- Module 2: The Hand-Puppet´s Tale
(Photo © project team member Rudolf Kalivoda)
Motto: “I am a puppet. I have taken many forms, which change over the centuries. All of these forms have one thing in common – I am only able to come to life with your help. I am alive only when you folk pick me up. I speak only when you lend me your voice. Without you, I am lifeless and silent; however, together we can experience a thousand and one tales.”
We´ll follow the story of an old hand-puppet called Kašpárek from its dramatic escape from Czechoslovakia in 1968 to the triumphant return home, where it wants to find out about its roots. Let´s accompany the puppet and learn more about the country´s puppetry traditions.
A man lives all alone in his old house in a small town somewhere in the Netherlands. His name is Josef Svoboda. His wife died and his son lives with his family in Canada. Josef does not see his grandchildren very often. But recently his son got some work to do in the UK and he and his family decided to relocate for a couple of months. Josef is on top of the world that he can now see his family more often. While staying in their Grandpa´s house, the children discover an old suitcase in the attic. It´s a souvenir from Josef´s childhood. A witness of a dramatic escape from a small country in the heart of Europe in 1968. The old suitcase hides a precious dweller – an old hand puppet of Kašpárek.
- Puppetry Traditions
Kašpárek is interested in his family history. How long is the tradition of puppetry in Czechia? Who are his relatives? And how are the puppets born? Let´s find out!
- A visit to the Museum of Puppet Cultures in ChrudimWhere else other than in the Museum of Puppet Cultures could Kašpárek meet most of his friends? This museum is situated in Chrudim, a charming city about 130 kilometres east of Prague, which has a long puppeteering tradition – a festival of amateur puppeteers is held here every year. It was a nice day in the beginning of December and the visitors were welcomed by a huge puppet of an Angel looking down from the arcades of the museum building. The museum itself has roughly 50,000 items in its collections. In addition to puppets, the collections also include set designs and models as well as set pieces, puppet themed art work, posters and programs, photographs, sound and video recordings, printed material, manuscripts, and other archival documents. Kašpárek wanted to share his experience with you so he created a PowerPoint presentation.
- Kašpárek gets his Facebook profile doneSocial media like Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn are an important global phenomenon. People, countries, cities, businesses or events have their social media sites, so why not a puppet? The grandchildren of Josef Svoboda have created a Facebook profile for their beloved hand-puppet.
- The end
We have learnt a bit about Czech puppetry on Kašpárek´s journey back to his old homeland. Mr Trejtnar, the famous contemporary puppeteer, mentioned in his interview that Czech children often attend (or are attended by) puppet theatres as a part of their education. Imagine that you are invited to a kindergarten to perform a short fairy tale for children aged 3 – 6 yrs. Now you are going to become the master of the puppets yourself. When you have finished, don´t forget to take some nice pictures from your performance or a short video and share it with Kašpárek on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kasparek.kasparek.568