As part of its undergraduate classes, the Department of Early Childhood Education organised in collaboration with the Hellenic puppetry centre UNIMA Hellas, a two-day conference on: Current trends in Greek puppet theatre. An atypical form of education?
The conference hopes to address its dual artistic and educational goal by showcasing the current trends in Greek puppet theatre and exploring the de facto educational dimensions this theatrical technique has acquired through the relationship it has developed with children and their teachers.
On the artistic outlook level, the subjects covered relate to puppeteers’ everyday tasks, as well as to the prospects of Greek puppet theatre. We hope that the experiences shared by performers will lead to a discussion on the contemporary developments expanding the concept of the art of puppetry and influencing new theatrical productions.
Regarding the perspective of our students, teachers-to-be at the pre-school and primary school levels, the theatrical art of puppet theatre will be addressed not only as a subject on their own academic curriculum, but also as an artistic practice that disrupts and, to a large extent, liberates their educational practices.
Convinced that, in order to teach “art” or “through art”, one needs to have the fullest possible knowledge of it, we hope that the two-day conference will allow our students to come into contact with Greek puppeteers and hear about their work, their thoughts and the way they see their art evolving in the future. We hope that the discussions stemming from this encounter will build bridges of communication between the educational and artistic perspectives, sparking fruitful linkages or arguments. Finally, we hope that this conference will bring all those who are interested in puppet theatre in general into an open discussion on all that one can dream about when envisaging the future.