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Puppet Workshops

Diana has extensive experience of working in schools and community venues as a solo puppeteer and drama practitioner, delivering workshops (often alongside performances) as well as engaging in residencies and providing training. 

Workshops can be based either on Marionettes or Shadow Puppets and can cover making, manipulation and elements of performance

She brings considerable expertise in all forms of puppetry and the skills to motivate and enable others to work successfully with this creative form. 



The real skill in puppetry comes not in the making but in the manipulation. Making their own puppet gives a child a sense of ownership but it is important that methods are simple and quick so that they can get on with the real job of making the puppet move.  

Through learning how to control a puppet, following techniques and exercises, the student gains a better understanding and co-ordination of the medium.  This in turn gives greater confidence and the freedom not only to express themselves but also the possibility to communicate that expression by speaking through their puppet. (A child who is too shy to say what he feels may say it through a puppet.)

Puppetry workshops are a place for sharing skills and learning from others in the group.  

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Shadow Puppet Workshop

Make a puppet, play with it on the shadow screen, take it home with you.
A session can be designed for any group, according to age, ability and time.

Session format:-

  • A short shadow performance or a demonstration showing the techniques and equipment.
  • Each student makes a shadow puppet, working from templates.
  • Puppets may be a simple shape or developed through hole punching, coloured gels.and jointing (moving parts).
  • Animating the puppet on screen to find movement, character and stories.
  • Presentation to each other or an audience (eg. another class, parents)

Themes can be tailored for a particular venue or subject :-

  • Farmyard animals. -  young children love the familiarity and easy construction of these designs.
  • Traditional Indian designs
  • Endangered jungle animals in India.
  • Festivals: eg.  Divali Halloween.
  • Sea creatures – simple shapes but effective with colour and easy movement.

For any age but students need to have some proficiency in using scissors.
Generally a maximum group of one class of up to 30 per half day.
A full day will give time to develop a performance which may be shown to another group.

All materials and equipment provided.
A relevant Education Pack is also included.
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A classroom is ok for the workshop to use but shadows are more effective where light can be controlled ie. curtains or blinds (that work!), no skylights.

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Marionette Workshop

Make an Indian style string puppet with recycled materials and colourful fabrics.
Learn how to manipulate your puppet, to make it dance and come to life.

Session format:-

  • Performance / demonstration of Kathputli string puppets.
  • Making a simple string puppet with recycled materials such as cardboard cones, colourful fabrics, bits and bobs.
  • Exercises and games to encourage learning in the manipulation of the  puppet  and how to find it’s character and life.
  • Sharing the learning in the creation of short scenarios.

Design and movements are based on the ‘Kathputli’ – traditional Indian string puppets.

A non-making, hands-on session is also available using Black Cat workshop puppets and is recommended for young children ie. reception.

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