Andy Koch

Andy Koch

About Andy

Andy Koch is a professional performing and teaching artist. Puppetry, clowning, music, and theatre arts are among his passions. He has been performing since childhood and enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge with students of all ages. While studying theatre arts at Fairhaven College, he directed 15 works including Shakespeare, Aristophanes, musicals, and original scripts. He designed and constructed two outdoor amphitheaters in Bellingham for presenting plays. Andy enjoys diversity, creatively adapting to the needs of each environment.

Teaching Experience

Andy Koch has taught hundreds of workshops in several states, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Alaska. Since 1991 he has taught classes in Performance Art, Puppetry, and Clowning for Whatcom County Parks for children from age 6 through the teen years at the Roeder Home Center for the Arts. He has led workshops for educators through ESD 189 in Mt. Vernon, training them to bring puppetry into their classrooms. In 1985 Andy joined Allied Arts and began teaching through the predecessor of AEEP, the Artist’s In Schools and Community program. He has been an active member and teaching artist ever since.

Teaching Philosophy

Andy believes projects should be hands on! He likes to engage students’ imaginations with questions and activities and strives to keep learning interesting, fast-paced, and FUN. He also feel it is important to leave the teacher with ideas for future applications of what students have learned in my workshops.

Lesson Plans

3 Hour Lesson Plans (For Grades 1-5)

Puppetry for the Elementary Classroom: This “make and take” workshop begins with a brief introduction and history of puppetry. Examples of my professional puppets are passed around. Then I present a demonstration scene from one of my shows, followed by a discussion of the elements of a good story and performance. The students then break into groups of 4 or 5, organize parts, create simple sack and paper plate puppets, and perform their own shows for everyone’s enjoyment.
K-3: Familiar stories such as the 3 Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Goldie Locks and the 3 Bears will be assigned
4-5: Students will be asked to write their own stories for the performances.

Performance Art / Creative Dramatics: This workshop covers the basics of acting skills; Pantomime, Improvisation, Theatre Games, Group Dynamics, Vocal Projection, Stage Movement, Skit Development, and Performance, all with an emphasis on FUN. Great for those wishing to explore acting, as well as the more experienced looking to hone their performance skills. We will be doing shows for each other during the workshops.

12 Hour Lesson Plans (For 5th Grades Only)

Cultural Folk Tales told with Puppets: In this workshop we will select folktales from around the world, build puppets from papier mache, rehearse, and perform them for classmates, family, and friends. Puppets are a timeless art form encompassing many artistic disciplines, capturing the imaginations of young and old. The folktales we will be choosing from are handed down from countless generations making for exciting and important exploration.
The Folktales we have dramatized for puppets draw from the following elements;

  • Explain nature and the world around us.
  • Establish good role models, behaviors, and morals.
  • Importance of friendship.
  • Warn youngsters of danger in their environment.
  • Entertainment, fun, humor, escape from the mundane.
  • Oral history. Keeping cultural roots alive.
  • Hope, inspire the downtrodden, dreams of a better life.
  • Empowerment of the small.
  • Cleverness, wisdom.
  • Transformation
  • Dreams and the dream world
  • Intuition, leap of faith, supernatural
  • Affirmation of good for the poor, hope.

Performance Art / Creative Dramatics: This workshop covers the basics of acting skills; Pantomime, Improvisation, Theatre Games, Group Dynamics, Vocal Projection, Stage Movement, Skit Development, and Performance, all with an emphasis on FUN. Great for those wishing to explore acting, as well as the more experienced looking to hone their performance skills. Once we explore on an improvisational level, students will be working in small groups to write and rehearse a variety of one act plays. Content can be focused relevant to classroom studies. On the last day of the workshop, we will present a Mini One Act Play Festival for Students, Family, and Friends.

Andy Koch and Christian Anne Smith

Cultural Folktales Adventure and Paper Måché Puppets:  This dynamic duo will bring the following experiences to your students: Sketching, Sculpting, Papier Mache, Painting, Mixed Media, Character Development, Puppeteering and Performance, Exposure to Ancient Cultural Tales, as well as opportunities for reflective writing at the end.

Session 1: Andy meets with class, reads scripts, casts kids, and introduces history of puppetry.  Leaves character sketch exercise behind.

Session 2: Papier Mache Day with Christian: Meet The Puppets, Paper and Tape Build and Papier Mache Day. Puppets Dry one week and get a base coat of paint.

Session 3: Day Two, Decorate with Christian: More Puppet Stories, Fabric Fun and Decoration with Found Object Treasures.  Finishing up with a Puppet Parade, often to younger students’ classrooms.

Session 4-5: Work in the Puppet Tent with Andy, learning all about Puppetry.

Session 6:  Puppet Performance!  For younger grades or parents.