Shadow theater performances
and workshops for schools,
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
ShadowLight in SF Public Schools (Highlights)
ShadowLight Productions strives to demonstrate the widest possible spectrum of Shadow Theatre to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and our Education Program lies at the heart of our mission.
The Program provides first-hand experience in our unique form of projected shadow theater for schools, community organizations, colleges, teachers and performing artists through workshops and performances by professional shadow theatre artists.
See video clips from past school projects>>
I. Shadow Theatre for Youth
Shadow Theatre Performances
We offer age-appropriate assembly performances by professional shadow theatre artists for students ranging from kindergarten through high school. Shadow theater presentations highlight dramatic and comic stories from world folklore as well as original contemporary tales.
In either a one-day, one-week, or multi-week residencies, our teaching artists will work with you to design a curriculum best fit your goals and scope.
For example, in a multi-week situation, participating students typically learn:
- to plan, develop, design, produce, and perform a production
Our brand of Shadow Theatre is a unique art form where theatre, visual art, literature, movement and film-like effects are manually integrated. The students acquire the vocabulary and capability necessary to navigate through these different disciplines in order to create their own original shadow theatre.
- to integrate what they learned into practice
The multidisciplinary nature of our art form makes it a perfect tool for integrative learning. In the past, our partner schools have combined our program with language art, social studies, science, and visual art classes.
- to use communication, organizational and assessment/problem-solving skills as well as their creativity during the process
The students have a rare hands-on opportunity to work together towards a common goal: a production where cooperation and collaboration are necessary for success. This hands-on approach has been especially effective for our partner schools, providing a strong framework for individual and collective growth.
Shorter workshops can focus on the overview and/or particular elements of the art form such as puppet/mask making, experimentation with light sources, and exploring dramatic structure. Again, our teaching artists will work with you to create the best curriculum for your students.
A theater stage, which can be completely darkened, is the ideal location for the workshops, since it is most efficient to have one place in which to develop and perform the piece. However, any size room can work, as long as there are window shades which can be completely shut for darkness, and enough space to accommodate a paper screen that is at least 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide with 8 feet of space behind it for performers and lights.
Equipment & Materials
In most classes, we use overhead projectors as the light source for the shadow plays. In some cases, we may provide our custom-made lights, which require only a regular grounded three-prong electrical outlet in any location. Also we typically request that you provide other materials such as paper, card board, tape, scissors and clear plastic transparency sheets. Our teaching artists will help you come up with a comprehensive list for your class.
Rates depend on the scale and scope of the project and may be adjusted to fit school budget restraints. If the workshop site is outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, transportation and housing costs will be added on top of the workshop fee.
II. Shadow Theater for Adults
ShadowLight offers hands-on training in shadow theater techniques for theater groups and serious students, via participation in 2-5 day workshops, led by ShadowLight Productions' Artistic Director, Larry Reed. Workshops culminate in a performance in which participants showcase the puppets, masks, and backdrops they create during the workshop.
III. Additional Information & Resources
> Teaching Artists
> clips from past projects
> teaching resources
> recommended books and articles
> other resources
For more information or to book workshops and/or performances, please contact:
Leslie Dreyer, Dir of Programs
tel:  648 4461
Teaching Resources: Shadow Theater and Puppetry
> Shadow Theatre Instruction Manual (DOC)
This 15 page manual was written by ShadowLight artist, Ramon Abad,
and created as a practical beginners guide to creating a shadow
theatre performance. The manual lays out modern and traditional
techniques of casting shadows. There are directions and illustrations
on how to create light sources, construct moving puppets, build a
screen, and paint scenery.
> ArtsEdge: Playing with Shadows (URL)
Discover the secrets behind the art of shadow puppetry in this multimedia
exploration, designed for grades 5-8, which explores this age-old art form
through animations, videos, interactive activities, and more.
> Educator: Teaching Puppetry (DOC)
Introduces students to shadow puppetry in the Indonesian tradition,
including the role of the puppeteer and the gamelan musicians that
accompany him, as well as the history and traditions of the art form.
This manual is written to accompany the Spark! video "Telling
Stories" which you can view at the KQED webpage. Click on the listing
below to see the Spark! web page.
> Video: Telling Stories (URL)
In this Spark! episode "Telling Stories," follows puppet master Larry
Reed as he and the Gamelan Sekar Jaya orchestra prepare for a
performance of "Wayang Bali: Dangerous Flowers" at the Julia Morgan
Theatre, in Berkeley, California. From the website you can view the
video, and order a copy of the program and the educator's guide.