Friday, August 03, 2007

TIMOTHY YOUNG: PUPPETRY ARTS THEATRE

Timothy Young claims that his love for puppets began when he came out of the womb. As a young person, he was fascinated by the tangible, 3-D aspect of these creatures and spent hours singing and dancing with puppets in his room. "It was a thrill to have imaginary friends that were so alive and real," he shared.

Now, as an adult, Timothy appreciates the art of the movement involved in puppetry – “the minute details that make the puppet believable and sincere.” For Timothy, the beauty of puppetry also lies in how it relates to other artistic disciplines, including sculpture, dancing, acting, and singing. As well, puppetry can enhance the learning of particular subject matter ranging “from the solar system to the Civil War.” “Puppetry can inject a plethora of new vocabulary and ideas into a solo or group project,” adds Timothy.

Fortunate for Timothy and for Brooklyn at large, he has built an organization based on his passion. “I wanted an outlet for my art, my characters, and my stories,” he recalls. For the past ten years, as director of The Puppetry Arts Theatre (TPAT) in Brooklyn, Timothy has been offering visual workshops and performances for young people and families in school and community settings. He began, ten years ago, “with a paper bag, two googly eyes, a bottle of glue, and some crayons.” From there, he led puppet-making workshops in schools and at community events. “It wasn’t easy at first,” remembers Timothy. “People were asking ‘Who is this guy?’" Eventually, though, he gained the community’s trust.

Some of the big events that Timothy oversees are an annual Haunted Halloween Carnival and the ongoing production of a fully orchestrated musical (starring puppets, of course) entitled In a Roundabout Way. Mr. Young’s big goal is to secure a building in Brooklyn that would serve as a new home to TPAT’s arts-in-educations programs. It would also provide a space in which to host affordable cultural events. Timothy envisions opening the building's doors for use by other community organizations as well. This visionary wants a real center for puppetry arts – “Like the one in Atlanta, only better.”

Timothy, who spends his days making puppets, doing workshops, and raising funds, relies on the generosity of individuals and businesses for donations of time, money, and supplies. If you’d like to contribute in some way to TPAT, you can email Timothy at info@puppetryarts.org.
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