Ellen Schulze began her theatre training as a mime, but her interest was captured by miniature performers that can speak and move only when she helps them. These magical performers are puppets. Since 1986, Schulze has worked exclusively in puppet theatre. Her experience reﬂects almost every variety of puppets that can be imagined, including hand puppets, mask and rod puppets, Bunraku, shadow puppets and marionettes. Her work with the Great Arizona Puppet Theatre of Phoenix included performances in both solo and company puppet shows, as well as conducting workshops in the design, construction, scripting, and performance techniques of puppet theatre.
She has performed at schools, festivals, preschools, and private parties. Schulze studied at University of Nevada/Las Vegas with an emphasis in Special Education, and trained professionally at Chabot University of Mime, Hayward, California. She studied privately at the Mime and Mask Theater under mime artist Richmond Shepard, and has worked professionally as a mime since 1978. She has conducted workshops funded by the Arizona Arts in Education program and for Arizona Commission on the Arts. She has created and performed puppet shows fororganizations as disparate as the Desert Botanical Garden in Arizona and city water departments throughout the state. Ellen came to California at the special request of Jim Gamble, who was Artistic Director and Founder of The Art of Puppets and Marionettes. She has been leading classes for the company since 1992.
Introduction to Puppetry:
Examines four different types of puppets (hand, rod, shadow, and marionette) and provides information and examples of simple puppets that students can construct themselves. Students participate in a discussion of puppet theatre as Schulze leads them through a series of hand exercises that professional puppeteers use to prepare for a performance. Students may assist in scenes from Rumplestiltskin (hand puppet), The Three Little Pigs (rod puppets), Three Billy Goats Gruff (shadow puppets) or a marionette demonstration.
Puppet Construction and Puppet Plays:
The type(s) of puppets to construct may be chosen in advance of the program or classes may choose the type of puppet they wish to construct after the introductory session. After the puppets are completed, if time permits, the workshop(s) will include a performance experience,with students learning simple puppet manipulation and acting techniques.