in the many aspects of Snuff performance artistry. Puppeteers will learn the Snuff approach to performance: improvisational, group-devised, spontaneous and always with the freedom to play. They will have the chance to shed personal identity and strip away language to embrace a non-verbal performance mode that explores the physicality of communication.
The workshop usually takes the form of a one or two day intensive with up to 25 participants and between two to four Snuff instructors. The sessions will include exercises that bring awareness of the body and training in the anthropological underpinnings of movement theory. The stylised movement of our puppets are based on the pedagogical approach of ISTA (International School of Theatre Anthropology) and ideas of shared humanity and the role of gesture, expression and biomechanics across cultures. Participants also undertake a collaborative theatre-making process, sharing ideas and developing narrative that is relevant and resonant to the group. Finally, participants get the chance to rehearse and perform as a roaming act, where they interact in character (and in puppet) with the public and create their own Snuff brand of public puppet/audience collisions.
Our workshop techniques are suitable for all participants over 14 years and from any background or experience level: artists, students or members of the general public. Some strength, flexibility, stamina and a sense of humour are required. The workshop produces an intense team-building experience and would be especially of interest to actors, dancers and performers of all kind. For non-performers the experience develops skills in using the body to communicate, physical confidence and awareness, how to negotiate public space and the unique opportunity to shed ego and embrace the pure physicality of our giant puppets.