Artistic Voices in The Grimms’ Woods: A Creative Collaboration of Inclusive Theatre, Special Education and Higher Education

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper will discuss the Grimms’ Woods Inclusive Puppetry Project, where first year students from the BA(Hons) Creative and Therapeutic Arts degree at the University of South Wales facilitated creative arts workshops in four local special schools. Through these workshops, students enabled pupils to give life to a selection of villains from the Grimms’ Fairy Tales in the form of four accessible puppets. Students experimented with creative forms of participation such as sensory bunting making, monoprinting, storybook making and salt dough sculpting, which will be critically reflected upon. Students extracted pupils’ ideas through analysis of these creative outputs, but in fact, the most rich participant ideas were communicated through conversation while engaged in these creative processes, as well as non-verbal, physical opportunities for choice making (Fox and MacPherson, 2015). The pupils’ ideas were celebrated through the creation of four puppets - The Wolf, The Ugly Sisters, The Wise Woman and The Witch. Translating the pupils’ voice into puppets made by the students posed complex challenges. The paper will detail examples of students’ strategies for ensuring authentic representation, while maintaining a cohesive and refined end product (Artworks Cymru, 2015). The puppets took to the stage, puppeteered by disabled and non-disabled performers in Hijinx Theatre’s production of ‘Hansel, Gedeon and the Grimms’ Woods.’ The research and development work produced by the pupils was showcased in a public exhibition at Wales Millennium Centre to accompany and contextualise the stage production, showcasing the pupils as artists and the learning process of the university students.


ConferenceBroken Puppet 3 International Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • puppetry
  • disability
  • professional training
  • inclusive arts
  • community arts
  • pedagogy


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