Studio Wayne To Collaborate with Jason Yancy's Puppetry Troupe, Dragoncillo

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Studio Wayne To Collaborate with Jason Yancy's Puppetry Troupe, Dragoncillo

This spring, Studio Wayne is excited to collaborate with Jason Yancy and his bilingual puppet troupe from Michigan. DRAGONCILLO is a puppetry troupe composed of university scholars, specializing in Golden Age theatre. The group debuted in April 2018 with a shadow puppet adaptation of the Juan Rana figure from Golden Age “entremeses” into an original production titled, “The Fabulous Johnny Frog”. Normally offering performances and outreach in El Paso, TX, and Grand Rapids, MI, the company is dedicated to imaginative storytelling that educates while it entertains. Dragoncillo says about their mission, “We believe in outreach. As professional educators, we feel that outreach is a great way for kids to learn about performance traditions like the Spanish Golden Age, recognize important contributions of a foreign culture, understand how theater and shadow puppets work, and experience an enjoyable live performance.”

“We find that the primary reason for doing outreach is to validate two undervalued yet incredibly important features of Hispanic identity--its LANGUAGE and CULTURE. Children frequently visit with us to say how amazing it was to see a show that uses SPANISH, the language that their parents speak at home. Even kids that don't speak Spanish celebrate the language after the performance. It's really a unique experience.”

The collaboration between this troupe and Studio Wayne happens on a few levels. First, a hybrid class (taught virtually by Yancy and in person by Wayne Artistic Director, Lesley Larsen, and Director of Education, Corey Holmes) will focus on a classic tale but a new work for the troupe, Shakespeare’s MacBeth. During a 6 week session, guided by Yancy, Holmes, and Larsen, the latter two both having MFA’s in Shakespeare and Renaissance performance, students will adapt a version of the Scottish play, choose themes to focus on during the shortened version, design the puppet set, and characters to be 3D printed. “This is both fundamental text analysis, and something we have yet to really play with at Studio Wayne, the medium of puppet design and making a classic script work in that ‘new-to-us’ format,” says Holmes.

Secondly, during the first week of April in 2023, Yancy and Dragoncillo will travel to the Wayne Theatre for a one week residency. During this time, students from the class will rehearse Macbeth with Yancy and his unique format for a performance on April 5. Yancy will also be visiting schools to offer some of his bi-lingual, Golden age, shows. “Having Dragoncillo come to the school itself, both values students' transition time and makes having this unique experience more accessible to all students”. The shows can be focused more on the literature, the theatre aspect, the language aspect, or a blend of all three, tailored to the educational needs of the students and their teachers.

“Studio Wayne is thrilled to offer this to the community. The melding of classic theatre, puppetry, and creative problem solving in an ensemble is such a fun trifecta to create a really immersive learning environment! I am also so excited for this experience for all of our English Language Learners in local schools, so that we can celebrate the beauty of the Spanish language together!”

Dragoncillo is currently scheduled to come to three local, Augusta County schools. If you would like to bring them to your classroom, library or gym, please email cholmes@waynethetare.org.

To learn more about Dragoncillo, visit www.dragoncillo.com.

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