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Free mask, puppet-making workshop at the Farnsworth

Oct 03, 2019

ROCKLAND — Beginning on Monday, Oct. 14, in conjunction with its annual Fall Family Festival and Parade, the Farnsworth Art Museum hosts a week-long mask and puppet-making workshop. Taught by Nance Parker, artistic director of the Shoestring Theater in Portland, the workshop takes place Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the museum’s Gamble Education Center on the corner of Grace and Union streets.

All ages are invited to learn the process of creating, designing and building a personal mask. Participants will be expected to use their wildest ideas about creatures and myths when designing their work. Puppets will be executed sculpting clay, papier-mâché and wire, in addition to adding hand-sewn costumes to create creatures both magical and scary. There will also be an ongoing group project of building a large parading puppet. These will be part of the Fall Family Festival Parade, which will depart from the Gamble Education Center at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19.

While the mask and puppet-making studio times are flexible, participants should be willing to commit to multiple visits in order to complete a personal mask and allow drying time in between sessions. Participants should be old enough to work independently, or have adult supervision.

Parker is artistic director of Shoestring Theater, Maine's longest-running community puppet theater. Her large and colorful puppets have been seen throughout the state for more than 30 years. Highly influenced by Brazilian carnival puppets as well as Europe's street theater tradition, Parker works primarily in clay and papier-mâché. She is a master of the large scale parading puppets used in street festivals and parades. Her epic Sicilian Marionette show of the Odyssey was a featured part of the Farnsworth's puppetry exhibition in 2002. She recently designed and built a personal version of Alice in Wonderland, performed at Mayo Street Arts this past spring. She also performs the classic Punch & Judy hand puppet show.

The workshop is free of charge, though a $10 donation per session is suggested. For more information, or to register, please visit



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