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1/16/2013 1:37:00 PM
Students tell tale with puppets
Our Lady of the Lake School photo
A scene from Noah's Ark puppet play created by students at Our Lady of the Lake.
Our Lady of the Lake School photo
A scene from Noah's Ark puppet play created by students at Our Lady of the Lake.

LAKE OSWEGO — Fourteen children from Our Lady of the Lake School, in grades 1 to 6, collaborated in telling the story of Noah’s Ark with shadow puppets.

The faith-based drama was recorded and put on DVD to be distributed to family and friends.   

“They worked very hard on it, and they are very proud,” says Alexander Ferguson, art teacher at the school.

In addition to studying the flood narrative in the book of Genesis, students learned about the history and tradition of shadow puppets, shapes cut out and manipulated with backlight to leave vivid images on a screen.

Children produced the puppets, which included dozens of animals that walked two by two into the ark. The youths also created sound effects and composed scenes with Ferguson as guide.

Simple dramatic music helps tell the story as crisp figures move across the screen.
Puppets range from murderous soldiers to the sublime dove returning to Noah’s outstretched arms.

The film, about 10 minutes in length, is full of crystal clear sound effects, like clanging swords, tools working on the ark, rushing waters and of course dozens of animals who squawk, growl and grunt their way onto the ark. The boat’s door closes with a satisfying creak.

The story is told by words that appear on screen. Color is sparely used, and plays a major role in the ending.  

The teacher intends to continue with shadow puppers and will record projects more often.

The DVD, Ferguson says, provides a moment in time that will keep the play alive.

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