Theater Department Brings Puppeteer

The UCA theater department will welcome puppeteer, actress, playwright, director and teaching artist Katie Campbell to campus later this month to present a series of puppetry workshops and a lecture to students.

Alpha Psi Omega, the national theater fraternity, will host Campbell as she holds three workshops, all revolved around forms of puppetry.

The first workshop will be focused on the art of shadow puppets, the second on hand puppets and the third on Japanese puppets.

The first workshop will be Sept. 20, the second Sept. 26 and the third Sept. 27, all at 6 p.m. in Snow Fine Arts Center 217.

“These workshops combine many different design and performance elements,” senior Jordyn Daniels, president of UCA’s Alpha Psi Omega chapter, said. “We hope to use what we learn in the future for our upcoming productions.”

The organization chose to bring Campbell to campus to expose students to a different avenue of theater.

To keep with the department’s theme of diversity, majors and minors are required to be exposed to many aspects of theater, such as acting, tech and business.

Melissa Kordsmeier, business manager for UCA’s theater department, said she believes workshops such as these cannot only help expand students’ acting repertoire,but also expand their creativity in other aspects.

“One of the things that Alpha Psi Omega heavily considered is what kind of effect would the guest speaker have not just on the theater students, but on all UCA students, as well as the public,” she said. “Puppetry seemed to be something that would easily engage students studying visual and performing arts, film, education, interactive therapy methods and more.”

Campbell, whose shadow puppet play “The Ugly Duckling” received a 2015 Jim Henson Foundation Family Grant, will also give a lecture titled “What Is Puppetry?” covering basic puppetry forms.

It will be presented on at 6 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Snow Fine Arts Center’s Bridges-Larson Theatre and is open to the public.

“Alpha Psi Omega is really excited to have Katie Campbell teach these workshops,” Daniels said. “We think this is an incredible opportunity, not just for the theater department, but for many areas of study at UCA.”

These workshops are free and open to UCA students, but registration is required. Students must register at uca.edu/theatre/apo_events by Sept. 16.

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 9, 2015 print edition of The Echo.

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