Summer School (a) The Art of Puppetry in Education and Therapy. The Mystery of the Shadow.Derby East Midlands. 2-8th August 2019

The Mystery of the Shadow: the Art of Puppetry in Education and Therapy.

This is a Course designed for teachers, puppeteers, other artists, medical practitioners particularly if associated with those living with dementia. This is thoroughly practical with broad application to education, and in particular the well-being which makes the educational and therapeutic processes possible. The course is a meditation on the mystery of the shadow and how it might be used to the advantage of young and old as they grapple with the serious stresses of everyday life.  


  • Daily puppet operating classes and improvisation sessions to develop your ability to respond quickly and talk through the puppet.        
  • Sessions for developing a theoretical understanding of why puppetry should be enjoyed by people living with dementia 
  • Puppet-making                
  • Puppetry Forum Theatre as a tool which enables a young person to tackle issues affecting them such as family, relationships or bullying. 
  • Performing to each other and to the public. 

Your facilitator for the project will be Dr. Caroline Astell-Burt author of 'I am The Story' the Art of Puppetry in Education and Therapy

"Caroline Astell-Burt is the Queen of Shadow Puppetry" said Eric Smith. Israel. 

Meals are shared with turns taken in cooking. 

There is basic accommodation available from approximately £90.00 a week. See for details). 

The cost of your course is £400.00  which covers everything except meals and accommodation. Please note that all fees are non-returnable. 

How to book:  Online - follow instructions when booking and go to the website.


Comments from past participants:

“Even though I am not a therapist but an artist, Caroline made me me feel very included and would always add extra points of interest for me amongst the broader discussion about the use of puppetry in education and therapy.” 

“Caroline was very interested in our opinions and would often start a discussion by asking what we thought about a specific aspect or area of puppetry - this was very inclusive and empowering.”

“I liked the ‘flow’ of the days, the combination of practical activities and theory, there was a good balance.”

“The course gave me a real boost in confidence, everyone was very open, supportive and there was real value in our ernest endeavour to explore this wonderful new area. Caroline was extremely good at teaching, knowledgeable and a very good facilitator.”

“I really liked the house, the cat, the cake, the philosophy ... I am not being ironic or glib here, for me the informality of the environment hugely enriched my experience, I had not anticipated this, but as the week revealed itself I really began to value the richness of the environment that we were learning in.” NF.

I just want you to know that I continue to be inspired from the course in August and that all my learning is still unfolding within me. I have just made my first puppet (rod and stick) and I am enjoying getting to know her and looking forward to seeing how she will meet others and what will occur!” TM.

Images show a collection of various puppet types to be included in the project. These should be credited to Caroline Astell-Burt (Waxbaby Productions)

 Kate James-Moore(Commedia Puppets) Ted Adair, Lois Conlan(Travelling Shadow Theatre).

Available dates

Select the date and location you prefer from the options below, then click 'Book Course' to add the course to your shopping basket.