The ArtsCenter Photoblog

October 21, 2009

Masked Marvels & Wondertales

Filed under: Kids, Theater, Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Lyndsay Booth @ 2:09 pm

Michael Cooper  brought his unique children’s show to the ArtsCenter last Saturday. Cooper told stories about giants, animals, and babies, trying to impart some vital life lessons on the young crowd, all with the aid of his puppets and masks. Cooper makes all of his props by hand from either paper or cloth mache. The show was interactive, with audience members climbing on stage to participate at several points during the show. At the end, Cooper held a Q & A session to answer some of the audience’s most burning questions about his work, including how long it took him to learn to walk on stilts to play a giant.

Cooper's mache sun waits patiently for the show to begin. Cooper later used the sun in a story that taught the audience the power of asking for favors nicely, instead of demanding them.

Cooper's mache sun waits patiently for the show to begin. Cooper later used the sun in a story that taught the audience the power of asking for favors nicely, instead of demanding them.

Cooper, cradles a baby's head mask, which he had been wearing just moments prior, while wearing an old man mask. The baby's head, made in 1998, was inspired by the birth of his first child. According to his website, the baby opens every show because "innocence his irresistible."

Cooper, cradles a baby's head mask, which he had been wearing just moments prior, while wearing an old man mask. The baby's head, made in 1998, was inspired by the birth of his first child. According to his website, the baby opens every show because "innocence is irresistible."

Cooper becomes a chicken.

Cooper becomes a chicken.

Cooper begins a story about giants.

Cooper begins a story about giants.

Cooper blows bubbles from his pipe while fishing from a water bucket. After emerging from the mask he exclaimed, "It gets a bit hot in there."

Cooper blows bubbles from his pipe while fishing from a water bucket. After emerging from the mask he exclaimed, "It gets a bit hot in there."

Cooper's favorite animal, he tells the audience, is a monkey.

Cooper's favorite animal, he tells the audience, is a monkey.

The giant's leg.

The giant's leg.

Cooper's father was a horse trainer at one time, inspiring this mask.

Cooper's father was a horse trainer at one time, inspiring this puppet

Cooper stands on his stilts with the giant mask on.

Cooper stands on his stilts with the giant mask on.

The formerly clumsy giant learns to dance.

The formerly clumsy giant learns to dance.

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