The Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival

Object Revolution: The Radical Puppet

with Logan Robins

With more voices than ever shouting out across our phone screens, televisions, and computers it can feel as though we are becoming controlled and incapacitated by the chaotic nature of the objects that surround us. Many of us might feel as though we have become the puppet- at the mercy of social media, doom scrolling, environmental catastrophe or institutional racism as our malevolent puppeteers (to name a few).

In Object Revolution: The Radical Puppet students will be given a crash course through the history of fighting for change using theatre, puppets built for protest, and the power of the object. Through creative exercises and explorations in storytelling and object manipulation, students will be emboldened to use the objects that often control us to make powerful statements. By turning our phones, laptops, and tablets into puppets we can reassert our control over the narratives that get blasted towards us every day and explore the increasingly complicated relationship between human and object.

The only supplies that will be required for this workshop are one ‘object’ per student. This object can be their personal cell phone, a computer, tablet OR something entirely different. At the heart of this workshop is an exploration of how we interact and identify with objects- especially those that hold the most power over us (maybe this is a shoe, or a special pen, or a significant book). This workshop will be designed to accommodate anywhere from 5-50 participants and over the course of the hour students will be given the chance to explore creative writing, storytelling, object manipulation, protest puppetry, activism through art, and mixed digital/practical creation.

Through the power of puppetry students will take away new ideas and possibilities of how they can make their voice heard in an increasingly noisy world. The radical puppet is one that, despite being an object, is capable of radical change. Students will experience the power that comes with bringing an object, a story, and change to life.

All DramaFest workshops have limited availability. Availability may also be limited due to bookings by other classes.

  • Students will learn about the power that comes with bringing an object, a story, and radical change to life using connections with their life experiences and circumstances.
  • Students will use risk taking to enhance the dramatic experience, requiring initiative and responsibility. They will have the chance to creatively explore technology as an art form.
  • Students will be able to respond with sensitivity and respect to new ideas. Students will work independently and collaboratively w/ others to devise/tell stories.
  • Students will be given the opportunity to explore and discuss the effectiveness of multiple means of storytelling through object manipulation and draw critical conclusions.
  • Students will exhibit and celebrate through their puppetry work an awareness of the universal connections between themselves, others, and the objects in their life.

Logan (he/him) is a theatre creator based in Kjipuktuk/Halifax. He graduated from the Fountain School of Performing Arts with an honours BA in theatre and studied puppetry at the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. He is the co-founder and artistic director of The Unnatural Disaster Theatre Company, with whom he recently directed/produced the anthology play Forrest Town in collaboration with Shakespeare by the Sea and wrote/directed The Encounters of an Adventurous Snail, an original shadow-puppetry musical based upon the works of Federico García Lorca, at the Halifax Fringe Festival. He was also recently an assistant producer and collaborator on Settle Elsewhere, a devised character-mask show by Theatre du Poulet. Currently Logan works at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts and teaches drama on the weekends at Stagecoach Performing Arts school in Bedford. Collaborate with him, he’s a lot of fun. Follow him on Instagram: @loganrobins/@unnaturaldisastertheatre. View Logan’s profile.

  1. Students may remain at their desk throughout the workshop.

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Please note: Theatre Nova Scotia respectfully requests that schools and community groups ideally do not cancel workshops once they are booked, unless absolutely necessary. If a group must cancel or reschedule, please give us a week of prior notice. In these precarious days for arts workers, TNS is going to great lengths to provide schools with exceptional theatre education and local artists with paid work in our industry. Please be aware that artists may have turned down other paid work to accommodate these workshop bookings. Thank you for your understanding.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions. 

Students stay seated throughout this workshop.