Student Performances with Hobey Ford's Golden Rod Puppets
Hobey Ford tours a repertoire of performances for preschool to upper elementary students based on stories adapted from various cultures as well as nature and incorporating a variety of puppetry styles: Bunraku, rod, marionettes, “Foamies” and shadow puppetry.
SEA SONG (K-5th; Audience Max 250) – SEA SONG is the story of a boy’s discovery of the natural world at the seaside. This production follows the life cycle of the sea turtle and the fragile interwoven environment of animals living at the edge of the land and the sea. Sea Song is performed in the style of Ford’s Animalia series featuring his beautiful carved foam animals performed in full view of the audience as well as Hobey’s creative shadow puppets.
ANIMALIA (PreK-5th; Audience Max 500) – ANIMALIA explores the world of animals through movement, music and visually stunning puppetry. Breaking out of the traditional puppet theater booth, Hobey turns the whole theater into his performance stage. The performance includes a magnified look at butterfly and frog metamorphosis, the world of birds and a classic undersea ballet of whales, frolicking dolphins and otters. Students will witness the magic of beautiful, animated, carved foam puppets, each one a work of art. In creating these “Foamies,” Hobey carefully studies each animal’s characteristic movements and designs control mechanisms to make the puppets move in a life-like manner.
MIGRATION (K-5th; Audience Max 250-300) – MIGRATION is the story of Beatriz, a girl who journeys with her family from her home near Mexico City to the United States. In this production, Hobey Ford turns to the natural world of animals to explore the wonders of the migration of a variety of animals and birds as they are learned through the eyes of a child making her own migratory journey. Hobey’s “Foamies” are performed behind a projection of original animated scenes, taking the audience along with Beatriz on the journey of these incredible creatures. Hobey performs in full view as storyteller, puppeteer & animator in a seamless and almost hypnotic dance between the puppeteer, puppets & original artistic scenery.
WORLD TALES (K-5th; Audience Max 300) – A collection of stories and puppetry techniques from around the world including an Aesop fable, a Native American story and an African story. The puppetry techniques include Bunraku from Japan, shadow puppetry from Asia, rod puppetry from Indonesia, and Hobey’s own Foamies puppets and Peepers puppets. During the show Hobey takes time to explore and explain his unique process of puppet craftsmanship through the hilarious antics of “Chester the Dog.” The performance comes to a finale with Hobey’s famous carved foam creatures, “The Foamies”.
THE RAINBOW BRIDGE AND OTHER TALES – 2010 UNIMA Citation of Excellence (K-5th; Audience Max 300) – Hobey brings to life with shadow puppetry three folktales from different cultures: “The Rainbow Bridge,” “El Coqui” and “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, with a finale of his Peepers Puppet, which turn the bare hand into a myriad of creatures and his famous beautifully carved foam animal creatures he calls the Foamies.
“The Rainbow Bridge” is a Native American folktale of the Chumash, a tribe who inhabited the southern coastal regions of California. “El Coqui” is a Puerto Rican folktale about how the little tree frog got his song. ‘The Three Billy Goats’ revisits this classic Nordic tale with humor and issues of the day.