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About "Schpountz and the Others"
It was quite a different type of "puppet" show you presented on Tuesday and we were quite taken by it. This show made us think about how we should strive to be open to new ideas, presentations, life experiences and people.
As a teacher, I hope my students understood the many layers of information you presented. We had a discussion after the show and we agreed that it made us realize how quick we are to judge and not accept differences into our lives.
Thank you for making an impact on us! This was a wonderful show. Talking in two languages with different dialects also made them appreciate who they are. Muchisimas gracias.
Most appreciative, Angela Durham, 5th Grade, Lowell Elem

My class was so engaged and had wonderful insight from the production. The performers were very talented. They were patient and encouraging with the students.
Andrea C. Villano, 4th grade Special Education Teacher

Teachers and students at Rudolfo Anaya Elementary School very much enjoyed this wordless performance centered around feelings and emotions. The audience empathized with the practically faceless character, Schpountz, who expresses a wide range of emotions from joy to curiosity, to frustration, to fear. The show was a big success with students who encounter difficulties with reading and comprehending text. The follow-up discussion lead by the performers stimulated a lively discussion among the students who understood that there can be as many interpretations of a work of art as there are spectators.
Silvia Rousseva, Librarian-Teacher

The puppet show was very helpful in helping my students understand the difference between empathy and sympathy. I thought it was interesting how one of my students understood the puppet was judging the sticks and he didn't like that part. It was amazing to see how all the students interpreting the show, although there was no words. I also liked how engaged my students were the entire time. Thank you!
Joanna Garcia, 4th Grade Teacher, Rudolfo Anaya ES:

As a very amateur puppeteer, I enjoyed your program 'Schpountz and Others' immensely! I was glad I got to see it twice. It is subtle and causes the audience to really look, concentrate, make logical and emotional connections. What is so special is that it is very different from anything students are exposed to these days with so much noise, action, flash and dash in entertainment and on-line educational tools. The mime and pure movement aspects are so new and engaging to them.
I thought the discussion at the end was also worthwhile.
Sincerely, Meredith Bunting, Coronado ES -Librarian

It was a very thought-provoking performance. Even though mostly wordless, students, for the most part, understood what was being expressed. (I could tell from some of their whispers). It was interesting to hear their responses to the discussion questions. The students were engaged throughout the performance. It was most unique.

The more performance art we can expose students to, the better! Bravo!
Rosalyn Cohen, Substitute – Gr. 5 (30-yr. 4th/5th grade classroom teacher – retired)

My student Angelina made a Schpountz and put on a play for us...!
From: Gonzales, Jasmin, 4th grade dual language teacher, Subject: Student Schpountz

“Today’s 5th grade teachers loved the show and apparently so did M.... (the boy who was afraid of puppets!”

About The Art of Being a Spectator
I am Jan Baca, an APS sub, and I was privileged to attend your show at Arroyo del Oso this past week. Here is some feedback for you. Thank you so much for the program! It was a wonderfully enjoyable and educative experience!

Subject of the project
I was impressed with the etymology aspect presented at the start of the show regarding the word “spectator.” At first, I thought it might be too in depth for the 2nd graders, but they were so responsive (and insightfully so!) when the presenters asked for examples of root words that come from the Latin mother that I quickly changed my mind. The discussion led me to expand in class with a writing prompt that asked the students what they, as good spectators, saw, heard, felt, and learned from the program.
I also thought that the program nicely wove many complex layers of perception together in a manageable time frame for students and teachers.
The presenters were lively, encouraging, enlightening, and thoroughly entertaining. With the combination of interactive discussion, theatrical presentation, and lively instruction about words, behaviors, languages, and arts, this program informed and engaged students on many levels.
Puppet Show
The puppet show part of the program was very strong, energetically drawing the student into the story with laughter, anticipation, and intrigue. In addition, the show encouraged active participation, revisiting the opening dialog about what it means to be a good spectator. Further, the show encouraged students to think, in a unique way, about aspects of story (characters, motivation, setting, plot, etc.), which could open up space for additional investigations in the classroom.
Spectator Workshop after the puppet show
What a great way to show students point of view, interpretation, and active involvement in art! This section of the show nicely tied together the previous sections of the program. The students were excited and awed to discover, for example, that a light shining on what looked like a jumbled mess actually revealed the word “poetry.”
Thank you, again!

Loren and Isabelle were very generous with their time: they gave three performances in order to accommodate our large student body (we have six 3rd-grade classes).
The show was well received by the students . The philosophical questions tackled in the discussion that followed Loren’s performance about the meaning of art and/versus entertainment fell well in line with the goals of the newly-adopted Common Core State Standards, which encourage students to think deeply and critically about their subjects of study.
The artifacts Isabelle presented after the discussion utterly delighted the students and also related to our new curriculum, as they visually represented another milestone of the Common Core, namely the issue of point of view, which younger students sometimes struggle to understand. It was a fortunate coincidence that visual art was incorporated within the performance, as our school is not offering art classes this year due to the mandatory music/art rotation schedule adopted by the Albuquerque School District.
Last, but not least, Loren’s ingenious take on the story of the Frog Prince was, of course, greatly entertaining in addition to being intellectually stimulating.
The teachers and administrators at our school appreciated the opportunity to introduce live theatre to our students, many of whom had never seen a play before. We are thankful to Loren and Isabelle for their willingness to visit our school and to their sponsors who have made it economically feasible for them to do so.
Silvia Rousseva
Librarian-Teacher, Rudolfo Anaya Elementary

We absolutely LOVED the presentation. We spent some time talking about the performance and I was amazed at how much of the show they recalled and the details they focused on. Not only that...it was one of those rare class discussions where everyone participated and had something to say and expand on. I wish we had had more time for them to ask questions. I also love the included art showing and discussion. This totally captivated them. Every single piece you presented had an impact on a student. Each one of them had something that drew them in and got them thinking and talking. If we have the opportunity to see you both again...I would love to have a bit more time for the students to experience the art and discuss and pick your brains more.
Thank you so much! It was truly a gift!
Robyn Holiday, Cochiti Elementary
P.s. Even my student teacher was amazed...she really enjoyed the class discussion after and how enthusiastic the students were.

This was the first time many of our 4th or 5th graders had ever seen a puppet show.
What a terrific experience that they can now refer to in their future educational links.
One of my ESL (English as a Second Language) students commented that he needed to use his brain more to be a spectator. He liked making the connections.
Denise Arthur, Librarian

About Loren Kahn Puppet & Object Theatre
"We consider this artist [Isabelle Kessler] as one of the most interesting and leading directors in the European scene of the Theatre of Objects." --Madalena Victorino, Director of Centro de Pedagogia e Animacao, Lisbon, Portugal

"Isabelle Kessler, through different practices of theater art, has developed a special expertise in puppeteering, which gives her an entirely original place in the landscape of European creation."--Andre Curmi, Director, National Theater of Angouleme, France

"The response of the audience and media confirms the high artistic demand of a director who creates, with an international content and a unique language of form, a relation to the world around us." --Silvia Brendendal, Director of Die Schaubunde, Berlin, Germany

"The 40 or 50 kids sat in rapt attention as the puppet show unfurled and as Kahn and Kessler led them through a discussion of art and perspective, the difference between thinking and feeling, how the reactions of others influence how we feel." Leslie Linthicum in the Albuquerque Journal

Read the whole article in the Albuquerque Journalgo...

About Insomnia
“Incredibly creative juxtaposition of media - shadows, objects, sound, puppets, words, acting. I am very interested to get back to the classroom and let students share their reflections and feelings.... A provocative, inspiring show. Thanks!” - Monte Vista School Teacher

“Gave me chills (in a good way). Full of surprises and “what’s next”? A lot of big ideas that we explore throughout the school year (justice, self-perception, etc.).” -Monte Vista School Teacher

“Thank you for taking the time to approach a discussion with our students! I believe you have opened their minds and they will continue to question what surrounds them.” -Dolores Gonzales School Teacher

“The performance was wonderful. It made the children think. We loved the symbolism, as it will provide food for discussion later.” -Eugene Field School Teacher

“I that it was a amazing play and it was well done. I liked how you used physical symbolism in the pillow case dreams and things you can’t reach, the picture frame family, your mom’s side and dad’s side, fabric pieces floating around, thoughts, pig human nature pills, temptation, coat society, scales of justice fair or not fair, light bulb, intelligence, weather vane mood. Thank you so much. That was the best play ever.” -Student

About It's Time
"What a wonderful, novel form of expression. It stimulates the imagination and what a creative way to do so for children. Bravo!"

"The show was very entertaining and joyful for the children and adults. Please continue to show children that entertainment (live) goes a long way. Thank you."

"El show estuvo muy entretenido y los ninos disfrutaron el show. Los ninos tienen pocos momentos comos estos. Grancias por invitarnos."

"What a concept. Thank you! And the children were mesmerized. They asked questions about everything."

"I enjoyed watching the children during the show. They giggled. Our hyper kids stayed still and stayed intrigued. They had big smiles on their faces. I hadn’t seen our youngest child (37 months old) giggle and smile and be so involved. That made it worth it. It was ideal for the children. They saw concepts of sound, color and size, and can take this to the classroom; Liked the question session at the end."

"It’s my first time seeing something like that. Beautiful.... When I saw the sky, grass and umbrella, I remember my beautiful island, Puerto Rico. With this art, I transport myself to there. I love it. Congratulations and thank you."

"It’s all about hope! Thank you."

About String
"This was a wonderful, imaginative experience for children AND adults. Thank you!"

"The performance was so simple and so rich at the same time. Very thought provoking—so open ended—sparkling creativity. I appreciated how the children were allowed to participate freely."

"Love the story and the props—wonder how, with all the experience you have with entertaining children, how the character can do some kind of “crowd control” with the kid’s energy. Today they were feeding off each other. They like to be scared, sometimes too, so I wonder if the character could scare them directly. Also feel like the character could be really loud or chaotic, or get lost in herself somewhere.... I found the piece very inspiring—for adults, and for me as a performer."
--Donna Jewell, Head of Dance, Department of Theatre & Dance, University of New Mexico

"It is so important for children to use their imagination. This gave them a wonderful opportunity to think, pretend, imagine, be playful, ask questions, be curious, make suggestions to the performer, and most of all, enjoy the movements. Thank you! Adults too were very engaged like the children!"
--Olivia Rivera, City of Albuquerque

About Billy Goat Ballad
"What a wonderful delight for kids and adults alike. Brilliant theater and important messages throughout. Our world is brighter with such gifts as this ballad! Bravo!"

"A very entertaiing, funny and heartwarming production. - great for all ages and cultures."

"This show rocks! Excellent acting, props, story and performance. Viva live theater!"

"Unbelievable. The performance was creative, inspired, unpredictable, clever, subtle and executed with a stylish flourish. The goat puppet was beautifully crafted, the stage mechanics were smooth and flawless and the judge/weasel/rooster character did a remarkable job switching personas and staying in character. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

"Absolutely awesome. Funny, smart, incredibly imaginative. Can be appreciated on so many levels. For kids and adults. Thank you for your fabulous work."

"Superb! Excellent puppetry (brilliant!) and acting. Great story. Very exceptional and creative."

"It was great. This is the second presentation I have seen by the Loren Kahn Puppet and Object Theatre and both wre magnificient! More, more!!!"

"Visually beautiful, very imaginative with delightful characters. Really liked the variety of elements, the range of feelings portrayed with honesty adn respect and the overall story line was engaging and touching. Very professional."

"Thank you very much for two very entertaining ,witty, humorous, fast-paced, delightful, funny, zany puppet shows! Our kids really enjoyed them (and so did we adults)."

"The puppet show was hilarious. Cornubek was funny in the show and the other puppet was very funny too. It was very interesting and the sounds were cool. The house was cool and the inside was cool too. Thank you for coming to Jemez Day School." -- a fourth grader

"I hope you come again and do another wonderful and amazing show again." -- a fourth grader

About Peek-a-boo!
"The show was a little bit surrealistic, with humor, sharing the pleasure of feeling, breathing, and living...From her arrival on stage, the artist succeeded in captivating the attention of the children. The show has tremendously pleased the young spectators and care givers."
-- Dauphine Libre, Chomerac, France

"Even the three year olds could understand...they had magnificent fun with the surprise, the joy, and the tears which were hidden in the seven bags..., so alive that the smallest spectators were able to grasp it."
-- Isseburger Presse, Dreieich, Germany

"We feel so lucky that we were able to participate in this wonderful experience! The children were all captivated and loved every moment of the show!"
-- RCI kids & staff, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"My 12-month and 30-month olds were equally spellbound by this original performance. It’s wonderful to have a program for these young ages."
-- Parent, Taylor Ranch Public Library, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"What an extraordinary time for all. The kids were totally enchanted. You showed us what we long for - to truly play with abandon!"
-- Teacher, Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"Puppet masters Loren Kahn and Isabelle Kessler bring a score of emotions alive for the audience by interacting with objects -- paper bags, a cuckoo clock, a door, a big boot, and an unruly string."
-- Crosswinds Weekly, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"Instead of using puppets, the hidden performer manipulates objects that represent major concepts such as life, fear, heaven, and earth...The metaphors are surprisingly easy for children and adults to embrace...Peek-a-boo! deals with surprises, curiosity and joy..."
-- The Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"This was great for our students. In a world where it is illegal to act on the street, and where there are over 60 channels on TV, this act was a breath of fresh air."
-- Teacher, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"A great beginning for future discussions with kids. makes me think, and think, and think."
-- Rick Miera, LADAC

"It was amazing. the symbolism was so meaningful and the humor was spectacular."
-- Student, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"The show was most artistic and surreal."
-- Teen audience member, Hogares, School, Albuquerque, New Mexico

"Put a Light On uses few words to provoke thought and laughter..."
-- Crosswinds Weekly, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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