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The Paper Bag Players Workshop


February 25, 2013

Program Locations:

Major support for children's and young adult programming is provided by the Mr. and Mrs. Timothy R. Barakett Endowment for Children's and Young Adult Programs and Services. Major support for children's and young adult programming is provided by the Katerina and Andreas C. Dracopoulos Family Endowment for Young Audiences. Additional support is provided by the Estate of Charles J. Mauro; the Estate of William C. Morris; the Estate of Esther Manes; New York Life Foundation; MetLife Foundation; Sandra Priest Rose; Solon E. Summerfield Foundation, Inc.; Con Edison; Mr. and Mrs. John Klingenstein; Beth and Christopher Kojima; Milton S. Teicher; Mr. and Mrs. George T. Votis; The Walt Disney Company; The Edith Glick Shoolman Children's Foundation; and an anonymous donor.

This eight session workshop, presented by the Obie- award-winning Paper Bag Players, the longest-running theater for children in America, will show each participant the Paper Bag Players' approach to creating and performing theater --- essentially each participant becomes an honorary Paper Bag Players. The workshop will ensure that each child participates in the creation of all aspects of creating and performing a Paper Bag Players show, teaching participants how to make theater out of what is all around them with the help of their own ideas, imagination and a little bit of paper--just like The Paper Bag Players do. No experience required.


Workshop outline:

Each session will deal with the elements that make this company most famous: original and fanciful narrative plays, a dynamic interactive approach to the audience, the use of paper and cardboard to create compelling stage effects and costumes, creating comedy that children respond to, movement as an element of storytelling, and music as the connecting tissue that holds the shows together. Every session will begin with a theater-game warm-up.

Session 1:  Getting to know paper and cardboard--This session will focus on The Paper Bag Players use of paper and cardboard.  How do you prepare the paper? How can paper and cardboard help you discover emotion, character and story?

Session 2: Storytelling--Working with theater games and improvisation, the participants--using established themes--will discover stories to tell and how to tell them theatrically. 

Session 3: Comedy--How to make a story funny by using exaggeration characterization and action.

Session 4: Movement--How you can tell a story without words--just a little music.  

Session 5: Creating the environment--Begin to make the world the story unfolds in with paper bags and boxes.

Session 6: Costumes--How costumes can help find characters; transforming ordinary everyday objects into theatrical creations.

Session 7: Putting it together--Combine all the elements into a show.


Session 8: Final preparation and a mini-performance.