Pupperoos goes on Play School


Kay Yasugi being filmed running a kids’ puppet workshop for Play School

Pupperoos was very excited to be invited onto the children’s television programme Play School in their “Through the Windows” segment! This was part of their ‘Making Puppets‘ episodes, which were aired in July 2014 on ABC4KIDS (ABC2).

A team from Play School came to film Kay and other puppeteers at the Maldon Puppet Carnival in Maldon, Victoria. The puppet festival went from 8th-10th March 2014 and showcased puppet shows and workshops for children and adults.

The Puppets series aired again on ABC iview in November 2014 and has continued to be re-aired on ABC4KIDS.

Check out Play School at http://www.abc.net.au/abcforkids/sites/playschool/

Play School Puppet Theme: http://www.abc.net.au/abcforkids/sites/playschool/about/weeklythemes/?theme=4044271

Kay also shared her reflections on the Maldon Puppet Carnival in an issue of the Oz Puppetry Email Newsletter (OPEN), published on April 2014:

After two years since the successful Tarrengower Puppet Festival, the picturesque country town of Maldon, Victoria was once again buzzing with puppetry. Streets were filled with excited crowds, colourful puppet characters and lots of white vans (a tell-tale sign that puppeteers were in town!). Even ABC’s Children’s Television show Play School came to visit for a day to film some of the puppetry happenings!

There were puppet shows to suit all ages and tastes ranging from fractured fairy tales, traditional Punch and Judy, a blacklight show set in space, a shadow show about death and a chance to witness some surreal and surprising puppet surgery. The Puppet Slam organised by Black Hole Theatre was a particular treat for adult audiences who in one evening were ‘ambushed’ (as this was the theme) with a smorgasbord of visual and musical delights including dancing zombies, existential Grim Reapers, political satire and a cheeky Italian Pulcinella who refused to pay his taxes.

Max Dohle with his bird cane puppet

Max Dohle with his bird cane puppet

A personal highlight was running a bamboo/cane puppetry workshop, where participants transformed humble sticks of bamboo and cane into canoes, cherubs, bees, eagles and sharks. After covering them in lights and glow sticks, we then took part in a night parade where the puppets made their ‘glowing’ debut alongside other wacky puppets of the night.

One of my favourite aspects of the festival was spending time with other puppeteers – sharing stories, puppet building tips and our mutual love of this amazing art form. There are many people that helped to make this festival happen, and special credits go to Artistic Director Richard Hart for organising such a fantastically diverse puppetry programme, Production Manager Rebecca Anderson and the Maldon team (including Pam Lyons, Harry Koponen and Kelly Murphy) for working their magic behind the scenes, and the amazing tech, sound and lighting provided by Outlook Communications (Greg Ginger).

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Teacher Training Workshops and Lectures: Puppetry for the ESL Classroom


On 4th September 2014, Kay Yasugi visited Sydney University to speak with the Third Year Primary Education students about using puppetry with ESL (English as a Second Language) students. She ran the puppetry lecture with Kate Harris, who is a primary school teacher and tutor at Sydney University. The session included a wide range of puppets suitable for various ages and needs; instructions on simple puppet making and operating; and practical ideas for using puppetry in daily teaching.

Kay ran a similar workshop for Primary Education students at the University of Technology Kuring-gai on 24th March 2015.

Puppetry is accessible to all ages across the primary years and beyond, as well as uniquely engaging for students with Special Needs or Non-English Speaking Backgrounds. It is a powerful tool for communication and fostering literacy in the modern classroom to make learning fun, meaningful and dynamic!

If you are interested in having teacher training workshops with Pupperoos, please contact Kay at info@pupperoos.com

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Puppetry in Ministry Workshop


On 31st May 2014, Pupperoos ran a training workshop for Children and Youth Ministry workers called “An Introduction to Puppetry in Ministry”. The workshop was held at Randwick Presbyterian Church and aimed to help participants learn to use puppetry to create engaging talks, skits and dramas to bring the Bible to life for young people and share the message of the Gospel. The 3 hour session included puppet demos, various ‘kids’ talks’ using puppets, principles behind using puppets in ministry, basic training on operating lip sync (moving mouth) puppets and ‘Puppet Playtime’ where participants had a go at coming up with simple drama scenarios with their puppets.

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Puppet Pandemonium at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre

powerhouse discovery centre resized

In the Autumn school holidays of 2014, Pupperoos performed a series of holiday puppet shows at the Powehouse Discovery Centre in Sydney. The 50 minute show was called ‘Puppet Pandemonium’ and it was interactive puppetry ‘show and tell’ with puppet-making demos, storytelling, live music and lots of audience participation. Kay’s puppet friends included Bina the Butterfly, Rocky the Raccoon and Chee-Chee the Cheeky Monkey (who was very excited to check out all the cool stuff in the museum)!

You can see some of “Bina the Butterfly” in the video clip below:

YouTube Preview Image

For more information about the Powerhouse Discovery Centre go to https://maas.museum/discovery-centre/

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Christmas Peek-a-boo Puppets with Spook and Splash!

spooktacular peekaboo puppet

In 2013 and 2014, Pupperoos was invited to run Peek-a-boo Puppet workshops for Christmas Festivals in Ryde, Sydney. Organised by the City of Ryde, the 2013 festival was held on Friday the 13th – lending itself to a ‘Nightmare Before Christmas Spooktacular’! There was a screening of the Tim Burton film, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ at Eastwood Plaza and the public were invited to make their own spooky puppets using paper cups, rods, pipe cleaners and styrofoam balls.

ryde peekaboo resized

The following year had a summer beach theme at Ryde Park. Despite a very wet and rainy day, the crowds still enjoyed making puppet scuba-divers, mermaids and sharks!

For more information about the City of Ryde, please visit www.ryde.nsw.gov.au

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Pupperoos is performing at the Sydney Opera House

Kay Yasugi with Andy Griffiths (Author of “The 13-Storey Treehouse”) and puppet “Barky the Barking Dog” (puppet made by Kay Yasugi)

Puppeteer and puppet maker Kay Yasugi has been busy making puppets for CDP’s new show, The 13-Storey Treehouse, based on the best-selling children’s book by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. The play has been adapted by award winning playwright and author Richard Tulloch and directed by Julian Louis. The show opened at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 21st September, 2013.

Kay is also performing in the show as the puppeteer. She very much enjoyed the rehearsal process – helping to devise sea monster routines, making shadow puppets and props on the side (including a sizable pile of fake snot!), and figuring out the logistics of squashing a puppet dog with a giant gorilla foot (made by Marty Jay).

Andy Griffiths trying out an epic superhero pose with SUPERFINGER (puppet made by Kay Yasugi)

A highlight of this project for Kay has been creating a giant puppet called ‘SUPERFINGER‘ (designed by Mark Thompson). It was made out of foam and latex, and bends and straightens like a regular finger.

This may all sound a little bizarre, though anything is possible in a children’s theatre show set in a 13-Storey Treehouse! This place has everything, including a bowling alley, a secret underground laboratory, a lemonade fountain and a man-eating shark tank.

Andy and Terry live there, make stories together, and have a series of completely nutty adventures. The show begins with both characters bringing their stories to the stage in their first play – except they forgot to write it! Despite the dilemma of not having flying cats, a mermaid and an invasion of monkeys on hand, they do have some friends to help out, a box of costumes and props, some pretty awesome technology and a truckload of imagination!

The 13-Storey Treehouse previewed at the Chatswood Concourse and Seymour Centre. It is currently playing at The Sydney Opera House until 4th October 2013, with a return season during the January 2014 school holidays.


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War Horse Puppetry Workshop in Brisbane

Following the success of the ‘Creating Puppets for Plays’ workshops in Sydney for the War Horse Australia Arts Learning Programme, Kay Yasugi from Pupperoos was invited to run a puppet making workshop in Brisbane at Griffith University in July. The group learned how to work with cane and together they created a variety of beautiful and inventive puppets (one of which consisted of a cane horse head and blinking eyes made from black socks!). The puppets themselves were inspired by the monologue “Loyal Creatures”, written by Australian author Morris Gleitzman, which gives unique insight into how Australian soldiers and horses were involved in World War One.

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Puppetry Artist in Residence: Balinese Culture and Rod Puppetry

Earlier this year, Kay Yasugi from Pupperoos took part in a Puppetry Artist in Residence at Redlands School in Cremorne, Sydney.

It was part of the school’s unique enrichment program for students in Kindergarten-Grade Two, and over 10 weeks they explored Balinese Culture and Rod Puppetry. Kay very much enjoyed sharing what she had learned from her trip to Bali from her trip in January this year, and performing little puppet shows for the children using traditional Wayang Kulit shadow puppets and Wayang Golek rod puppets.

Kay worked with each class for 3 sessions, which included puppet shows, videos on Balinese puppetry, operating shadow puppets using an Interactive Whiteboard, games, playing musical instruments and making simple rod puppets.

Kay also worked with a small group of Grade 1 and 2 students over 10 weeks, where the students designed and constructed their own rod puppets and devised a little show which they performed for their parents and teachers on the last day of term. There were heroic princesses, a fire-breathing dragon, kimono-clad Japanese dancers, flamboyant peacocks, a comic man and dog duo and a skeleton pirate that played the guitar!

It was a truly wonderful experience of creativity and play. Kay looks forward to hopefully returning to the school next year.

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Puppet workshop at Shopfront Theatre for Young People

It was a joy for puppeteer Kay Yasugi to revisit  Shopfront Theatre for Young People in Carlton, Sydney and run a puppet workshop for their holiday program. The workshop was themed “Puppet Kingdom”, and the young participants aged 8-12 years old designed and constructed weird and wonderful puppet characters including a screaming female model, a mummified skeleton pig, a ghost-vanquishing security guard, and a cave man with an affinity to bongo drumming (which also happened to summon ghosts) and pet Scottish Highland cow. The 3 day workshop finished with a very imaginative and dynamic performance for family and friends.

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Teacher Workshops: Puppetry for Literacy and Creativity

Pupperoos has been busy this year running professional development workshops for teachers in Sydney.

Participants of the puppet workshop for Early Childhood teachers in Blacktown, Sydney

One workshop was for Pre-School Teachers, which focused on Puppetry for Early Childhood Language Development. Participants learned how to use puppetry to stimulate literacy and act as a springboard for other engaging learning experiences. The 2 ½ hour session was held at Blacktown Road Children’s Centre and hosted by First Connections, a partnership project of Children First and Mission Australia.

Photos from the Professional development workshop at Belmore South Public School

Another workshop was for primary school teachers at Belmore South Public School. The 2 hour workshop was focused on Puppetry for Literacy and Creativity.  The aim of the workshop was to help teachers to facilitate puppet making with their students and incorporate puppetry into their teaching.

The session included:

– An introduction to puppetry and its various forms

– Hands-on puppet making sessions using 2 different approaches (step-by-step demonstrations and self-guided problem solving)

– How puppetry links to the new Australian Curriculum

If you are interested in booking teacher training workshops with Pupperoos, please contact Kay at info@pupperoos.com


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