I had some good news recently: in August Puppet Festival at the Estuary Art Centre in Orewa is going ahead as planned. Kim Boyd, the Centre’s manager has allocated the entire month to all things puppetry. I am really excited as I hope it will show how diversified puppets can be. We have Anna Bailey, a puppeteer from Wellington, coming up for 2 weeks and running workshops on puppet making and she will also perform some of her wonderful string puppet shows. Sarah-Jane Blake a performance designer, working in the UK and in NZ will also run workshops on story development and telling. Finally in  the last week I will be facilitating stop motion animation workshops.

The Festival will start off with a buskers and market day on Saturday the 9th of August and then continues with an exhibition called “A story-teller’s world.” If you are in New Zealand and want to partake in the exhibition of puppets and other object which elicit imagination please get in touch with either me or the Estuary Arts Centre.

The bad news is that my Artstation workshop has once again very low enrolment numbers and is unlikely to go ahead. It is so sad that most people when they hear the word “puppet” dismiss it as a children thing, at least here in New Zealand.

While I was preparing my course, I came across this wonderful interview with the amazing Candadian puppeteer Ronnie Burkett by Gary Friedman (also a puppeteer working on a film about politicial puppetry at the moment). Ronnie explains so eloquently here what puppets are all about, its really worth watching.

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