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In 2020, as part of the online Beverley Puppet Festival, we were delighted to launch a pilot project developing a unique, remote creative experience. We prepared kits and sent them out around the area to local care homes so residents could create their own shadow theatre!

Thanks to the dedication of care home workers Elaine at Figham House and Jimmy & Amber at New House, residents created shadow theatre using our pre-prepared kits, a video tutorial and messages from outside.

Shadow theatre is generally the most accessible form of puppetry as very spectacular results can be achieved in the shortest time using the minimum of materials and the simplest of methods. There are very many materials that can be used to make shadow puppets, as well as ways to make shadows of many different qualities. The most common type of shadow puppet workshop involves making very simple puppets out of thin card and using coloured cellophane or lighting gel to create colour. Many other ways of casting shadows can be explored however, including the use of our own bodies and different light sources.

Our video tutorial shared creative ideas to help get residents started, instructions on how to create their shadow theatre and top tips on how to make their puppets come to life and tell their story! You can see the full tutorial below.

Residents were then invited to share videos and images of their shadow theatre work, from simple dance casts on the walls to a singing puppet, to stories told for family and friends outside, have a look at some of the wonderful creations here!

Interested in participating in a shadow theatre workshop?