The Emotional Space Project

The Emotional Space & the Puppet R&D Project (January - May 2018)

in partnership with Norwich Puppet Theatre’s Voice Of The Child project & Norfolk County Council’s Looked After Children’s Team, which included a residency at Teatro Comunale, Italy and was supported by Arts Council England.


This project brought together participants from different backgrounds, sectors and experience to explore relationships and connection through the medium of Puppetry over a 5 day artist investigation 2nd - 6th January at Norwich Puppet Theatre and 3 days of development 9th - 11th April 2018 at Teatro Comunale, Tuscany.


We Explored Space in terms of physical and conceptual boundaries, relationships between objects and events as well as a means to symbolically articulate emotional states of being working towards the development of a new glove puppet show based on the story of Rapunzel.


The R&D was led by glove puppeteer/director Luca Ronga and Rene Baker puppetry educationalist/dramaturg working with Zannie Fraser and Paul Preston Mills puppeteer/actors, Tim Tracey lighting designer and Jonathan Lambert sound designer.


We developed new understandings of why we choose to use puppets; how the performer’s body supports and extends emotional and physical narratives; how design is driven by imaginative connections with audiences through gesture; how sound and light create emotional spaces.


Emotional Space 2 day-long workshops with Looked After Children (April 2018)

The story of Rapunzel was used as foundation from which to explore personal and collective interpretations of ‘family’, juxtaposing traditional concepts with the reality of experience.


Led by Hilary Thompson drama education specialist and Zara Goodfellow, NPT Creative Learning.


This pilot provided learning for all participants building new relationships, ways of working and researching wider uses of Puppetry and its value within applied contexts.

‘The first day was wonderful! Social Workers have few opportunities to do this. They saw me in a different light - they saw me as fun. The session created a new relationship between social workers and children - make or break and they decided they liked and trusted me as we’d had a shared experience.’ Claire Palmer LAC Team


Emotional Space 2 weekend CPD opportunities exploring Puppetry as symbolic communication (Feb/April 2018)

Rene Baker’s ‘Bringing the Metaphor to Life’, open to cross-sector participants.

Luca Ronga’s ‘Emotional Space’ drawing on materials from the Emotional Space & the Puppet artist investigation.


Click HERE to download The Emotional Space & the Puppet Evaluation Report