Karen Oughtred- Puppetry Theater, Visual Arts, Drama
Karen Oughtred is an educator and theater artist, who has developed drama programs, mask and puppetry workshops for museum visitors, disadvantaged youth, the disabled, older adults and indigenous peoples in the US, Australia and Taiwan. As a Teaching Artist she co-created The Memory Project with Spica Wobbe in 2016, programming workshops in storytelling through visual arts, theater and puppetry for older adults at culturally diverse senior centers. Karen also teaches courses online and produces pre-recorded instructional videos.
In addition to her work at Flushing Town Hall and at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, Karen directs and performs their outreach program "People of our Past" at senior centers across the five boroughs. She leads their schools outreach drama program using museum based characters to create devised theater. At the Jay Heritage Center, Karen directs their interactive museum theater "Striving For Freedom".
As a founder and artistic director of the Australian Aboriginal Theater Initiative (2003-2011), Karen produced annual festivals featuring over 100 indigenous artists from Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Canada and the US.
Karen’s puppetry credits include: Co-Curator for Voice4Vision International Puppetry Festival (NY), teaching artist for The Dream Community (Taipei, Taiwan), teaching artist for IsleWilde (Vashon Island, WA), performer for Bread and Puppet Theater (NY, Glover, VT, Canada), performer for Chinese Theatre Works (Virginia, NY), puppetry construction for Mary Seidman & Dancers (NY), and collaborator with puppetry artist Spica Wobbe (9th International Toy Theater Festival, St. Ann's Warehouse, and Puppet Playlist, Tank, La MaMa Puppet Slam).
Her acting credits include Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Yorick Theatre, and Theatre at St. John’s. Karen is a graduate of New Actors Workshop (Mike Nichols, Paul Sills, George Morrison), and received her M.A. in Theater from Antioch University.
ASSEMBLY, WORKSHOP, AND RESIDENCY DESCRIPTION
The Art of Shadow Theater Assembly Virtual
Learn a brief history of shadow theater, discover the science behind the theory of light and shadow, develop literacy skills using “the interview” as a tool to uncover personal and family stories, and get inspired to perform your very own shadow puppet theater! This program includes a pre-recorded performance video, a live interactive demonstrations and a live Q & A.
The Memory Project Workshop/Residency In Person,Virtual
The Memory Project is a hands-on activity based workshop catering specifically to older adults in which visual arts, theater and puppetry are used as a medium for personal storytelling. Programs, including Pop-Up and Accordion Book Making, Shadow Puppetry, Life Scroll, Table Top Puppets and more are tailored specifically for the adult learners at each senior center. Collaborative learning is integral to each program, providing opportunities for social engagement as students discuss their process of artmaking. Each project is based on “a sense of play” to encourage exploration, discovery and experimentation. Synchronous as well as additional asynchronous learning allows for artmaking skills to build. All workshops are facilitated by FTH teaching artists Karen Oughtred and Spica Wobbe.