Vancouver Magazine Article- March 28, 2011
News and Features
Puppet Master - continued
By Kim Fu published Mar 28, 2011
Three years of study with the celebrated puppeteer Dan Hurlin changed the trajectory of her career. She was introduced to various styles of puppetry: European toy theatre (the hand puppets in a box favoured by Oscar Wilde and Mr. Dressup), marionettes, found-object animation, and Hurlin's own specialty, the Japanese art of banraku-multiple, visible puppeteers for each puppet. Her class was taken into the city to see the many shows supported by indigenous audiences and grants, including work by New York favourites Roman Paska and Basil Twist. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence with a bachelor's in performance puppetry and studied abroad for a year at the British American Drama Academy in London.
Winston moved here in 2005, drawn by the usual: ocean, trees, mountains, family. But that's not why she stays. Like many artists, she appreciates Vancouver's relative youth, its lack of fixed identity. The regard is mutual; last year she received the Mayor's Arts Award for an emerging artist.
Puppetry is itself an emerging discipline in the city, though its roots extend back to the '60s. The Vancouver Guild of Puppetry was the brainchild of Alfred Wallace, past president of the Puppeteers of America; in 1961, the Junior League of Vancouver brought him from New York for a workshop, where he encouraged attendants to establish the guild. In 1965, that organization opened a Puppet Centre and hosted the Hogarth Puppets of England for workshops and performances. The centre closed the next year. Today, the guild functions in name only-Winston is herself a member-but events like the In the House Festival, the Children's Festival, Fringe, and the Halloween Parade of Lost Souls offer opportunities and venues to puppeteers. "The puppetry community in Vancouver is small but growing," Winston says. "Every day someone asks me, Do you know so-and-so? She does puppets.' And I say, No! I thought I knew all the puppeteers in this city!'"
Winston's shows are prime examples of what makes puppets uniquely affecting. Objects can come to life-as in her first show in New York, which explored the sex life of two airplanes. The body can be a stage, as in her Shakespeare-inspired show Sycorax's Story, where Winston's skirt houses marionettes and Prospero's island. Here in Vancouver, she collaborated on We're All in This Together, a large-scale shadow puppetry show about addiction in the Downtown Eastside; the story has the imagistic, surreal quality of film with the interpersonal connection of live theatre.
Last December, Winston packed a suitcase-sized show and hit the road. She taught a teacher-training course in Chandigarh, India-how to add storytelling and puppets to a curriculum based on discipline and rote learning-then went on to perform in Cape Town, South Africa. In nearby township schools and windy, open dirt fields littered with broken glass, she had to rely on repetition, gesture, and voice to convey her show to Afrikaans-speaking audiences. She also helped youth develop and produce their own shows; one group won an internship with professional puppeteers. "I just wanted to be there and be part of it. There's so much going on in South Africa in the way of social change that all you have to do is express an interest, and then there's someone right there telling you a thousand things you can do."
Even as Winston teaches and performs internationally, she keeps her gaze pointed homeward, to Vancouver's nascent scene. "I want to bring that magic here."
Maggie's Art, Drama, and Puppetry Classes around town
Maggie is currently teaching classes at:
Sunset Community Centre
Creative Drama and Puppetry (7-11yrs) 22307.201SN
Category: Art Season: SN - Spring 2012 Open
Learn the basics of acting and performance through games and exercises. Explore character, improvisation, and ensemble. Puppets and masks will be explored in the creation of our own short play.
Days: - - Tu - - - - Apr 03, 2012 to May 29, 2012 3:30pm - 4:45pm Spaces: 13/15 (max)
Instructor: Maggie Winston
Fee: $73.00/9 Sessions
Story Play Drama (3-6 years)
Category: Season: SN - Spring 2012 Open
In this fun filled drama class children will engage with stories and folktales from all over the world. Children will dress up in costumes provided and can be anyone they want to be. Our story is then acted out by the whole class in a free, improvised, and play based way. Students will develop listening skills, imagination, body awareness and cooperative play. No class May 5, 2012
Days: - - - - - - Sa Apr 21, 2012 to Jun 23, 2012 11:00am -12:00pm Spaces: 9/10 (max)
Instructor: Maggie Winston
Fee: $54.00/9 Sessions
Trout Lake Community Centre
Story Play Drama 3-5 yrs
Engage in stories and folktales from all over
the world. Children will dress up in costumes
provided and can be anyone they want to
be. Students will develop listening skills,
imagination, body awareness and cooperative
play. Maggie Winston is a professional puppeteer,
performance artist, and drama educator. Drop
W, 3:30pm- 4:30pm Apr 11-Jun 13 $67.50/10 sess
TL - Grandview Room 13320.201TL
Sing, Dance & Play 1-3 yrs
In this parent and child program you will
participate and bond with your child through
singing, dancing, instrument playing, stories,
open play time and a whole lot more! When
you register you will receive a complimentary
childrens book at the first class. Drop in $8.00
Tu, 9:30am-10:45am Apr 10-Jun 12 $67.50/10 sess
TL - Lakewood Room 13315.201TL
Exploring Art Together 1.5-3 yrs
Calling young artists to discover the pure joy
and absolute excitement of creating original art
through creative activities designed to enhance
their motor skills complemented with inspiring
storytelling, poetry, and sing-a longs and a bonus
of having Mommy or Daddy right there. When
you register you will receive a complimentary
childrens book at the first class. Drop in $7.50.
W, 9:15am-10:15am Apr 11-Jun 13 $65/10 sess
TL - Art Studio 14015.201TL
W, 10:30am-11:30am Apr 11-Jun 13 $65/10 sess
TL - Art Studio 14017.201TL
Creative Drama & Puppetry 7-12 yrs
Learn the basics of acting and performance
through games and exercises. Explore character,
improvisation, and ensemble. Puppets and
masks will be explored in the creation of our own
short play. Maggie Winston is a professional
puppeteer, performance artist, and drama
educator. Drop in $12. She received a Bachelor
of Arts in Performance Puppetry from Sarah
Lawrence College, NY and trained at the British
American Drama Academy in London, UK.
W, 4:45pm- 6:00pm Apr 11-Jun 13 $98/10 sess
TL - Grandview Room 23310.201TL
Kensington Community Centre
Story Play Drama
Ages: 3-5 yrs Maggie Winston
In this fun filled drama class children will engage with stories and folktales from all over the world. Children will dress up in costumes provided and can be anyone they want to be. Our story is then acted out by the whole class in a free, improvised, and play based way. Students will develop listening skills, imagination, body awareness and cooperative play.
Wed Apr 4-Jun 20 1:30pm-2:30pm
12801.201KS $78/12 sessFamily
Britannia Community Centre
You Create Theatre (6-8 yrs)
Life is a story. Your child will learn to create
story with their own skills, movement and
words. In class we will create a short
original piece of theatre and premiere it in
8 weeks. Come join us Saturday morning!
Build your self-esteem and learn just how
authentic your voice is. Puppets and/or
masks and costumes will be created as part
of this original performance.
Sat 10:30-12:00pm Apr 28-Jun 16
No class May 19.
Rink Mezz M Winston $85/8 sess
Habitat: A Community Performance Project
A Community Performance Project
Join the Body Narratives Collective (Julia Carr and Meghan Goodman) along with Lost & Found Puppet Co. (Maggie Winston) this spring for the creation of a unique site-specific performance experience that will animate the Kensington Community Centre in an open house celebration!
Whether you perform or participate as an audience member, together we will discover what makes a healthy habitat. We will explore this idea by playing with puppets, creating dances, and decorating our spaces. Let us deepen our roots and enhance the ecology of our community.
Final Performance Date June 3, 2012 at Kensington Community Centre. 33rd Avenue @ Knight St. Vancouver
The Shiny Kids Family Festival
The Shiny Kids Family Festival is a one-day annual event taking place on May 5, 2012 at the Moberly Community Arts Centre. The festival will feature a stage show, puppets, music and dance. There is an interactive Eco-Maze, a costume parade, face painting and storytelling. The Festival is a collaboration of The Shiny Collective (local award winning childrens entertainers; Gogo Bonkers, The Lost & Found Puppet Company, The Ta-Daa Lady and Juno award winning Peter Puffin ) in partnership with the Moberly Community Arts Centre. The Shiny Kids Family Festival live stage performances feature participation songs, costumed characters, dancing and puppets that tell a very important story about the ocean, environment, community and helping each other. Children and Parents will be welcomed into this magical world surrounded by fantastical characters to learn about the importance of protecting the ocean, how garbage affects everyone, how rewarding it is to eat healthy and locally and how planting seeds will provide what we need to better our lives.
TITLE: "Remembering Light"- A collection of memories on the theme of light. This shadow play was created by the Lost & Found Puppet Co. (with puppet artist Maggie Winston) in collaboration with Cantonese speaking seniors from the Arts, Health, and Seniors program at Strathcona Community Centre. The seniors were asked to share some memories from their childhood in China that reminded them of light in some form or another. Out of this sharing came four distinct memories. One of these memories show the difficulties of life in China when not many resources were available to them, while another describes what it is like to see things brighter after having cataract surgery. In the end all the seniors have come to appreciate the electric light bulb for the safety and comfort it brings to their lives today.
Comissioned by BC Hydro for PowerSmart Light Bulbs
Performed by Maggie Winston at Parker Place Mall, Richmond, BC
October 22, 2011
"Herban Adventures- A Puppet and Music Fairytale"
The newest production by Lost & Found Puppet Co., a result of a residency at Deer Crossing.
Lost in the forest, a chance encounter with a Dandelion turns one mans world upside down. As he tries to find his way back to civilization, a cast of wild herbs changes his outlook on life. Hogweed, Blackberry, and Kinnikinnick all feature in this modern fairytale. While exploring the folklore and flora of the Pacific Coast forests, he learns that magic is real and begins to find himself again.
The story explores the plant conflict between native and invasive species. A human character who is threatening to develop the forest is thrown into the conflict too.
Tour in BC summer 2011:
Saturday, June 4th- Collingwood Days Festival (Vancouver)
Sunday, June 5th- In the House Festival (Vancouver)
July 23, 24, 25- Kispiox Valley Music Festival-(Northern BC)
July 29, 30, 31- Komasket Music Festival - Komasket Park (Vernon)
July 30-Aug 2- Arts Wells- Wells, BC (Cariboo)
August 5,6,7- Edge of the World Festival-(Northern BC- Q. Charlotte Isl)