Year Six projects
We currently offer year-long school projects aimed either at Year Six classes or as an extra-curricular project in secondary schools, in which each pupil designs and builds a marionette puppet, culminating in a theatrical production at the end of the year. The projects are led by approved YPPT project leaders, and all parts are provided, including the stage, lighting and sound systems for the performances.
"I really liked learning how to do the lighting, because it was fun learning new skills." (Year 6 pupil, 2015)
Our Year Six projects require around two hours each week, starting in September, and covering most of the art and design requirements for the year in the process (for more information on the project and the new curriculum, click here). The period from September until February or March is dedicated to designing and making the marionettes, backdrops and props, followed by a break of several weeks in the period leading up to, and during SATs. Rehearsals for the performances begin immediately after SATs, with the performance usually in June or July.
Our secondary school projects are run as extra-curricular activities taking place after the school day. The YPPT will work with the school to schedule the construction, rehearsals and performances around academic obligations such as public examinations.
"My favourite part of the project was the rehearsals because we could see the play starting to come together and getting better." (Year Six pupil, 2015)
During the performance, each student has an individual and equally important role. A typical show might have parts for three narrators, eight marionetteers, eight voices, eight backstage crew to manage scene changes and props, and operators for the curtain, sound effects, lights and special effects such as a smoke machine. Apart from the narrators, all of these roles remain behind the main curtain and the audience is not necessarily aware of who does what, which can be of huge benefit to those children who would not be given large roles in a traditional end-of-year performance. For more on the social benefits of the project, click here.
The production is usually performed three times at the end of the year: a dress rehearsal for the rest of the school followed by two performances for parents and general public. The YPPT will film the performances and make a DVD available to interested parents.
Click here to find out how to apply for a YPPT project.