Puppets on Trial (Courtroom Drama)

Straight after the performance of The Lost Forest the company holds a question and answer session to the audience (the whole school, or all who can fit into a well darkened hall) – for about 15 minutes.

In the afternoon workshop (with 30 key stage 2 children), the baddie of the show, Endorro, and other characters from the show are put on trial in a classroom.

The class is split into four groups to write down questions for each of the character/s: Endorro (the logging baron), Jabrig (his employee who eventually leaves the job), Semar and his son Dewala (the forces of good) and a character who didn’t appear in the show: Bob, a local consumer of the global wood products. Children meet their relevant puppet character/s and at the end of the afternoon cross examine them using a microphone in a dramatic courtroom situation. This time we learn how the wood cutter’s home is flooded because of the tree felling, how he survives by developing eco-tourism (after refusing to burn the last bit of forest and losing his job), how little he was paid compared to his boss Endorro, how Endorro is one of just a handful of barons who acquire huge riches, how he earns this money and the real impact on the environment. In this trial (hosted by a willing teacher who is briefed by the company to be judge in the afternoon), and with the children acting as both cross-examiners and jury, there is no doubt about the verdict at the end and important facts come to light about everyone’s different levels of blame and how to save the rainforest – and why it is so important.

This workshop can also be carried out to accompany
The Worm that Squirmed adapted for the theme of anti-violence.

Written documents explaining specific activities and outcomes, and discussion sheets relating to each character in this workshop can be found here: Educational Resources Puppetry