Workshops

Founded in 1937, Puppeteers of America (PofA) strives to encourage and promote the art of puppetry to both puppeteers and the community at large through publications, workshops, festivals, lectures, advisory services, and funding. PofA provides resources for professional growth to puppeteers, access to world class puppetry performances to the public and learning opportunities to those interested in this unique art form.

Puppetry is one of the world's oldest art forms and has a way of connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Our festival team has worked to provide a comprehensive selection of puppetry workshops in a range of interests, languages, and skill levels. This is a premier opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about our ancient art form.The festival dedicates two 75 minutes sessions a day to skill building and offers single experiences as well as week-long intensives (and everything in-between!). New in 2023 - workshops in Español!

Meet the Workshop Committee


Session 1, Wednesday July 19th: 9:00 am - 10:15 am

The Whys of Marionettes with Kurt Hunter

There has always been information available about what to do to build a marionette, but why to do something a particular way isn't always mentioned. This workshop will explain and demonstrate the whys behind marionettes, why joints are made particular ways with specific ranges of motion, why strings are placed at particular points on the marionette and control, why particular materials are chosen for different parts of a marionette, etc.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels

Producing: Business Plan Basics for Puppet Artists with Jean Marie Keevins

Join producer, business owner and puppet artist, Jean Marie Keevins for an information-packed workshop to help you get started on you business plan. Workshop participants need not already be in business. But, if you are, great! We'll cover how to get started and what needs to be included in a successful business plan to help you move forward with clarity.


Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All levels

Session 2, Wednesday July 19th: 10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Give Me a Hand or Two with Laurencio Ruiz

Workshop participants learn not only how to make a puppet and manipulate it, but also experience how puppets can generate a safe playground for both the puppeteer and the audience to be more tolerant and open to that which is different, to the eerie, the weird and the odd; to experience how puppetry allows us to explore new, unfamiliar, even uncomfortable realms.

Explore the process of creating a simple but charismatic puppet head and body (half or full body) from all types of found objects and recycled materials, with the possibility of being manipulated by one person or two people. (BYO found objects, materials, and tools). Explore the process of creating a visual narrative, employing manipulation techniques and performing a one-minute puppet vignette with the puppet the participants just created.

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Beginner

50 Hand Puppet Techniques with Chad Williams

Puppeteer Chad Williams will teach you puppetry basics, advanced techniques, and subtle secrets - all gleaned from his 12+ years of working traditional hand puppets in NYC and abroad. Chad incorporates moves from Chinese Bu Dai Xi, European glove puppetry, and other traditions into his modern style. All participants will create their own practice puppet out of simple materials and receive a hand puppet body pattern. This workshop is great for beginners and puppet veterans.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels     Workshop Supply Fee: $30 (Optional) for a Custom Felt Hand Puppet

Do You Hear What I Hear?: A Puppeteer’s Crash Course on Collaborating with Composers! with William Wright

One of the most often overlooked and important facets in creating new works for puppetry, cinema, theatre is how to conceptualize, verbalize, commission and collaborate on your music. In order to avoid expensive licensing fees and to create something truly original, learning to find and collaborate with composers is critical. Puppeteers will be encouraged to bring raw ideas or pre-existing material and we’ll show them how to ask, what to ask for and all the ways original music and songs can transform and elevate their work. This will be a workshop where we do an array of exercises and discussions, learning how to describe the sounds, songs and scapes we imagine and then clearly, fruitfully convey them for collaboration with professional musicians. Puppeteers should leave this workshop with a whole new sense of what music can do for their work and the most fruitful ways of collaborating to achieve it.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Session 1 & 2 Wednesday July 19th:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Costuming a Puppet with Krista Weltner (Day 1 of 2) Students will sew a simple puppet figure and create their own costume. Beginner-Intermediate welcome. We will mostly be working with simple fabrics. Feel free to bring along your own puppet you would like to costume or fabric you would like to use. Please bring a pair of scissors and a pencil. 

Workshop Language: English    Workshop Level: Intermediate   Workshop Supply Fee: $10 per participant

The Smallest Theater in the World: An Introduction to Teatro Lambe-Lambe with Cecilia Cackley

An introduction to the street puppetry form teatro lambe-lambe. Lambe-Lambe was invented in 1989 by Brazilian puppeteers Ismene Lima and Denise do Santos and consists of a 2-3 minute show performed inside a box for one audience member at a time. Workshop participants will get an overview of the history and principles of the form, view an example show and create a storyboard and test maquette of their own show from cardboard and tape. www.ceciliacackley.com

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Ready, Set, GO! Running a Prosperous Entertainment Business with Art Grueneberger

In this workshop Art opens up his books (literally) and shows the money side of things. Then he shows precisely how his business has set and achieved their financial and creative goals. In the first third of the workshop, participants will learn and practice tools that will help them set financial and creative goals that align with their primary life intentions. In the second third, participants will create a simple to follow action plan to focus their energy and will allow them to quickly achieve their financial goals. If the final section we will cover best practices in the most common areas of struggle for artists like marketing, price setting and other ins and outs of running an entertainment business. There will also be a Q&A.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels

I Like The Way You Move with Zach Broome

In this workshop, participants learn mechanical techniques for making shadow puppets move. They will explore pivots, levers, linkages, triggers, stops, and returns as they examine ways to achieve complex movement in shadow puppets. Participants learn some of the basics of engineering with hands-on modules that illustrate how objects move. Those ideas are then incorporated into shadow puppets that the participants create and share with the other participants. The attendees will leave with 2-3 shadow puppets that they create during the workshop and a typed hand-out containing the information discussed in the workshop.

Workshop Language: English      Workshop Level: Beginner     Workshop Supply Fee: $5 Per Participant 

Storyboard Workshop with Erik Kuska

I'm a storyboard artist for animation, and I've found storyboards can wonderfully help puppeteers plan out short films and performances. But many puppeteers may not be familiar with how to approach storyboards as a tool to help them. In this workshop, which I've taught with Jean Marie's Little Shadow Productions, I discuss basic storyboard and shot techniques, and also discuss some ways, for those that don't feel comfortable drawing, how one can use their phone camera, to quickly 'shoot' their storyboards to help come up with some ideas. This is a three hour workshop where half the time I outline some basic storyboarding concepts, but the second half, the class uses their phones and some basic props, to shoot out their 'story' in storyboard form, and hopefully we can upload the images and do a quick 'film festival' pitch the last 15 minutes of class, watching everyone's work.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Sand Drawings and Shadows for Live Video Projection with Paradox Teatro (Day 1 of 2)

Paradox Teatro offers a teaching workshop for participants to learn an overview of techniques and technology for sand drawings and shadow puppetry on light tables, to perform under a camera for large-scale video projection in live performance. The performance techniques taught by Paradox Teatro artists can be applied to a variety of live performance styles, including using old school overhead projectors, in addition to filmmaking and animation. Paradox Teatro is interested in responding to the unique interests and questions of each participant by supporting participants ranging from beginners to experts of all ages.

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: All Levels

Tholpava Making & Performance Techniques Workshop with Rahul Koonathara (Day 1 of 2)

Rahul is the third son of Shri K.K.Ramachandra Pulavar (Padma Shri awardee 2021- fourth highest civilian award from the Government of India for his contribution to puppetry) and K.N.Rajalakshmi. As a traditional family member with a rich historical and cultural background, Rahul learnt the tradition of Tholpavakoothu (Shadow Puppetry form of Kerala) at the age of eight. Rahul belongs to a 12 generation of puppeteers who follows the traditional style of puppetry performances and, at the same time, explore the contemporary themes of puppetry. In this workshop, Rahul will teach you traditional shadow puppet making and manipulation techniques.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner

Woodcarving with Carlo Adinolfi (Day 1 of 3)

WOODCARVING introduces students to the skills needed to carve puppets out of wood. We will begin by establishing an understanding of how to use the essential carving chisels. Participants learn how to select the best chisels for each facet of a carving project. The biggest challenge when carving is learning how to read the grain of the wood, so as to understand which direction to carve in. Participants will try out different exercises that will help them develop the ability to read the grain. In the process, participants will work with many different chisels as well as hand tools. Participants will also learn how to sharpen and maintain their chisels. For the remainder of the workshop, participants will design and carve a hand, paw, or claw for a puppet.

                                                                          Workshop Language: English Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate Workshop Supply Fee: $25 Per Participant (One Time)

Puppet Gym Jam (Day 1 of 3)

Puppet Gym Jam! Monitor and improv puppetry combined. Sarah Nolen, Harry LaCoste, and Jon Little will be taking you through three days of monitor puppetry skills and pairing them simultaneously with fun improv puppetry games. This is a multiple day workshop of what we taught on a monthly basis at the Puppet Showplace in Brookline, MA

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Introduction to Wood Carving with Mark Blashford (Day 1 of 3)

This workshop is an introduction to woodcarving and wooden puppet making. Students will learn wood identification and structure, basic hand tools, how to sharpen/hone knives and chisels, carving safety, five carving cuts, and ultimately how to start carving wooden puppets! Students will also make Bernd Ogrodnik’s “Kitchen Table Workbench.” This workshop will serve as an introduction to Bernd Ogrodnik’s Foundation Course to Puppet Mastery. Student will be introduced to several styles of finished wooden puppets, including those that are taught in Bernd Ogrodnik’s online Academy of the Wooden Puppet.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate     Workshop Supply Fee: $20 Per Participant (One Time) 

Calaveritas Workshop with Fernando Gurrola (Day 1 of 4)

Taking the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) I teach how to build a human-sized hybrid puppet: "Calaverita", a smiling skull and a skeleton, which represents the soul of our loved ones after death. I explain how to build the puppet, realization tips, animation and at the end each participant decorates and gives their puppet the personality they want. At the end of the workshop, there is a performance with the puppets of all the participants. In the workshop, I not only explain how to build the puppet, I also share and explain the Mexican worldview, where we celebrate the people who died by remembering them every year. The ritual where we feel that souls return from death to be with us.

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Political Mechanics Puppets with Edwin Salas Acosta (Day 1 of 4)

This is a workshop where a puppet solo will be created. The main objective of this workshop is to create a short piece with political and or police-themed puppets. It can be theater, dance, or mixed technique. This will also give us an excuse to be able to generate different puppet mechanisms. That as a group they will be able to learn from the creation process from the idea as a need for expression, the creation of the scenic object that is the puppet, and the completion of the piece. These pieces can be enjoyed live and digitally at the end of the workshop. The materials to be used will be cardboard based. The mechanisms are inspired by automata and variations of Japanese techniques (which can be seen in my book) with other elements such as wood, threads, wire, and conventional tools. But the most important thing is to use puppets as a weapon to talk about important issues in our daily lives.

Workshop Language: English, Spanish, and/or Italian     Workshop Level: All Levels

Roser-style Scarf Marionettes adorned with Paper Sculpture Masks with Sarah Frechette (Day 1 of 4)

Explore the dramatic transformation of the marionette and mask in this intensive workshop! In this four session class ~ build your own Roser-style scarf marionette; explore Roser's paper sculpture method to construct a stage-effective mask to adorn the puppet; and learn techniques to bring it to life! Award-winning artist Sarah Frechette will share wisdom from the String Academy, drawing on her years of study with German master puppeteer Albrecht Roser. You'll be amazed at how simple, elegant, and evocative a marionette and mask can be. All participants will take home a completed scarf marionette with a unique mini mask and the basic movement vocabulary needed to create a solo performance.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels     Workshop Supply Fee: $50 Per Participant (One Time) 

DIY Puppet Filmmaking with Alex U. Griffin (Day 1 of 4)

This interactive workshop will dive into the basics of DIY filmmaking... with puppets! In this workshop, we will both analyze examples of well-crafted puppet content and learn tricks and tips as we film / complete a short film in-class.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Gloves at Play with Howard Gayton  (Day 1 of 4)

"A four-day masterclass in glove puppetry looking at glove puppets through a Commedia Dell’ Arte lens. We will look at how glove puppets play and move across the playboard, how the characters of Commedia allow play and create narrative. We will look at how to use puppets on two hands and swap characters between the two, and what rhythms this can create. How the form uses brings the audience into the play, and how slapstick works with glove puppets. If puppeteers also have music, or language skills, then these will also be explored and utilized. This will lead to a showing, or showings at the end of the workshop of shows of about 15 minutes long. I find that teaching puppeteers a form where the puppeteer is hidden within a booth can be quite revolutionary in an age when live puppetry often has puppeteers who are seen by the audience. This is a development of the workshop that I run annually as a tutor at the Curious School in the UK."

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Crippsed up Marionettes with Madison J. Cripps (Day 1 of 4)

Participants will bring a built marionette and work on improving the mechanics as well as practicing manipulation with an emphasis on intuitive discovery following the puppets innate movement vocabulary

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate - Advanced     Workshop Supply Fee: $25 Per Participant (One Time) 

Try Your Hand at Feelings with Joanne F. Vizzini : DAY 1. Using Diverse Psychoeducational and Psychotherapeutic Puppets: How to Start? (Day 1 of 4) 

Expect to laugh during these four daring, delightful, and dazzling workshops, which invite puppets/dolls into your home, classroom, library, spiritual space, and/or clinical space. Participants across the lifespan often project their own story onto puppets. The puppeteer, educator, caregiver & therapist of any type become the sacred witness, handing the participants a comforting image or holding one for them. Effectively facilitating learning about feelings, how to handle hurts & anger, what to expect when someone is grieving, & offering the puppets as a healing instrument, will come more naturally following these four workshops. Furry friends awaken the brain that is keeping a participant/student from feeling whole in body, mind and spirit. Puppets help learners experience the world as a safe place (Interoceptive harmony). Puppets help participants of all ages travel between their inner experience and the present world.

Dr. V gives poignant & purposeful suggestions for practical puppet use, some specifically designed for the virtual venue. You will be given many viable ideas and  experiences, along with videotaped material and concrete handouts. You will make a puppet appropriate for your setting, practice using the basic concepts of psychoeducaitonal and psychotherapeutic puppetry, and discover the magic of puppet/doll use for a variety of cultures. Mediums: Practice in small groups themes taught, basic puppetry skills, one to one sharing, & performing (if interested) in the "magic space”. Notice differences, likenesses, and feelings about injustices. Use puppets as a healing tool. PowerPoint’s & bibliographic materials are made available. 

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate     Workshops can be taken together or separately.

Session 1, Thursday July 20th:  9:00 am - 10:15 am

Going Global with Puppetry: UNIMA as Catalyst with Kathy Foley

Going Global with Puppetry: UNIMA as a Catalyst "UNIMA Overview: Worlds of Puppetry” - Kathy Foley (University of California-Santa Cruz), Academic Committee UNIMA-USA “How I applied for international Festivals and Made Connections” (Bonnie Kim, Teaching Artist Honolulu, HI) "Puppetry in Korea and the World Festival of Puppetry Arts Korea 2025" (Kathy Foley with Mina Kyonghe Kwon, Associate Professor, University of GA) “Presenting in International Festival Symposiums and Conferences/ Making the Connections” (Kathy Foley; Claudia Orenstein, Editor, Puppetry International Research and Professor of Hunter College, City University of New York; Felice Amato, Boston University and Chair of UNIMA-USA Academic Committee [tentative]) “Making International Connections and Working with Refugee Puppeteers, the Ukraine” Karen Smith (President UNIMA-International, Zoom presentation) Did you ever wonder how you could get connected with the larger international puppet community, performing in festivals, becoming part of conferences or commissions that work on issues of presenting, researching, assisting puppeteers? This workshop is intended to help puppeteers understand the many ways that they can become involved with the international community of artists, scholars, and puppeteers using UNIMA-USA to link to UNIMA-International. The presenters will show the ways international performance, research, conferences can enrich lives and deepen art, sharing their experience and advising how interested puppeteers might connect through commissions or upcoming international festivals.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner

Multiplane Puppetry: For Shadow and Paper Theater with Linda Wingerter

A multiplane is a layered glass apparatus from stop-motion animation which can be used to great effect by live-action shadow and paper theater puppeteers, for film or live projection. We’ll look at its development, starting with animator and shadow puppeteer Lotte Reiniger, to how puppet artists are using it today. A simple multiplane will be demonstrated, with possible methods for building and performing with one. Lighting, cameras, glass, layering, effects, and performing techniques will be discussed. The workshop will prepare all experience levels to make a simple setup and begin their own explorations. This is part 1 of a 2 part workshop with Flat Mechanics, to be taken together or separately.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Session 2, Thursday July 20th:  10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Flat Mechanics: Prototyping Shadow and Paper Theater Figures with Linda Wingerter

A hands-on overview of some of basic principles of mechanizing 2D puppets with levers, pull strings, and returns. Designed to push through any intimidation of mechanisms, this workshop emphasizes rapid prototyping as a regular practice to jumpstart those who wish to begin achieving more movement with articulated figures. Starting flat is also a good stepping stone into more complex 3D mechanics. This is part 2 of a 2 part workshop with Multiplane Puppetry, to be taken together or separately.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate      Workshop Supply Fee: $5 Per Participant 

Learn about US Fulbright Funding and Travel Opportunities for Puppetry Artists, Performers, Educators and Scholars with Carol Sterling

Learn about US Fulbright Funding and Travel Opportunities for Puppetry Artists, Educators and Scholars. The presentation will include six panelists who will each share stories and images about their different types of Fulbright grant experiences. The lively conversation and slide presentations will provide opportunities for the workshop participants to learn about how a Fulbright grant can be a great way for puppeteers to celebrate and advance their work as performers, educators and scholars. Carol Sterling will serve as moderator and panelist. Other panelists are: Anna Sobel, Fulbright as a Student in India; Paulette Richards, Fulbright Scholar/Teaching-Sengal; Claudia Orenstein, Fulbright Scholar/Research-Japan; Chad Williams, Future Fulbright Specialist/Performer and Educator-Taiwan; Kathy Foley, Fulbright as a Student-Germany; Senior Scholar/Research-Indonesia, Malaysia

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

BPOC Bodies in white Spaces in Puppetry hands on workshop with  Jacqueline Wade (Day 1 of 2)

The workshop will explore what it feels like to be the Other in puppetry. How do BPOC maneuver in the majority white puppet world and the world in general? What are BPOC experiences from it? How has trauma effected BPOC? How does this effect their work and when they are in white spaces? Do non-BPOC individuals understand this? Are BPOC really understood along with their work as artist when they enter these white spaces? Or are they just being used for grants? How do white artists and white puppet companies deal with BPOC when they have scholarship programs? This is a hands on workshop. There will be role playing and improvisational activities for all involved. We will discuss readings from Black Skin White Mask by Frantz Fanon and other writers and looking at invisible to hypervisble and what that means in the world of puppetry for BPOC. We will also look at what it means to be white in the world of puppetry? The workshop will also look at issues white companies deal with when dealing with BPOC artist? How can communication and understanding get better for all parties involved? This is about learning about oneself and others. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels

Session 1 & 2 Thursday July 20th:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Costuming a Puppet with Krista Weltner (Day 2 of 2) Students will sew a simple puppet figure and create their own costume. Beginner-Intermediate welcome. We will mostly be working with simple fabrics. Feel free to bring along your own puppet you would like to costume or fabric you would like to use. Please bring a pair of scissors and a pencil. 

Workshop Language: English    Workshop Level: Intermediate   Workshop Supply Fee: $10 per participant

MANIPULATE ME!: AN INTRO TO ENSEMBLE PUPPETRY with Aretta Baumgartner

Puppetry is the perfect exploration and celebration of joyful collaboration! After warming up ALL our one-of-a-kind-in-the-world bodies, we’ll use simple, effective multi-person puppets in ensemble performance and enjoy playful discovery of breath, gravity, and focus – the basic of good puppet theatre and ALL great theatre stories!

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Telling a Compelling Story for Fundraising with Kathleen Conroy

In this workshop, we will look at 2 methods of raising funds; online crowd sourcing and grant proposals. In both these methods, we will focus on writing a compelling story to entice donors to support your work. You will compose your own case for support to entice potential supporters. Participants are asked to bring paper and pen or laptop/tablet if they prefer.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner

L200 Basic/Model Patterning with Rob H. D'Arc

L200 Foam Guru Rob D’Arc invites you to pick his brain in this introductory workshop, which will cover the basics of creating giant puppets, masks and props using this lightweight, closed-cell urethane material. It will cover making a pattern, enlarging the pattern to trace on the foam, cutting techniques, assembly of the parts, and an overview of coating and painting.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels

Tholpava Making & Performance Techniques Workshop with Rahul Koonathara (Day 2 of 2)

Rahul is the third son of Shri K.K.Ramachandra Pulavar (Padma Shri awardee 2021- fourth highest civilian award from the Government of India for his contribution to puppetry) and K.N.Rajalakshmi. As a traditional family member with a rich historical and cultural background, Rahul learnt the tradition of Tholpavakoothu (Shadow Puppetry form of Kerala) at the age of eight. Rahul belongs to a 12 generation of puppeteers who follows the traditional style of puppetry performances and, at the same time, explore the contemporary themes of puppetry. In this workshop, Rahul will teach you traditional shadow puppet making and manipulation techniques.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner

Sand Drawings and Shadows for Live Video Projection with Paradox Teatro (Day 2 of 2)

Paradox Teatro offers a teaching workshop for participants to learn an overview of techniques and technology for sand drawings and shadow puppetry on light tables, to perform under a camera for large-scale video projection in live performance. The performance techniques taught by Paradox Teatro artists can be applied to a variety of live performance styles, including using old school overhead projectors, in addition to film making and animation. Paradox Teatro is interested in responding to the unique interests and questions of each participant by supporting participants ranging from beginners to experts of all ages.

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: All Levels

Puppet Gym Jam (Day 2 of 3)

Puppet Gym Jam! Monitor and improv puppetry combined. Sarah Nolen, Harry LaCoste, and Jon Little will be taking you through three days of monitor puppetry skills and pairing them simultaneously with fun improv puppetry games. This is a multiple day workshop of what we taught on a monthly basis at the Puppet Showplace in Brookline, MA

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Woodcarving with Carlo Adinolfi (Day 2 of 3)

WOODCARVING introduces students to the skills needed to carve puppets out of wood. We will begin by establishing an understanding of how to use the essential carving chisels. Participants learn how to select the best chisels for each facet of a carving project. The biggest challenge when carving is learning how to read the grain of the wood, so as to understand which direction to carve in. Participants will try out different exercises that will help them develop the ability to read the grain. In the process, participants will work with many different chisels as well as hand tools. Participants will also learn how to sharpen and maintain their chisels. For the remainder of the workshop, participants will design and carve a hand, paw, or claw for a puppet.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate     Workshop Supply Fee: $25 Per Participant (One Time) 

Making a Paper Puppet Short Film with Abraham Matias  (Day 1 of 3)

During this workshop, we will break down the production pipeline. I will use my most recent project, a puppet music video for Nickelodeon, as a base to illustrate the production flow of making a film. Each day will be focused on an area of production: Day 1 - Pre-production: Project breakdown, scriptwriting, shooting list, character design, and storyboarding. Day 2 - Production: Puppet and Set Construction. Day 3 - Post-production: Editing, VFX, and sound. During each day, there will be a one-hour-long lecture and two hours for students to work on their projects based on the lecture from that day. Participants will write and direct a short film. They will have the option to build a small set or use their surroundings or projector as a backdrop. They construct 1 - 3 puppets depending on their concept and abilities and finally shoot and edit.

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Introduction to Wood Carving with Mark Blashford (Day 2 of 3)

This workshop is an introduction to woodcarving and wooden puppet making. Students will learn wood identification and structure, basic hand tools, how to sharpen/hone knives and chisels, carving safety, five carving cuts, and ultimately how to start carving wooden puppets! Students will also make Bernd Ogrodnik’s “Kitchen Table Workbench.” This workshop will serve as an introduction to Bernd Ogrodnik’s Foundation Course to Puppet Mastery. Student will be introduced to several styles of finished wooden puppets, including those that are taught in Bernd Ogrodnik’s online Academy of the Wooden Puppet.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate     Workshop Supply Fee: $20 Per Participant (One Time)

Calaveritas Workshop with Fernando Gurrola (Day 2 of 4)

Taking the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) I teach how to build a human-sized hybrid puppet: "Calaverita", a smiling skull and a skeleton, which represents the soul of our loved ones after death. I explain how to build the puppet, realization tips, animation and at the end each participant decorates and gives their puppet the personality they want. At the end of the workshop, there is a performance with the puppets of all the participants. In the workshop, I not only explain how to build the puppet, I also share and explain the Mexican worldview, where we celebrate the people who died by remembering them every year. The ritual where we feel that souls return from death to be with us. 

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Political Mechanics Puppets with Edwin Salas Acosta (Day 2 of 4)

This is a workshop where a puppet solo will be created. The main objective of this workshop is to create a short piece with political and or police-themed puppets. It can be theater, dance, or mixed technique. This will also give us an excuse to be able to generate different puppet mechanisms. That as a group they will be able to learn from the creation process from the idea as a need for expression, the creation of the scenic object that is the puppet, and the completion of the piece. These pieces can be enjoyed live and digitally at the end of the workshop. The materials to be used will be cardboard based. The mechanisms are inspired by automata and variations of Japanese techniques (which can be seen in my book) with other elements such as wood, threads, wire, and conventional tools. But the most important thing is to use puppets as a weapon to talk about important issues in our daily lives.

Workshop Language: English, Spanish, and/or Italian     Workshop Level: All Levels

Roser-style Scarf Marionettes adorned with Paper Sculpture Masks with Sarah Frechette (Day 2 of 4)

Explore the dramatic transformation of the marionette and mask in this intensive workshop! In this four session class ~ build your own Roser-style scarf marionette; explore Roser's paper sculpture method to construct a stage-effective mask to adorn the puppet; and learn techniques to bring it to life! Award-winning artist Sarah Frechette will share wisdom from the String Academy, drawing on her years of study with German master puppeteer Albrecht Roser. You'll be amazed at how simple, elegant, and evocative a marionette and mask can be. All participants will take home a completed scarf marionette with a unique mini mask and the basic movement vocabulary needed to create a solo performance.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels     Workshop Supply Fee: $50 Per Participant (One Time) 

DIY Puppet Filmmaking with Alex U. Griffin (Day 2 of 4)

This interactive workshop will dive into the basics of DIY filmmaking... with puppets! In this workshop, we will both analyze examples of well-crafted puppet content and learn tricks and tips as we film / complete a short film in-class.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Gloves at Play with Howard Gayton  (Day 2 of 4)

"A four-day masterclass in glove puppetry looking at glove puppets through a Commedia Dell’ Arte lens. We will look at how glove puppets play and move across the playboard, how the characters of Commedia allow play and create narrative. We will look at how to use puppets on two hands and swap characters between the two, and what rhythms this can create. How the form uses brings the audience into the play, and how slapstick works with glove puppets. If puppeteers also have music, or language skills, then these will also be explored and utilized. This will lead to a showing, or showings at the end of the workshop of shows of about 15 minutes long. I find that teaching puppeteers a form where the puppeteer is hidden within a booth can be quite revolutionary in an age when live puppetry often has puppeteers who are seen by the audience. This is a development of the workshop that I run annually as a tutor at the Curious School in the UK."

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Crippsed up Marionettes with Madison J. Cripps (Day 2 of 4)

Participants will bring a built marionette and work on improving the mechanics as well as practicing manipulation with an emphasis on intuitive discovery following the puppets innate movement vocabulary.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate - Advanced     Workshop Supply Fee: $25 Per Participant (One Time) 

 

Try Your Hand at Feelings with Joanne F. Vizzini : DAY 2. Anger as a Force for Positive Change: Culturally Sensitive Educational and Therapeutic Puppetry (Day 2 of 4) 

Expect to laugh during these four daring, delightful, and dazzling workshops, which invite puppets/dolls into your home, classroom, library, spiritual space, and/or clinical space. Participants across the lifespan often project their own story onto puppets. The puppeteer, educator, caregiver & therapist of any type become the sacred witness, handing the participants a comforting image or holding one for them. Effectively facilitating learning about feelings, how to handle hurts & anger, what to expect when someone is grieving, & offering the puppets as a healing instrument, will come more naturally following these four workshops. Furry friends awaken the brain that is keeping a participant/student from feeling whole in body, mind and spirit. Puppets help learners experience the world as a safe place (Interoceptive harmony). Puppets help participants of all ages travel between their inner experience and the present world.

Dr. V gives poignant & purposeful suggestions for practical puppet use, some specifically designed for the virtual venue. You will be given many viable ideas and  experiences, along with videotaped material and concrete handouts. You will make a puppet appropriate for your setting, practice using the basic concepts of psychoeducaitonal and psychotherapeutic puppetry, and discover the magic of puppet/doll use for a variety of cultures. Mediums: Practice in small groups themes taught, basic puppetry skills, one to one sharing, & performing (if interested) in the "magic space”. Notice differences, likenesses, and feelings about injustices. Use puppets as a healing tool. PowerPoint’s & bibliographic materials are made available. 

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate     Workshops can be taken together or separately.

Session 1, Friday July 21st:  9:00 am - 10:15 am

Wayang Golek: Indonesian Rod Puppetry Manipulation and its Implications with Kathy Foley

I will bring wayang golek rod puppets and topping masks for participants to explore in manipulation. After a PowerPoint introduction, participants will receive a puppet to examine mechanism and then themselves manipulate the rods using, the percussion patterns (drum syllables) for each of the five major characters types with a short demonstration of each type. This will conclude with a 10 minute showing of the five characters interacting in a scene. In the second half of the workshop the participants will work in groups to use the different techniques (voice, percussion, character type movement to distinguish differentiation between types). The workshop will conclude with showings of 3-4 scenes that participants have developed which are either standard wayang golek choices or their own creations (of sound, percussion, character movement) that use the ideas of voice, character weight, intensity.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner

Inflatable Puppets: How to Really Fill the House! with Matthew McGee

Learn the secrets to building larger-than-life characters that weigh next to nothing, are easy to transport, and super affordable to build! In this workshop, you will learn tips and tricks for how to fabricate your own inflatable puppets, as well as the Dos and Dont's that Matt learned firsthand from creating some of his characters for his new show, "Under the Sea with Dredgie McGee".

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Session 2, Friday July 21st:  10:45 am - 12:00 pm

You've Got Something - Let's Sell It! with Kathleen Conroy

In this workshop we will look at your puppetry business and what you do from a sales perspective. Beginning with defining who you are and the products or services you provide, we will design a basic product strategy and effective marketing plan giving you the tools you need to sell your business. Participants are asked to bring paper and pen or laptop/tablet if they prefer.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Puppetry Arts with Edna M. Bland

An open forum or panel discussion on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Hosted and moderated by Edna Bland, PofA Board Member and Chair of the EDI Committee.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels

From "Jabberwocky" to Puppets with Judith O'Hare

The workshop presents an approach to puppetry in education that requires divergent thinking, group skills, problem solving, analysis of poetry, and dramatic expression. Using simple materials construct a fantastic puppet which is manipulated by 3 or more people and comes alive to recreate the characters from Lewis Carroll’s poem, “Jabberwocky” Workshop will end with an improvised performance based on the poem. Bringing literature to life.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels     Workshop Supply Fee: $1 Per Participant 

Session 1 & 2 Friday July 21st:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Hair and Fur Techniques Join Krista Weltner in this mini practical effects class. Students will get a hands-on introduction to hair punching techniques on silicone, fur transfers, and more!

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels       Workshop Supply Fee: $8 per participant

Embiggen! with Zach Broome

In this workshop, participants learn techniques for turning drawings and maquettes into full-size puppets. We explore methods for creating orthographic drawings, how to create a three-dimensional model from those drawings, and ways to use those models to create larger puppets. Participants will leave with the orthographic drawings they create and a typed handout that contains the information discussed in the workshop. This workshop includes elements of design, drawing, sculpting, and patterning. It is a hands-on workshop.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate     Workshop Supply Fee: $5 Per Participant 

Sculpting Twisted Puppets (Exaggerated and Asymmetrical Character Design) Lecture with Rob D'Arc
Learn how to sculpt from a different perspective—a new twist on puppet design.
Sculpting puppets for character strength that can be seen from the back row focusing
on cleanliness of design, asymmetry and using planes to catch the light!

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Of Pages and Stages: Writing for Puppet Theatre (Day 1 of 2) with Mackenzie Doss

The workshop will invite participants to come with an idea still in development. The workshop will be geared towards building a writing practice for the purposes of preservation and self-examination, finding a play/performance structure on the page that makes sense to them and is easily accessible by others, and will offer a chance for group critique where we clearly define “critique versus criticism” and how to better receive critique with clarifying questions. Practical explorations will go over planning, basic writing, revising, proofreading, and group discussion. Tasks will focus on stage directions, dialogue, and overall clarity of the piece. My goal is to also analyze dramatic structure of each individual piece and it's metaphors. I see this workshop predominantly benefiting those who may struggle with writing, or clarity in their writing. I also see this workshop benefiting those who are in the process of pitching their new ideas. I would also like to ask participants to bring whatever puppets they feel they will need to aid in the writing process.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate     Workshop Supply Fee: $5 Per Participant (One Time) 

Making Connections Through Puppetry with Z. Briggs

Making Connections Through Puppetry is a professional development workshop for educators, counselors, therapists, and other professionals working with young people (especially those with developmental delays). Are you currently using puppets in your work or are you interested in learning more about how to begin? Learn the basics of what brings a puppet to life, how to perform puppets in one-on-one and small group settings, and how to integrate puppetry into your practice with a focus on elevating performance quality for greater effect.

Workshop Language: English      Workshop Level: Beginner

Found Object Exploration, Tabletop Puppetry, and Devising Work as an Ensemble with Taylor Bibat (Day 1 of 2)

Taylor Bibat leads a workshop in movement, tabletop puppetry, and letting found objects inspire devised work. Emphasis on collaboration, specificity of movement, and material understanding. This multi-day workshop for puppeteers of all levels will include movement and puppetry exercises based in Biomechanics, Viewpoints, Laban, and Classical Mechanics as well as more in depth study of 3-person tabletop puppetry. Participants will break into groups and devise work as small ensembles, always paying attention to how the given object "wants" to move.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Puppet Gym Jam (Day 3 of 3)

Puppet Gym Jam! Monitor and improv puppetry combined. Sarah Nolen, Harry LaCoste, and Jon Little will be taking you through three days of monitor puppetry skills and pairing them simultaneously with fun improv puppetry games. This is a multiple day workshop of what we taught on a monthly basis at the Puppet Showplace in Brookline, MA

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Woodcarving with Carlo Adinolfi (Day 3 of 3)

WOODCARVING introduces students to the skills needed to carve puppets out of wood. We will begin by establishing an understanding of how to use the essential carving chisels. Participants learn how to select the best chisels for each facet of a carving project. The biggest challenge when carving is learning how to read the grain of the wood, so as to understand which direction to carve in. Participants will try out different exercises that will help them develop the ability to read the grain. In the process, participants will work with many different chisels as well as hand tools. Participants will also learn how to sharpen and maintain their chisels. For the remainder of the workshop, participants will design and carve a hand, paw, or claw for a puppet.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate     Workshop Supply Fee: $25 Per Participant (One Time) 

Making a Paper Puppet Short Film with Abraham Matias (Day 2 of 3)

During this workshop, we will break down the production pipeline. I will use my most recent project, a puppet music video for Nickelodeon, as a base to illustrate the production flow of making a film. Each day will be focused on an area of production: Day 1 - Pre-production: Project breakdown, scriptwriting, shooting list, character design, and storyboarding. Day 2 - Production: Puppet and Set Construction. Day 3 - Post-production: Editing, VFX, and sound. During each day, there will be a one-hour-long lecture and two hours for students to work on their projects based on the lecture from that day. Participants will write and direct a short film. They will have the option to build a small set or use their surroundings or projector as a backdrop. They construct 1 - 3 puppets depending on their concept and abilities and finally shoot and edit.

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Intermediate


Introduction to Wood Carving with Mark Blashford (Day 3 of 3)

This workshop is an introduction to woodcarving and wooden puppet making. Students will learn wood identification and structure, basic hand tools, how to sharpen/hone knives and chisels, carving safety, five carving cuts, and ultimately how to start carving wooden puppets! Students will also make Bernd Ogrodnik’s “Kitchen Table Workbench.” This workshop will serve as an introduction to Bernd Ogrodnik’s Foundation Course to Puppet Mastery. Student will be introduced to several styles of finished wooden puppets, including those that are taught in Bernd Ogrodnik’s online Academy of the Wooden Puppet.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate     Workshop Supply Fee: $20 Per Participant (One Time) 

Calaveritas Workshop with Fernando Gurrola (Day 3 of 4)

Taking the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) I teach how to build a human-sized hybrid puppet: "Calaverita", a smiling skull and a skeleton, which represents the soul of our loved ones after death. I explain how to build the puppet, realization tips, animation and at the end each participant decorates and gives their puppet the personality they want. At the end of the workshop, there is a performance with the puppets of all the participants. In the workshop, I not only explain how to build the puppet, I also share and explain the Mexican worldview, where we celebrate the people who died by remembering them every year. The ritual where we feel that souls return from death to be with us.

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Political Mechanics Puppets with Edwin Salas Acosta (Day 3 of 4)

This is a workshop where a puppet solo will be created. The main objective of this workshop is to create a short piece with political and or police-themed puppets. It can be theater, dance, or mixed technique. This will also give us an excuse to be able to generate different puppet mechanisms. That as a group they will be able to learn from the creation process from the idea as a need for expression, the creation of the scenic object that is the puppet, and the completion of the piece. These pieces can be enjoyed live and digitally at the end of the workshop. The materials to be used will be cardboard based. The mechanisms are inspired by automata and variations of Japanese techniques (which can be seen in my book) with other elements such as wood, threads, wire, and conventional tools. But the most important thing is to use puppets as a weapon to talk about important issues in our daily lives.

Workshop Language: English, Spanish, and/or Italian     Workshop Level: All Levels

Roser-style Scarf Marionettes adorned with Paper Sculpture Masks with Sarah Frechette (Day 3 of 4)

Explore the dramatic transformation of the marionette and mask in this intensive workshop! In this four session class ~ build your own Roser-style scarf marionette; explore Roser's paper sculpture method to construct a stage-effective mask to adorn the puppet; and learn techniques to bring it to life! Award-winning artist Sarah Frechette will share wisdom from the String Academy, drawing on her years of study with German master puppeteer Albrecht Roser. You'll be amazed at how simple, elegant, and evocative a marionette and mask can be. All participants will take home a completed scarf marionette with a unique mini mask and the basic movement vocabulary needed to create a solo performance.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels     Workshop Supply Fee: $50 Per Participant (One Time) 

DIY Puppet Filmmaking with Alex U. Griffin (Day 3 of 4)

This interactive workshop will dive into the basics of DIY filmmaking... with puppets! In this workshop, we will both analyze examples of well-crafted puppet content and learn tricks and tips as we film / complete a short film in-class.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Gloves at Play with Howard Gayton  (Day 3 of 4)

A four-day masterclass in glove puppetry looking at glove puppets through a Commedia Dell’ Arte lens. We will look at how glove puppets play and move across the playboard, how the characters of Commedia allow play and create narrative. We will look at how to use puppets on two hands and swap characters between the two, and what rhythms this can create. How the form uses brings the audience into the play, and how slapstick works with glove puppets. If puppeteers also have music, or language skills, then these will also be explored and utilised. This will lead to a showing, or showings at the end of the workshop of shows of about 15 minutes long. I find that teaching puppeteers a form where the puppeteer is hidden within a booth can be quite revolutionary in an age when live puppetry often has puppeteers who are seen by the audience. This is a development of the workshop that I run annually as a tutor at the Curious School in the UK.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Crippsed up Marionettes with Madison J. Cripps (Day 3 of 4)

Participants will bring a built marionette and work on improving the mechanics as well as practicing manipulation with an emphasis on intuitive discovery following the puppets innate movement vocabulary.

Workshop Language: English      Workshop Level: Intermediate - Advanced     Workshop Supply Fee: $25 Per Participant (One Time) 

 

Try Your Hand at Feelings with Joanne F. Vizzini  DAY 3. Grief and Loss Across the Lifespan: Making Puppet Images and Narrative Which Claim Intersectional Identity (Day 3 of 4) 

Expect to laugh during these four daring, delightful, and dazzling workshops, which invite puppets/dolls into your home, classroom, library, spiritual space, and/or clinical space. Participants across the lifespan often project their own story onto puppets. The puppeteer, educator, caregiver & therapist of any type become the sacred witness, handing the participants a comforting image or holding one for them. Effectively facilitating learning about feelings, how to handle hurts & anger, what to expect when someone is grieving, & offering the puppets as a healing instrument, will come more naturally following these four workshops. Furry friends awaken the brain that is keeping a participant/student from feeling whole in body, mind and spirit. Puppets help learners experience the world as a safe place (Interoceptive harmony). Puppets help participants of all ages travel between their inner experience and the present world.

Dr. V gives poignant & purposeful suggestions for practical puppet use, some specifically designed for the virtual venue. You will be given many viable ideas and  experiences, along with videotaped material and concrete handouts. You will make a puppet appropriate for your setting, practice using the basic concepts of psychoeducaitonal and psychotherapeutic puppetry, and discover the magic of puppet/doll use for a variety of cultures. Mediums: Practice in small groups themes taught, basic puppetry skills, one to one sharing, & performing (if interested) in the "magic space”. Notice differences, likenesses, and feelings about injustices. Use puppets as a healing tool. PowerPoint’s & bibliographic materials are made available. 

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate - Advanced     Workshops can be taken together or separately.

Session 1, Saturday July 22nd:  9:00 am - 10:15 am

Urban Busking with Bernie Beauchamp

Drawing from over 20 years busking around the United States I have built a workshop that explains a basic protocol for busking with puppets that deals with portable stages, personal appearance, dealing with the public, finding the ideal venue and plenty of other pertinent issues to be addressed by prospective buskers.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

What Star Wars Reveals about the Art of Puppetry with Colette Searls

"In this presentation, I demonstrate how Yoda, Darth Vader, C-3PO and other popular puppet/mask characters create meaning and upstage humans. Looking at Yoda, Darth Vader and the droids in particular, I show how various types of “material characters” access powers of Distance, Distillation, and Duality in storytelling. We take a deep dive into what these powers are and how they work, using video clips from Star Wars films as examples, but radiating out into live puppetry performance examples as well. Throughout the presentation, and particularly at the end, I invite participants to discuss the ways Star Wars figures and other material characters perform "otherness” – often using their distance from humans – and how we might consider their representational powers more critically as puppeteers, writers and scholars. Much of the presentation will draw on my new book “A Galaxy of Things: the Power of Puppets and Masks in Star Wars and Beyond” (Routledge Press 2023), using photos and video clips."

Workshop Language: English      Workshop Level: Advanced

Session 2, Saturday July 22nd: 10:45 am - 12:00 pm

16 Tons: Limberjacks and American Folk Puppetry with Paulette Richards

Limberjack puppets have constituted some of the most egregious examples of blackface material characters – a legacy that weighs on American object performance like the proverbial sixteen tons of number nine coal. Yet limberjacks are a folk art form that incorporates elements of object performance traditions from European immigrant groups such as the Scotch and Irish, along with African American and indigenous peoples. In this workshop we will therefore review the history of limberjack puppets in the U.S., build a simple, cardboard limberjack, and celebrate the bonds of solidarity workers of all ethnicities formed in the United Mine Workers of America union while performing to “Sixteen Tons,” originally composed by Merle Travis in 1946.

Workshop Language: English, Spanish, and/or Italian     Workshop Level: Beginner

CHOICES FOR VOICES: A PLAYSHOP FOR PUPPETRY VOCALS with Aretta Baumgartner

Though puppetry is a movement-based art form, we often need and want to add voices to our puppets to increase storytelling possibilities. Where does one begin? At the beginning, of course! This fun workshop for performers of ALL levels and experiences will share vocal warm ups that increase range and articulation and activities and tips to find character voices. Bring a puppet if you have one--if not, some puppets will be provided.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels

BPOC Bodies in white Spaces in Puppetry hands on workshop with Jacqueline Wade (Day 2 of 2)

The workshop will explore what it feels like to be the Other in puppetry. How do BPOC maneuver in the majority white puppet world and the world in general? What are BPOC experiences from it? How has trauma effected BPOC? How does this effect their work and when they are in white spaces? Do non-BPOC individuals understand this? Are BPOC really understood along with their work as artist when they enter these white spaces? Or are they just being used for grants? How do white artists and white puppet companies deal with BPOC when they have scholarship programs? This is a hands on workshop. There will be role playing and improvisational activities for all involved. We will discuss readings from Black Skin White Mask by Frantz Fanon and other writers and looking at invisible to hypervisible and what that means in the world of puppetry for BPOC. We will also look at what it means to be white in the world of puppetry? The workshop will also look at issues white companies deal with when dealing with BPOC artist? How can communication and understanding get better for all parties involved? This is about learning about oneself and others. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels

Session 1 & 2 Saturday July 22nd:  9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Giant Cardboard Parade Puppets  with Rob H. D'Arc

Rob D'Arc shows you how to build a giant puppet or two with help from random strangers being sucked into the action... Staplers and woven cardboard technique make for big fun parade creatures!

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate


Traditional Turkish Shadow Theatre: Learning Karagoz Shadow Theatre with Ayhan Hulagu

Karagoz Theater Company describes the world’s cultural heritage Karagöz in detail with the workshops. How the puppets are made and the fine details of art are explained in practice.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner

Improv for Storytellers with Tyler Bunch

Stay tuned for more info!

How to Make Lemonade: Puppets From Nothing with Gavin Cummins

The past few years have shown me how unstable things can become but also how artists have a place in all this uncertainty to help. There is something unique about puppetry to be able to mold and contort to the situations as the present themselves.

This workshop is about putting puppet philosophy, dramaturgy, dance performance art and my own personal bias into a set of helpful tools and methods. We will highlight the unique principles of puppets, examine what different puppeteers did during the lockdown and pandemic, then we will work in groups to put what is discussed into practice by creating short puppet pieces with randomized limitations.

I would like the participants of this workshop to feel that they have everything they need to start creating compelling puppet theater and are inspired to do so with their community.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels

Found Object Exploration, Tabletop Puppetry, and Devising Work as an Ensemble with Taylor Bibat (Day 2 of 2)

Taylor Bibat leads a workshop in movement, tabletop puppetry, and letting found objects inspire devised work. Emphasis on collaboration, specificity of movement, and material understanding. This multi-day workshop for puppeteers of all levels will include movement and puppetry exercises based in Biomechanics, Viewpoints, Laban, and Classical Mechanics as well as more in depth study of 3-person tabletop puppetry. Participants will break into groups and devise work as small ensembles, always paying attention to how the given object "wants" to move.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

The Tetrahedron Marionette with Steven Widerman

This workshop is intended for experienced marionette artists. A Tetrahedron Marionette will be provided to each participant, and will focus on the manipulation of this unique abstract figure as a teaching/learning experience. The puppet is based on a design inspired by Buckminster Fuller, and simultaneously explores the origins of life in nature and in Puppetry through animation of the inanimate object.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Advanced

Of Pages and Stages: Writing for Puppet Theatre with Mackenzie Doss (Day 2 of 2) 

The workshop will invite participants to come with an idea still in development. The workshop will be geared towards building a writing practice for the purposes of preservation and self-examination, finding a play/performance structure on the page that makes sense to them and is easily accessible by others, and will offer a chance for group critique where we clearly define “critique versus criticism” and how to better receive critique with clarifying questions. Practical explorations will go over planning, basic writing, revising, proofreading, and group discussion. Tasks will focus on stage directions, dialogue, and overall clarity of the piece. My goal is to also analyze dramatic structure of each individual piece and it's metaphors. I see this workshop predominantly benefiting those who may struggle with writing, or clarity in their writing. I also see this workshop benefiting those who are in the process of pitching their new ideas. I would also like to ask participants to bring whatever puppets they feel they will need to aid in the writing process.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Beginner - Intermediate     Workshop Supply Fee: $5 Per Participant (One Time) 

Making a Paper Puppet Short Film  with Abraham Matias (Day 3 of 3)

During this workshop, we will break down the production pipeline. I will use my most recent project, a puppet music video for Nickelodeon, as a base to illustrate the production flow of making a film. Each day will be focused on an area of production: Day 1 - Pre-production: Project breakdown, scriptwriting, shooting list, character design, and storyboarding. Day 2 - Production: Puppet and Set Construction. Day 3 - Post-production: Editing, VFX, and sound. During each day, there will be a one-hour-long lecture and two hours for students to work on their projects based on the lecture from that day. Participants will write and direct a short film. They will have the option to build a small set or use their surroundings or projector as a backdrop. They construct 1 - 3 puppets depending on their concept and abilities and finally shoot and edit.

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Calaveritas Workshop with Fernando Gurrola (Day 4 of 4)

"Taking the traditional Mexican celebration Dia de Muertos (the Day of the Dead) I teach how to build a human-sized hybrid puppet: "Calaverita", a smiling skull and a skeleton, which represents the soul of our loved ones after death. I explain how to build the puppet, realization tips, animation and at the end each participant decorates and gives their puppet the personality they want. At the end of the workshop, there is a performance with the puppets of all the participants. In the workshop, I not only explain how to build the puppet, I also share and explain the Mexican worldview, where we celebrate the people who died by remembering them every year. The ritual where we feel that souls return from death to be with us."

Workshop Language: English and/or Spanish     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Political Mechanics Puppets with Edwin Salas Acosta (Day 4 of 4)

This is a workshop where a puppet solo will be created. The main objective of this workshop is to create a short piece with political and or police-themed puppets. It can be theater, dance, or mixed technique. This will also give us an excuse to be able to generate different puppet mechanisms. That as a group they will be able to learn from the creation process from the idea as a need for expression, the creation of the scenic object that is the puppet, and the completion of the piece. These pieces can be enjoyed live and digitally at the end of the workshop. The materials to be used will be cardboard based. The mechanisms are inspired by automata and variations of Japanese techniques (which can be seen in my book) with other elements such as wood, threads, wire, and conventional tools. But the most important thing is to use puppets as a weapon to talk about important issues in our daily lives.

Workshop Language: English, Spanish, and/or Italian     Workshop Level: All Levels

Roser-style Scarf Marionettes adorned with Paper Sculpture Masks with Sarah Frechette (Day 4 of 4)

Explore the dramatic transformation of the marionette and mask in this intensive workshop! In this four session class ~ build your own Roser-style scarf marionette; explore Roser's paper sculpture method to construct a stage-effective mask to adorn the puppet; and learn techniques to bring it to life! Award-winning artist Sarah Frechette will share wisdom from the String Academy, drawing on her years of study with German master puppeteer Albrecht Roser. You'll be amazed at how simple, elegant, and evocative a marionette and mask can be. All participants will take home a completed scarf marionette with a unique mini mask and the basic movement vocabulary needed to create a solo performance.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: All Levels     Workshop Supply Fee: $50 Per Participant (One Time) 

DIY Puppet Filmmaking with Alex U. Griffin (Day 4 of 4)

This interactive workshop will dive into the basics of DIY filmmaking... with puppets! In this workshop, we will both analyze examples of well-crafted puppet content and learn tricks and tips as we film / complete a short film in-class.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Gloves at Play with Howard Gayton (Day 4 of 4)

A four-day masterclass in glove puppetry looking at glove puppets through a Commedia Dell’ Arte lens. We will look at how glove puppets play and move across the playboard, how the characters of Commedia allow play and create narrative. We will look at how to use puppets on two hands and swap characters between the two, and what rhythms this can create. How the form uses brings the audience into the play, and how slapstick works with glove puppets. If puppeteers also have music, or language skills, then these will also be explored and utilized. This will lead to a showing, or showings at the end of the workshop of shows of about 15 minutes long. I find that teaching puppeteers a form where the puppeteer is hidden within a booth can be quite revolutionary in an age when live puppetry often has puppeteers who are seen by the audience. This is a development of the workshop that I run annually as a tutor at the Curious School in the UK.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate

Crippsed up Marionettes with Madison J. Cripps (Day 4 of 4)

Participants will bring a built marionette and work on improving the mechanics as well as practicing manipulation with an emphasis on intuitive discovery following the puppets innate movement vocabulary.

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate - Advanced     Workshop Supply Fee: $25 Per Participant (One Time) 

 

Try Your Hand at Feelings with Joanne F. Vizzini DAY 4. How to Understand, Prepare for, and Offer Healing for Trauma Issues arising from sensitive topics during Psychoeducational and Psychotherapeutic Puppetry, as well as Puppet Therapy (Day 4 of 4)

Expect to laugh during these four daring, delightful, and dazzling workshops, which invite puppets/dolls into your home, classroom, library, spiritual space, and/or clinical space. Participants across the lifespan often project their own story onto puppets. The puppeteer, educator, caregiver & therapist of any type become the sacred witness, handing the participants a comforting image or holding one for them. Effectively facilitating learning about feelings, how to handle hurts & anger, what to expect when someone is grieving, & offering the puppets as a healing instrument, will come more naturally following these four workshops. Furry friends awaken the brain that is keeping a participant/student from feeling whole in body, mind and spirit. Puppets help learners experience the world as a safe place (Interoceptive harmony). Puppets help participants of all ages travel between their inner experience and the present world.

Dr. V gives poignant & purposeful suggestions for practical puppet use, some specifically designed for the virtual venue. You will be given many viable ideas and  experiences, along with videotaped material and concrete handouts. You will make a puppet appropriate for your setting, practice using the basic concepts of psychoeducaitonal and psychotherapeutic puppetry, and discover the magic of puppet/doll use for a variety of cultures. Mediums: Practice in small groups themes taught, basic puppetry skills, one to one sharing, & performing (if interested) in the "magic space”. Notice differences, likenesses, and feelings about injustices. Use puppets as a healing tool. PowerPoint’s & bibliographic materials are made available. 

Workshop Language: English     Workshop Level: Intermediate - Advanced     Workshops can be taken together or separately.

Puppeteers of America
310 East 38th St, Suite 127
Minneapolis, MN 55409

612-821-2382
office@puppeteers.org