June 18, 2020 / 5:23 PM / 15 days ago

Locked-down puppeteer brings her characters to life in Madrid flat

MADRID (Reuters) - Madrid-based Colombian actress and puppeteer Yohana Yara has been using her time in lockdown filming puppet shows on her balcony and creating an online fan base for her characters.

Just two months after she moved to the Spanish capital the country went into lockdown, depriving her and thousands of others who work in the arts of a job and shattering her plans for 2020.

Confined to her flat and filled with disappointment and boredom, Yara, 39 decided to create a YouTube channel for her show “Leo the Lion and his Friends”.

   She shot and uploaded videos with children’s stories, poems and songs and captured an audience of youngsters.

   “It helped me, it was therapeutic and stopped me from feeling down and it gave me a creative outlet,” Yara said.

“I think that in times of crisis creativity surges and you start working with what you have at home. As I’m a puppeteer, fortunately I have a lot of puppets I can work with.”

    She can’t wait to start performing in front of children again, and experience the reaction of a live audience.

Spain has suffered one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks but has been gradually reopening since May. The lockdown will end on June 21 but certain restrictions will remain in place, such as social distancing and the use of masks.

Reporting by Michael Gore, Elena Rodriguez and Catherine Macdonald; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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