Students perform play with marionettes

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Six students in the special services program at Jackson High School worked with art teacher Luke LeGrand for the last two months on marionettes, sets and scripts for their rendition of "Jack and the Bean Stalk."

Wednesday morning the students held an encore performance of their play for about 50 people. They had performed for about 100 Language Arts students last week.

During the last two months the students sculpted the heads of the marionettes with ceramics and then sewed the costumes.

Kim Lloyd, 16, sculpted the chicken -- instead of a goose -- who laid the golden eggs with a little help because the wire and yarn feet wouldn't stay on.

Amber Cook, 19, saw a picture of Jack in a book and tried to copy how his face looked for her character, Jack Stringbean. She said working with the clay was easy.

Using the marionettes allowed the students to showcase their theatrical skills, like other Jackson students do in the school plays and musicals.

It helped the students a lot to hear that no one would see them, only the marionettes, on the stage, LeGrand said.

"It would have been too much to just throw them out on stage," he said.

The lessons from the play will last long after the set is taken apart.

Cook said her favorite part of the project was learning some of the new words in the script.

At first LeGrand worked with the students on smaller art projects but wanted to have a long-term project the students could work on for the rest of the semester.

LeGrand said he had seen plans to build marionettes and thought it would be a good project for the students.

"You can hear it in their voice, they're so excited," LeGrand said. "It's good for people to see what they do in class."

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