Archives for posts with tag: workshop

Here is the second film we did last week. This one was created by a group of teenagers as a holiday programme. Pretty slim pickings, but we got there in the end. In this film the kids had to make their own actors and they also created the music, the backdrop and the props. I enjoyed working with the youngsters and I’ve learned a tremendeous amount. The kids on the other hand just thought I was weird… Happy, but weird!

At the moment we have school holidays and I did two puppet workshops last week. They couldn’t have be more different. The one I was so looking forward to was a four morning course where the participants were supposed to do the full monty – creating the actors, coming up with the story, making props and then filming the thing. The other one was just one afternoon in the library, where the participants invented an impromptu story and used the Dedes to act it out.

The course in the library was fantastic. It doesn’t take long to set the youngsters (aged between eight and twelve years) off to come up with a weird and wonderful story. There was no stopping them. All of them were running around making up props and chopping and changing the storyline. One of them sneaked in their own puppet. You might notice the non-Dede in the group picture at the end of the film when they celebrate.

Ah well, the other workshop was totally different. First of all it was a different age range. Here the participants were teenagers and puppets are so uncool. It is strange how kids can be so creative when they are twelve and with their thirteenth birthday all the creativity seems to go out the window. And then when they leave school, they are expected to be creative to find a job….

We did get there in the end, though I don’t know how much sticks in their minds, but I’ve learned heaps.

Here is the film from the library.


Last Friday Cath and I did a workshop at the Mairangi Arts Centre together. It was a holiday workshop for kids aged 7 to 12. Originally we wanted to do two days. The first day should have been puppet making and the second day creating the stop motion film with the puppets from the previous day. Unfortunately there weren’t enough takers for puppet making, though the stop motion part was reasonably popular. So we had to create the actors for the film on the same day… It was all a bit rushed, but I finally learned my lesson: Don’t mention puppets!

Of course, on the day the kids were really happy to create their puppets. They had heaps of fun, but would they enrol in a puppet making workshop. No way!

Ah well, here is the result: As I said it is all a bit rushed, but it was certainly a good sign that the kids didn’t want to leave when the class came to an end.

Yesterday we had another workshop and the saga between Magician and Devil continues. Who has the right to wear the spokesperson badge? Devil is working extremely hard to establish himself in his new job, but Magician doesn’t tire of interferring. At least some of the other Dedes are starting to get so over the feud and are happy to give Devil a hand. But see for yourself…


Today a little crowd came together in the Gallery to play with the puppets. This morning we had one keen participant who read  about the workshop on KiwiKids. He immediately dragged his mum to the Gallery, only to find out that the workshop would be two hours later. So he made sure he had a place in it and came back at 1 o’clock with a friend as his mother was otherwise engaged.

All I can say is: I loved the workshop! It was a small group of 10 people, and all different ages. Observing how everybody interacted with the puppets gave me a few more ideas. Here only a little selection of images to give you an impression of our session.

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Yesterday was the big day. Some of the Dedes went to a workshop. (Of course some of the puppets complained afterwards, as it was more work than shop. Actually there was no shopping at all. It was only work. But overall, they thoroughly enjoyed it). The photograph above shows Monkey waiting for someone to adopt him for the duration of the workshop. It looks suspiciously like he is holding his left hand open to accept a bribe.

I was really pleased with how it all panned out. Everything seemed to be just right: the length of the workshop, the activities for the participants, the size of the group and the make-up of the group. I have to fine-tune my introduction though. This was the only part I was unhappy with. Devil wasn’t in good form at all. You might remember I grounded him for a week (for trying to send Daredevil into the sky with a Guy Fawkes rocket). But then yesterday I packed him into the box to work with me at the workshop. He complained as he thought grounded means he is not supposed to work either. We had a long argument in the car and therefore the introduction didn’t go too well. Okay, it is a lame excuse, I should be able to put this aside if I want to be a professional!

The elephant was extremely lucky with her puppeteer. These two were whispering and laughing away. In the photo below, the elephant, who had taken on the name Elemate for the session, was asked by Mouse what her little pet hate was. At first she was a bit shy and asked her puppeteer how to phrase it so not to offend anybody in the room, but then she trumpeted it out in the open: She hates gossips. You should have seen Mouse, she went a paler shade of grey.

It was very hard convincing some of the puppets to hop back into the box and travel back home. For the participants I had made postcards with a photo of the puppet they had adopted, so they have something to remember their little friend by.