Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 22, 2007

Elementary Students Experience Marionette Virtuoso In Hancher

More than 1,200 fifth- and sixth-grade students from area public and private schools attended Jan. 23 to 26 performances by marionette virtuoso Joseph Cashore in the Hancher Loft of the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. Hancher Loft is an intimate performance space that seats the audience on the Hancher Auditorium stage.

The Cashore Marionettes residency was a collaboration among Hancher, the UI Center for Teaching, the Iowa City Community School District, and faculty and students in UI art education and counseling.

Art education faculty member Rachel Williams and 13 of the students in her service-learning course, developed through the Center for Teaching 2006 Service Learning Institute, designed a curriculum for public school art teachers focusing on teaching students to create and use marionettes.

Williams and her students held sessions with elementary art teachers to create marionettes that elementary students can replicate and use during their art classes.

Because the Cashore performances often provoke strong emotional responses, the project also helped school counselors anticipate and be prepared to discuss the performance with the elementary school students. Tarrell Portman teaches a graduate-level counselor-education course that she developed through the 2005 Service Learning Institute. Students in the course collaborated with local school counselors to develop curricular materials related to the emotional content of the Cashore performance.

The project involved nearly 40 classroom and art teachers, 10 school counselors and more than 25 UI students in counseling and art education. The materials developed by the project were provided to the Cashore Marionettes for use in future projects involving schools.

The Cashore Marionettes residency was supported by University of Iowa Community Credit Union and Iowa House Hotel, the Iowa City Community School District Foundation, and by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.



Wickham Elementary - 142

Kirkwood Elementary - 52


Hills Elementary - 47

Iowa City

Lincoln Elementary - 109

Lucas Elementary - 59

Hillside Christian - 21

Hoover Elementary - 94

Mann Elementary - 73

Lemme Elementary - 100

Wood Elementary - 133

Roosevelt Elementary - 84

Shimek Elementary - 71

Weber Elementary - 140


Home school group - 3


Heart of Mary Educators - 11

North Liberty

Penn Elementary - 94


UI students - 30

UI Faculty - 2

Cashore Planning Committee - 5


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073; cell: 310-430-1013;