During summer 2015, Professor Schilleman completed a puppetry seminar with longtime puppeteer, Celeste Rose in Portland, OR. She created 10 original characters based on her reading in medieval literature that can be used to create multiple tales based on Arthurian legend and romance. The characters included a knight, princess, king, queen, ogre, dwarf, forest hag, minstrel, and baby who can be adapted to fit various stories. On initially designing the various puppets, Professor Schilleman explains, “I came to realize that, although I had begun with an overarching story in mind, the characters of the puppets actually dictated the story's progression.” This realization came back to her while designing ELIT 332; the concept would fit quite cohesively with the course content. Medieval literature is full of archetypal characters that reflect the ideals of the age, and what better way to have the students demonstrate their knowledge of medieval literary principles than by creating an original character that reflected those very principles! The students imagine, design, and create their characters, explaining their choices in an accompanying essay. Each puppet must have a painted papier-mâché head and a cloth body that are envisioned and crafted by the students themselves. Some students choose to recast their characters in a modern setting, while others rely on more standard medieval concepts. The puppets on display here were developed by the ELIT 332 class of Fall 2017.
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