Elspeth Chapman
email: elspeth.kirstine.chapman@gmail.com

Graduate of The Curious School of Puppetry (2018)

BA(Hons) Performance Costume (2012-2016)
Edinburgh College of Art

Skills:

Puppeteering
Costume and set design
Pattern cutting
Sewing skills
Puppet designing and making
Illustration
Millinery
Adobe Suite
Tea making
Cat stroking

I also hold a UK driving licence.

Relevant Experience

Jobs

Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh
Children’s Story Box Facilitator; Aug 2018

This job was about delivering drop-in activities for children and families at the book festival. Some activities were designed by us and others involved supporting illustrators. It required a great deal of friendly customer service and keeping the space and materials in good condition.

Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh
Opening Event Assistant; Jul - Aug 2018

I helped with the EIF’s 2018 Opening Event Five Telegrams in association with the Year of Young People. My role involved getting costumes and props to the right places, looking after performers and making sure everything ran smoothly.
https://www.eif.co.uk/whats-on/five-telegrams

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Costume Designer; Jul 2018

I designed the costumes for 60 young people taking part in the Lyceum’s Summer on Stage programme. In three weeks, myself and the wardrobe team rustled up the costumes for plays Us and Them and Antigone. This was a fast paced job with very satisfying results on stage.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lyceumtheatre/albums/72157699106187284

Tragic Carpet, Edinburgh
Designer, Maker and Performer; Apr - Jun 2018

I collaborated with Freda O’Byrne to create the show The Keeper performed at Hidden Door Festival 2018. I helped create the set, made a tabletop puppet and was one of the performer/puppeteers. The story is based on the Seven Ravens by the Brothers Grimm but reinvented to be about a young woman in the 21st century who uses coding to get her brothers back. I enjoyed working on a tale which was the antithesis of the damaging ‘damsel in distress’ story.
https://tragiccarpet.com/the-keeper-hidden-door-2018/

Chick Whittington, Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
Costume Assistant; Nov 2017 

I returned to the Macrobert costume team to make many outlandish costumes for the 2017 Panto, Chick Whittington. This time I made lots of cat hats and helped with some fabulous dame outfits.
http://macrobertartscentre.org/event/chick-whittington/

Project Genie, Royal Lyceum Theatre Creative Learning Department, Edinburgh
Project Genie Artist; Sep - Dec 2017

I was one of the artists on Project Genie working with school children in Edinburgh. My role involved going around primary schools and special schools running lessons about set, costume and prop design. The children produced very imaginative set models, headdresses and props and I enjoyed the experience immensely. 
https://lyceum.org.uk/take-part/schools-programme/school-projects/project-genie/

Home Sweet Garden, Asylon Theatre, Edinburgh
Designer, Maker and Performer; Jul - Aug 2017

I designed and made the majority of the set, costumes and puppets for the children’s Fringe show, Home Sweet Garden. I was also one of the two performer/puppeteers and it was a very valuable experience to be working behind the scenes and on stage.
http://asylontheatre.org/homeSweetGarden.html

Project Bambert, Imaginate, Edinburgh
Project Bambert Artist; May 2017

I was invited to be one of the artists on Project Bambert - a creative learning project inspired by one of the shows at the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. Our role was to go into schools and give a one day workshop on how to build a set model box. The children’s creativity was incredible and the experience was very rewarding.
http://www.imaginate.org.uk/artists/projects/project-bambert/

Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh
Storyteller; Jan 2017 - May 2018

I held Sunday morning storytelling sessions for children at independent book shop, Golden Hare Books. Each session began with me reading one of the beautiful picture books from the store, followed by a game and/or craft activity connected to the story. It was a very rewarding job.

Robin, Frozen Charlotte Productions, Edinburgh
Design Assistant; Nov - Dec 2016

I helped children’s theatre company Frozen Charlotte refresh their Christmas family show, Robin. During my time with the team I repaired puppets, added to the set and made some new costumes. The atmosphere was very creative and collaborative and it was fulfilling to add my own touch to the production.

Black Beauty, Traverse Theatre Company & Red Bridge Arts, Edinburgh
Costume Assistant; Oct - Nov 2016

I assisted Shona Reppe with the costumes for the Traverse Christmas show, Black Beauty. This involved working out how to make the body of a pantomime horse and constructing leatherette hooves. A very enjoyable, collaborative experience which also gave me a deep insight into the devising process.
https://www.traverse.co.uk/whats-on/event-detail/881/black-beauty.aspx

Weans in the Wood, Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
Costume Assistant; Nov 2016

I was part of the team making many outrageous costumes for the Macrobert 2016 Panto, Weans in the Wood. During my time here I made fairy wings, wolf feet and woodland sprite capes. There was a very busy atmosphere and an excellent team so it was a rewarding experience all in all.
 http://macrobertartscentre.org/event/weans-in-the-woods/

Dragon Matrix, Vision Mechanics, Edinburgh
Maker; Sep 2016

I helped make costumes and props for the interactive Vision Mechanics show, Dragon Matrix. During my time here I helped sew together costumes and make installation pieces to be hung outdoors in Monikie forest.

Starcatchers, Edinburgh                          
Emerging Artist Bursary; Aug - Sep 2016

I took part in the Starcatchers Emerging Artist Bursary: assisting with their weekly ’Expecting Something’ classes for young mums and their babies. This has given me the opportunity to try out some performance and workshop ideas with an enthusiastic group of women and toddlers. It was a helpful, sometimes challenging, but rewarding experience and built my confidence with very small children.

Pinocchio, Iris Theatre, London
Costume Assistant; July 2015

For two weeks I helped costume designer Denise Andersson as she prepared for Iris Theatre’s upcoming performance of Pinocchio. It was a wonderful experience which involved many different making skills: sewing, breaking down, papier mache and painting. Two other girls from my class were also assisting at that time and with our strong teamwork we achieved a great deal in a short time.
http://iristheatre.com/event/pinocchio/

Yumi Girl, London
Intern; June 2015

During my two week internship with childrenswear brand Yumi Girl, I learnt how a small fashion company operates. It was interesting to see the many stages from moodboard to garment and all the communication between the office and factories in India and China. My Adobe suite skills were very useful as my tasks included helping with the look book using InDesign and tracing silhouettes in Illustrator.

Magic Sho, Shona Reppe and Catherine Wheels, Edinburgh
Costume Assistant; June 2015

I spent just over a week assisting the costume designer Alison Brown as she worked with children’s theatre creator, Shona Reppe, during the devising period of her new piece, Magic Sho. It was very inspiring to see the show starting to take shape, observe and contribute to the construction process. I learnt a great deal about collaboration between performer, director and designer and got to help with fabric shopping and costume making.
http://www.shonareppe.co.uk/magic-sho.html

Imaginate Festival, Edinburgh
Festival Assistant; May 2015

During my week as a volunteer with the Imaginate children’s festival I got to meet and greet audiences and see some great shows. My role was to help people find their way around the venue and make sure they were comfortable. I also got to sit in many of the shows so was lucky enough to experience children’s theatre from around the world. It was a very fun and inspiring week.

Alien Adventures! Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh              
Performer/Co-creator/Costume and Prop maker; Nov 2014

With some of my classmates I took part in devising and performing a children’s show about going on an “Alien Adventure.” We came up with the idea as a way to use the stories and costumes we made for our final second year project. It was a very fun project and great theatre experience as we saw the project from start to finish: from the point of view of creator and performer. It also really engaged our collaborative and time managing skills.
http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/school-of-design/news-events/performance-costume-students-go-stratospheric

Letters Home, Grid Iron Theatre Company, Edinburgh
Design Assistant; Jul 2014

For two weeks I worked with Grid Iron Theatre Company in the run up to their summer show Letters Home. It was a wonderful experience to work as part of an energetic design team; helping to source, design and make costumes and props. I learnt a great deal about site-specific theatre design and sticking to a budget.  http://www.gridiron.org.uk/production_type/letters-home-2/

Scottish Opera, Glasgow
Wardrobe Intern; Jul 2014

I spent two weeks working in the wardrobe department of Scottish Opera whilst they were preparing for the show Anamchara – Songs of Friendship. During my time there I helped with the organisation of all the costumes, labelling and adjustments. I also got the opportunity to make a whole garment myself, which was worn during the performance. It was an enlightening experience that showed me the grand scale of opera and the attention to detail required for designing and making opera costumes.

Scottish Ballet, Glasgow
Wardrobe Intern; Jun 2014

During my two weeks with Scottish Ballet I learnt how a working wardrobe is maintained and helped with sorting out costumes that had been on tour. I got to examine ballet costumes up close and learn how they differ from other theatre costumes. In the second week, designer Lez Brotherston came to oversee fittings for the Nutcracker. It was fascinating to observe this prototype stage and the collaboration between designer, maker and dancer.

Scritchy Scratch, Hidden Door Festival, Edinburgh
Puppet Maker/Puppeteer; Mar 2014

I was involved with a show entitled Scritchy Scratch at the Hidden Door Festival. It was a project between Edinburgh based theatre company Vision Mechanics and my class at Edinburgh College of Art. We worked in groups of 3 students to design and make a puppet and then performed with it at the festival. It was an exhilarating experience and as a result, I learnt a great deal about the art of puppet making and puppeteering.

The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet, Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh
Performer/Creative Team; Sep 2013

I played the role of Juliet in this student production but also helped with the creative decisions related to costume and set. We were a close-knit team and worked together efficiently to produce the play in only a couple of weeks. It was demanding due to the pressure of time but we sourced all the clothes and learnt our lines in time for curtain call.

Being O.K. Paradok Theatre, Edinburgh
Creative Team; Nov 2012

As a member of the creative team I was involved in sourcing and making costumes and props for the production. It was fun to work as part of a team also, it was very important to communicate clearly and divide jobs equally. My participation included buying costumes with a budget and adapting some costumes with my sewing skills.
http://paradok.co.uk/?page_id=380

Professional Development

Curious School of Puppetry, Edinburgh
Jan - Mar 2018 

I did this intensive 10 week course run by Sarah Wright and the Curious School of Puppetry. It was life changing and has greatly widened my understanding of puppets and the art of puppeteering. This practical training has given me experience of tabletop, glove, marionette, shadow puppetry and object manipulation. 
http://curiouspuppetry.com/

Imaginate, Edinburgh
Trickster-p Masterclass; Apr 2017

This five day masterclass was a whirlwind guide to creating immersive installation experiences. As participants, we got an insight into the marvellous minds of Cristina Galbiati and Ilija Luginbühl: their process and motives. We worked alone and in pairs with tasks and prompts from Trickster to stimulate our imaginations. In the end, we came up with very varied and exciting space designs. Overall, I feel my creative process has undergone a revolution.

Moving Parts, Newcastle
Acting the Puppet with Gavin Glover; Mar 2017

During this two day workshop, I learnt many different puppeteering techniques. We got to play with finger puppets, Bunraku-style puppets, heads with arms and wearable puppets. Working by ourselves, in pairs and small groups, we got to explore adding weight, breath and character to puppets without using words.

Imaginate, Edinburgh
PUSH Lab Workshop with Yvon Bonenfant; Feb 2017 

As part of the week long initiative PUSH Gender Lab, I participated in a one day workshop with voice expert Yvon Bonenfant. He introduced the group to the idea of the ‘queer’ voice, which he deems as anything ‘extra-normal’. Through a very informative presentation and some fun practical activities, we explored how much potential we have inside our bodies to make a vast range of noises.

Puppet Animation Scotland, Edinburgh
Seed of a City - Object Theatre Masterclass with Olivier Ducas; Jan 2017 

I was lucky enough to participate in this three day, enlightening masterclass with object theatre expert, Olivier Ducas. As a group, we were gently led through the foundations of his practice and had many opportunities to develop our own style. I emerged full of inspiration and hungry to further explore the potential of objects as storytelling devices.

Puppet Animation Scotland, Edinburgh
The Shadow and The Moving Image - A Workshop with Norbert Götz; Dec 2016

I participated in a stimulating workshop held by Norbert Götz in conjunction with Puppet Animation Scotland. Over two days we were introduced to the foundations of shadow theatre and explored the nuances of different light sources, screens, settings and puppets. The time frame only allowed Norbert to convey the basics of shadow theatre but the sheer volume of information was overwhelming and incredibly eye-opening.

Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Starting with Stories Workshop; Oct 2016

I took part in this one day workshop with storyteller and educator Kate Walker. It was a very hands-on introduction to storytelling: we learnt new skills and everyone got the opportunity to have a go. The session was incredibly helpful and built my confidence in telling stories to an audience.

SAND Festival, Kristiansand
Lawrence Malstaf Workshop; Sep 2016

I was fortunate enough to attend SAND International Festival of Performing Arts for a Young Audience. I was participating in a workshop with scenographer Lawrence Malstaf as part of the ASSITEJ Next Generation Placement Programme. The workshop ’centred around the exploration of an “inflatable” – a bubble filled with air – and the relationship between the life like bubble, space and movement and physical interaction between object, audience and performer.’  After 1.5 days of exploring ideas we put on a small performance for some of the festival delegates. The feedback was encouraging and it was very refreshing to work with new people with different backgrounds and from different countries. 

Tortoise in a Nutshell, Edinburgh
Devising Theatre and Puppeteering Workshops; June/July 2016

This year I have taken part in two workshops with Edinburgh visual theatre company, Tortoise in a Nutshell. They primarily specialise in puppet productions for younger audiences and it was very rewarding to learn from them about the devising process and puppeteering.  

Scenehouse, Edinburgh
Puppet and Prop Making Course; July 2016

I undertook a two week making course with the Edinburgh-based company Scenehouse who provide training in design and making for live performance. It was a great experience as I learnt carpentry skills, how to make moulds, cast objects and many different puppet-making techniques.