Mech Out with a Master Artist!

Mastering Mechanisms

Instructor: Hobey Ford

Thursday, November 6 at 6:30-8:30pm

Puppet Showplace is so excited to offer a unique opportunity to interact and learn from a master artist! This class is perfect for a variety of people including builders, sculptors, designers, or anyone interested in appreciating the engineering behind professional puppet design.

About the Workshop: Explore the intricate world of puppet mechanisms with a master puppeteer as your guide! This class will focus on the principles of understanding and designing rod puppet mechanisms of varying scale and complexity. Participants will learn how controls, linkage, returns, stops, joints, and actions work together as a system to make puppet characters move and come to life. Through step-by-step demonstrations, the class will learn how mechanisms are built and how to troubleshoot problems that arise during construction. We will also learn about the best materials to use when making your own mechanisms. Recommended for ages 16 and up.

About the Artist: obey Ford (Asheville, NC) knew early on that he wanted to be a puppeteer. He first created the Golden Rod Puppets in 1980 and since then has toured his productions all over the world. His work draws on his own early experiences growing up in coastal Connecticut and living in a Nevada Native American Community. He often adapts folk tales and global cultural traditions for his performances.

Ford designs and constructs all of his Golden Rod Puppets, as well as the beautiful sets that surround them. His performances incorporate a variety of puppetry styles: Bunraku, rod, marionettes, and shadow puppetry. Ford is considered by his peers to be both an innovator in puppetry craft and a master storyteller. He is known for creating the “Foamies,” large-scale puppets that he designs, carves, and paints from blocks of foam. Ingenious rod control mechanisms make these puppets move in an incredibly life-like manner. Ford is also the inventor of the clever hand puppet known as “Peepers,” an imaginative set of plastic eyes for hands of any size that turn the bare hand into an instant puppet!

Ford has received the highest awards for his many contributions to the world of puppetry. He is a two-time winner of puppetry’s highest honor, the UNIMA Citation of Excellence, and is a recipient of both The Hermitage Fellowship and three Jim Henson Foundation grants. He was chosen as a Kennedy Center Partner to teach teachers (and other artists) how to use the performing arts in the classroom curriculum. Ford not only performs his original works all over the world, but shares his lifetime of experience and knowledge by offering puppetry workshops to students of all ages and abilities.

Register online or call the Box Office at: 617-731-6400 x101

If you're interested in this class, be sure to check out Hobey Ford's performance at Puppet Showplace, Migration!


by Hobey Ford and Golden Rod Puppets

Thursday November 6 - Sunday November 9
Thurs-Fri: 10:30am   Sat-Sun: 1pm & 3pm

“Migration” is an inspiring original story about a young Mexican girl, Beatriz, who draws on the incredible experiences of monarch butterflies, polar bears, and other migratory animals to help make sense of her own migration to the United States. Nationally acclaimed puppeteer Hobey Ford brings this story to life with beautifully realistic carved foam rod puppets and colorful video projections. Animated scenes take the audience along on Beatriz’s journey, uncovering the trials and triumphs of animals who move across the planet in search of food, shelter, and a better way of life. "Migration" is recommended for elementary school aged children.

We can't wait to see you at the theater!!!