Puppet workshop participants display their wacky paper puppets

Pupperoos recently ran some puppet-making workshops for 11-14 year olds at Shopfront Theatre for Young People in Carlton, Sydney Australia. Over three sessions, the participants worked in small groups to make various puppets using paper, stringbamboo rods and masking tape. With these simple materials, the group produced a diverse range of puppets including a Chinese dragon-style rod puppet, a floating marionette and some ‘Bunraku’ style table-top puppets which require 2-3 operators. The characters that went to match these puppets were just as diverse and wonderfully wacky. The final ‘puppet cast’ included a fashionable genie/troll (fully clad with newspaper goatee and all-purpose lamp), a snake/sausage from ‘Aus-stretch-ia’ and a melting snowman from Russia. The theme of the workshop was “Where do you want to be?” (and “Where do you not want to be?”) and the group will continue to explore this artistic enquiry as they learn to perform with their puppets. The puppet workshop will continue to be run for 5 more sessions by two other artists, Caitlin Newton-Broad (Artistic Director of Shopfront) and Alice Osborne (a Puppeteer, Performer and Theatre Maker), with the assistance of ArtsLab Artist-in-Residence Lucy Watson. The workshop will culminate in an end-of-term performance, where all the groups from Shopfront will have the opportunity to show their work developed over the term. The aim of this puppet making and performance workshop is also to create ideas for the Shopfront Junior Ensemble later this year, where participants aged 8-15 years will devise and perform a theatrical production using Puppetry and Multimedia. This production will be directed by Howard Matthew & Luke KerridgeShopfront is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity for young people aged 8 – 25. It is a cultural network and production co-operative where all young people, regardless of their background or ability, can create themselves. For more information about this organisation, please visit http://shopfront.org.au/