The Centre has been involved in education at all levels since its inception. When discussing the potential role of mask and puppet theatre in education it is important to emphasise that it involves something more than simply staging good shows for children. “If very small children are to determine the question, they will decide for the puppet show” (Laws II -658) and “Let your children’s education take the form of play” said Plato. It has often been remarked that puppets nearly always bring out a prejudice that puppet theatre is a form of theatre that is only for children.
This is why at SMPC we link mask and puppet together because prior to the nineteenth century both artforms were the ancient and popular historical domain of the adult. By way of contrast, the genre of “children and young people’s theatre” is a recent inventon. Masks and puppets are to be found in most cultures and often form the gateway to extremely complex belief systems and ideas. They are tools of transformation used to awaken the senses (initiate), to stimulate the imagination (shape-shifters) and to empower the individual and the group (social being).
Masterclasses. Professional training in different areas of mask and puppet theatre have been a regular feature of the SMPC programme since 1985. These usually take place in the Summer and Easter periods.
Open Courseware. During a nine year period 1995-2004, the Centre was in partnership with Anniesland College in Glasgow. We designed and delivered a two-year HND (Higher National Diploma) made up of more than 30 modules. These modules are currently being rewritten and revised for delivery over the internet as open courseware.
Public Workshops. We offer a wide range of different opportunities for public participation in workshops. See our what’s on programme.
Research. The Centre has an extensive library of mask & puppet books and related artforms (theatre, visual art, music, dance, storytelling) and ample documentation and archive resources related to our special collections.
Talk-Demonstrations. These are usually multicultural and cross cultural in content and use masks and puppets taken from our collection materials. They can be tailor-made to apply to schools working on toy modules, fairy stories, folk tales and children’s literature.
Therapy. Masks and puppets may also be used in areas of special educational need: special schools, disability resource centres, adult training units, psychiatric institutions, hospitals, counselling services (loss and bereavement) and prisons.
Training. We offer a consultancy service to those interested in learning more about professional training and formation. In addition we occasionally provide for inteships or training-on-the job when new productions or commissions are in train.