by Travis Ryder
Puppets aren’t just child’s play. They’re a longstanding theatrical tradition and they can take on serious roles on stage and in the public square. That’s part of what Theresa Linnihan is going to be teaching in a series of workshops starting this week in Grand Rapids. Linnihan has run a children’s theatre in Massachusetts, and worked with the improv group Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis. Now she works with the Czech-American Marionette Theatre and the Puppeteers' Cooperative in New York. She’s visiting family here this summer and presenting sessions on puppet building and improvisation at MacRostie Art Center. I started my interview with her by asking about how puppetry helped her children’s theatre performances adapt to an outdoor space:
Theresa Linnihan on Puppets, Improv, and this summer's workshops
Puppet-building sessions will be 10 to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 12-28. Another option will be Monday night sessions from 5 to 7. The 10-foot tall puppets will march in the Tall Timber Days parade. Improv classes are offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through August 18.
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