Puppetry workshops in QLD!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Calling all puppetry loving Brisbane folk! I’ll be heading your way in a few weeks for the September school holidays!

DETAILS:
- Wednesday 27th September
- Beginners to intermediate
- 11am ages 5-7 years
- 1pm ages 8-12 years
- 3pm ages 12 and up (including adults)
- Sandgate Town Hall
Cnr. Seymour and Cliff Streets, Sandgate, Brisbane, Qld 4017

Small group or family bookings available!
Online bookings at: https://www.trybooking.com/QUGM

Canberra Cares Festival

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I’ll be performing my popular Punch and Judy inspired show at the Canberra Cares Festival this Saturday!

My show is on at 11:00am-11:30, but the FREE festival will be on most of the day.

Hope to see you there!

Amazing puppets were made!

Monday, October 17, 2016

During the last school holidays there were some different kinds of pots being made at the Canberra Potter’s Society!
Across two weeks, six young, very enthusiastic puppeteers created their own puppets and performances completely from scratch.

Diligently they sculpted the heads and hand from clay, hand-sewed their bodies and costumes, wrote and rehearsed their plays to finally perform and present all their hard work to their families on the last day.

Everyone had a fantastic time and the workshop was buzzing with giggling, creativity and excitement!

Many thanks to Fran Romano and the Canberra Potter’s Society for hosting this amazing holiday workshop and helping me with the firing of the puppets.

Living Green Festival Fun!

Monday, October 10, 2016

I had a fantastic time performing at the Living Green Festival!

My shows were a great success with huge crowds of kids (and a lot of adults too)! After each show, kids would learn how to create puppets from all sorts of things you would normally throw away, like boxes, plastic cutlery, plastic cups, newspaper and all sorts of things. I was amazing at the creativity of everyone that participated, there were some very excellent puppet creations and even some impromptu puppet shows!

Living Green Festival 2 Oct

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I’ll be performing at the Living Green Festival this year and also facilitating workshops on making puppets from reusable items!

Come check it out!

DETAILS:
- Sunday 2 October
- 11:30am-12:30pm & 1:30pm-2:30pm (festival continues all day)
- Albert Hall (I’ll be in the kidsfest area)
- Entry free

Clay puppet making workshops

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

If you’re looking for something fun to do over the school holidays, I will be doing an extremely exciting course with the Canberra Potter’s
Society. Across the 2 weeks (four x 3-hour morning sessions), we will be building clay puppet heads and hands, costuming the bodies and
learning how to operate our own unique sculpted puppets. All materials and firing of the puppets is included.

DETAILS:
AGES: 7 – 12 years
DATES: 9am – 12pm September 27, 28 AND October 4 & 5
Cost: $240 (early bird discount applies until Friday 9 September; no other discounts apply)
ENROL: http://www.canberrapotters.com.au/c_class_kids.html

Playschool’s 50th birthday at NMA

Saturday, July 30, 2016

We had a fantastic time performing at the National Museum for the 50th birthday of Playschool! It was an absolute honour to share the stage and meet with the TV stars from Playschool – as well as hanging out in the backstage area with the Playschool toys Big Ted, Jemima, Little Ted and Humpty!

We performed our show twice across the day. Our show, full of music, crafts and puppets, was centred around using your imagination with things found around the home.

Special thanks to Kellie Robson and to the National Museum for having us and also sharing their beautiful photos from the day with us.
Thanks also to the National Archives of Australia for helping fund the creation of an initial version of the show of which some parts were taken.

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Photo courtesy of National Museum of Australia

Performing at Playschool’s 50th birthday

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jonathan and I will be performing our latest show at the very special 50th birthday celebration (Great Big Adventure Festival) at the National Museum of Australia!

We’ll be performing our show twice during the day on the big stage! There will be lots of other activities during the FREE event, such as craft, dress-ups, tea parties, toys and a special story time with Play School presenters Teo and Emma.
The day’s program repeats 10am to noon and noon to 2pm.

Here are the details:
- Sunday, 17 July
- We’re on at 10:45am and 12:45pm
- All ages
- Free
- National Museum of Australia

Photo by Marion Verbruggen

Photo by Marion Verbruggen

ALEA puppetry presentation

Monday, May 23, 2016

Last weekend, I was a guest speaker at a wonderful Storytelling event for Canberra teachers at the National Library of Australia, hosted by ALEA – Australian Literacy Educators’ Association.

In my presentation, I spoke of my experience in running my business, the fundamentals of puppetry, my research and findings in the benefits of using puppetry in education, therapy and as as a medium for storytelling. During my presentation, I provided fun and simple activities, demonstrating how puppetry can be an excellent non-threatening, fun, relatable and easy to use teaching tool for many things, including storytelling.

I would like to extend a big thanks to the team at ALEA and Robyn Watson who got me involved with such a valuable event.

Many thanks to Renee Gill for taking photos.

TQI teacher lecture – guest lecture

Thursday, April 28, 2016

On Saturday, 21st of May, I will be giving a lecture (which will include activities) for the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association to Canberra teachers on how to include puppetry in their classrooms to promote storytelling.

In my presentation, I will give insight into my unique practice, findings and experiences in working with and inspiring children through puppetry as well as provide simple techniques and activities to introduce your classroom for basic storytelling through puppetry.

To book your spot, visit the ALEA website for more information. This event is TQI approved.

Photo by Konrad Lenz

Photo by Konrad Lenz

Through puppetry, I’ve been able to connect with a child’s imagination and creativity, enabling them to build confidence, perform, tell stories, connect, communicate and collaborate with others no matter a child’s ability, age or background.

NFF 2016 photos

Friday, April 1, 2016

We had a fantastic time performing at this year’s National Folk Festival, every day, across four days at the Carnival Stage. We were blown away by the audiences, especially the ones that came back every single day! Our performances were made extra special by the loud bellows of laughter coming from the packed out audiences (even coming from all the grown ups).

Thank you to the National Folk Festival for having us back again and also a special thanks to the sound and lighting team at the Carnival Stage!

New puppets for Nat Archive show!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Meet our brand new puppets created specially for our custom show for the National Archives of Australia this April School Holidays!

Don’t leave it till the last minute to book your spot to see the show – limited places! Book tickets here: http://bit.ly/1RsHmws

Dates and times:
- Wednesday 13 April 11am and 1pm
- Saturday 16 April 11am and 1pm

Custom show for the National Archives

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I’m excited to announce a special project I’ve been working on! The National Archives of Australia have asked me to build a custom show for their upcoming April school holidays!

Photos, updates and more coming soon. For now, here’s a little time-lapse video of painting the main character’s face I’m creating for the show.

The dates will be the 13th and 16th of April.

Secure your tickets here:
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/puppetoodle-tickets-22553547267

Upcoming shows at the NFF

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Looking forward to our performances at this year’s National Folk Festival! Come check us out at the Carnival Stage each day during the long Easter weekend!

Here are our set times:
- Friday 12:30pm
- Saturday 2:30pm
- Sunday 1:30pm
- Monday 11:30am

Shadow workshop at Enlightened

Monday, March 7, 2016

My shadow workshop tent at the Australian National Botanic Gardens was full of creativity on Saturday night during the Luminous Botanicus II event for Enlighten.

Using found materials from the gardens, little shadow characters as well as creating their own puppets, visitors of all ages had fun telling stories and making shadow vignettes.

Film screening

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Tonight, my short film Namahey will be screened at the Canberra Shorts film screenings at Debacle Bar in Braddon from 8pm!

Luma’s debut

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Here’s a few photos from my roving performance last night at the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ Luminous Botanicus II event for Enlighten!

I created Luma (my roving black light marionette) specifically for the event and she’ll be making another appearance next Friday night (the 11th)!

Shadow workshop at Botanic Gardens

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I will be facilitating a shadow workshop at the Australian National Botanic Gardens’ Luminous Botanicus II event this Saturday, the 5th of March between 8 and 9pm.

During the workshop, you will learn how to cast shadows, manipulate light and create magic through the oldest form of puppetry
using natural objects from the heart of the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

Tickets can be purchased at www.anbg.gov.au/gardens or at the door if the event is not booked out in advance.

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

New roving act – debut at Enlighted Festival

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Introducing Luma, my roving black-light marionette, custom-made for the Australian National Botanic Gardens! I’ll be performing it at their Luminous Botanicus II event on the 4th and 11th of March, between 8 and 9pm for the Enlighten festival!

Tickets can be purchased at www.anbg.gov.au/gardens or at the door if the event is not booked out in advance.

Upcoming school holiday program

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Come join one of my holiday programs at the National Archives next Wednesday!

I’ll be performing a puppet show, followed by a workshop on manipulating puppets!

Time: 10am-12noon
Where: National Archives of Australia
Who: Kids aged 8-12 years
Enrol: http://bit.ly/1hPq3HP

Videos from the student performances

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Across 10 weeks (May to July 2015), I taught 20 young students aged between 5 and 13 years all aspects of puppetry from building puppets to performing them and everything in between. At the end of project, students showcased their work to a public audience over two days. Here are all the performances which the students performed across a wide range of puppetry styles!


“Eight Little Ducks” Rod puppets by students aged 5-7years.

“Little Red Riding Hood” Mouth puppets by students aged 8-13years.

“Eight in the Bed” Hand puppets by students aged 5-7years.

“Bill Goats Gruff” Shadow puppets by students aged 8-13years.

“Damian’s Piece” Hand puppets by Damian Warren, aged 13years.

“There was an Old Lady” Shadow puppets by students aged 5-7years.

“The Girl who cried Wolf” Hand puppets by students aged 8-13years.

“The Princess and the Pea” Rod puppets by students aged 8-13years.

“Puppet Parade” Rod and string puppets created by all students aged 5-13years.

“Tonight Again” Mouth puppets, dance and singing piece by all students aged 5-13years.

This project has been made possible by funding from project artsACT and an Artist in Residence program at Belconnen Arts Centre – and of course, 20 wonderful enthusiastic students!

Click here to view the whole project.

Video thanks to Risk Creations!

Artist in residence – Turner Primary

Monday, August 24, 2015

It was an honour to be an artist in residence at the Turner School’s Artist and Writers Festival!

For 6 full days, I performed 6 shows + 2 marionette shows to the entire school, gave 17 workshops (5 of which were for special units) and led over 500 students in a puppet parade all with their own puppets!!

Walking around the school I felt like such a celebrity with students calling out my name (or in fact adorably “puppet lady”) or running towards me in groups, asking all sorts of questions about puppetry. It was an absolute delight!

I want to extend a very warm and heartfelt thank you to the school to including me in their wonderful festival and to dedicate such a long period of school time completely to art and writing! I want to also thank all the staff, teachers and parents who encouraged and supported myself and the other artists and lastly, to the wonderful students – who dedicated and applied themselves so beautifully to the art of puppetry!


Photos thanks to Turner School.

BAC residency – student performances

Sunday, July 19, 2015

I couldn’t have wished for more amazing performances! My very talented, dedicated and passionate students blew the audiences and me away – I couldn’t be more proud! Videos coming soon.

Many thanks to Dayna Ransley who took some amazing photos!

For even more photos, visit my online Picasa Web album.

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Photo by Dayna Ransley

Mother’s group workshop

Friday, July 3, 2015

This week I visited Majura Women’s Group and facilitated a workshop in glove puppet making! It was a nice change to teach adults instead of kids. Over the 2-hour session, participants created frog and duck puppets and worked towards a performance for their babies and toddlers to the music of “3 Little Speckled Frogs”, “5 Little Ducks” and “D’Glumph went the little Green Frog”! It was a whole lot of fun for everyone!

BAC residency – operating puppets

Monday, June 29, 2015

Each week during my residency at Belconnen Arts Centre, I focus on a different style of puppetry with my students. Covering all sorts of ground in the wonderful world of puppets, there was a big concentration on improvisation, character development and also learning performance techniques. One of the biggest improvements I saw in all students was their growth in self confidence, not only being able to perform in front of their peers – but loving it!

Canberra Theatre workshops

Sunday, June 7, 2015

To celebrate The Canberra Theatre Centre’s open day, the Centre asked me to run some custom puppet workshops for kids, based on the puppets in the Storm Boy production which was currently playing.

The workshops were a huge success and were all booked out days in advance!

Participants learnt how to make their own pelican puppets using simple materials, how to operate them and give mini-performances with them at the end of the 1-hour workshops.

Workshop at Canberra Theatre Centre

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

This Saturday (June 6) I’ll be teaching two puppet making workshops (making some cute pelican puppets) at the Canberra Theatre Centre to celebrate their show Storm Boy!

There’s still a couple places left, click here to book.

Pelican Puppet made by Marianne Mettes (for workshop)

Pelican Puppet made by Marianne Mettes (for workshop)

School Holidays at the NMA

Friday, April 24, 2015

For the past two-weeks, I’ve been working full-time at the National Museum of Australia, performing puppets and facilitating puppetry workshops during the School Holidays in their Discovery Space. It’s been an amazingly rewarding experience and it’s been so great seeing the fruits of several months and many hours of work all come together!

For the program, ‘Play with Plays’ I was commissioned to design a foldable toy theatre in the theme of the Museum’s loop, that could be printed on an A3 paper, both for downloading from their website and also for the school holiday activity. Click here to download the PDF and instructions to make your own theatre with puppets! It was a real joy to see more than 100 kids every day paint and create the theatre I had designed!

I also created seven large scale puppets to facilitate the performance workshop element of the holiday programs. I based these on an actual Toy Theatre from the 1800s in the Museum’s collection. The puppets currently on display are the characters from Cinderella – so this was the story we choose to present during the program.

During each workshop, I would tell the story of Cinderella using the puppets and then invite kids from the audience to use the puppets and perform the story! It was a lot of fun for everyone involved!

There were many elements part of the program which the NMA staff put together to really immerse participants in the puppetry and Toy Theatre world; such as iPad versions of the original Toy Theatre in the museum’s collection, iPads to record your own puppet film, soft puppets and a stage for toddlers to put on a show and a huge range of wonderful art supplies for everyone to make their puppets and stages.

It was a fabulous program all round! Many thanks to Kellie and Kate and the whole crew at the NMA for hosting such a fabulous creative program!

For even more photos of the Play with Play holiday program, visit the Museum’s flikr page here.

Upcoming classes for 5-12 years

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I’m very proud to announce my upcoming residency with Belconnen Arts Centre! I’ll be teaching two groups of young Canberrans (ages 5-7 and 8-12 yrs) an 8-week term of all things puppetry!

Shows and Workshops at Imaginarium

Sunday, April 19, 2015

On 9 April I performed a series of shows plus led some very magical workshops with 4 groups of amazing young puppeteers between 7 and 13years at Canberra Youth Theatre’s Imaginarium festival!

Together, each group created their own puppet videos against a green screen using a whole bunch of my puppets and my music! It was a fantastic program and look forward to seeing all the video creations soon!

Upcoming school holiday program at NMA

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Looking forward to spending the school holidays at The National Museum of Australia making toy theatre magic!! Come and join us and make your own! Sessions on every weekday for the next two weeks at 10am, 11am and noon!

For more info, check out the NMA’s website.

Page 8, Panorama The Canberra Times, 11-April-2015

Page 8, Panorama The Canberra Times, 11-April-2015

National Folk Festival

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Jonathan and I performed a whopping 8 shows at the 4 day folk festival in Canberra this year! We had a whole bunch of fun and had a lot of enthusiastic laughing kids and grown ups in every audience!

Artist in residence on the Gold Coast

Friday, March 27, 2015

After working long-distance with the All Saints Anglican School on the Gold Coast for the past year, designing and building a series of 10 wetland animal puppets, the school decided to complete the wonderful project by flying me up to the Gold Coast from Canberra to work with their entire year 7 grade (175 students). I taught a total of 7 workshops to the students exploring the art and magic of puppetry, teaching basic principals and techniques as well as allowing students to develop their own characters.

As well as bringing in a series of different puppets for students to work with, we also explored the different characters and techniques to operating my custom-made wetland puppets!

During my time at the school, I also did a small performance and talked to the student body and staff about what it is like to be a full-time artist in a Q&A format. I think it was incredibly inspiring for everyone involved, including myself. Some of the students also did a small presentation of some of the work we’d done in class and also demonstrated the 10 wetland puppets, all finally together in one place!

I would like to extend a massive thank you to Chantelle Flint, who has been in correspondence with me every step of the way and spearheaded the project; Patrick Wallas, the Headmaster of the school, who has been so supportive and encouraging of the project; the drama department for having me and of course the amazing year 7 students who really got involved and made the experience so magical for me.

Goulburn Show

Sunday, March 22, 2015

We had a great time performing our Baz n Snags show at the Goulburn Show today!

National Library for Skyfire

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Over the weekend, I performed at a great event hosted by Minter Ellison at the National Library of Australia during the Skyfire fireworks display!

Here’s a great photo from a very different point of view – from above, higher up in the National Library! Thanks to Edy Syquer for such a great shot!

Thanks to Edy Syquer for the great photo!

Thanks to Edy Syquer for the great photo!

PHOTOS: Baz ‘n’ Snags @ the NMA

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The National Museum of Australia commissioned us to create a special show to be performed twice, at their family fun day for Australia Day, 26-1-2015. We brought back our characters from our web-series from 2012, Baz ‘n’ Snags, and created a new additional puppet character, Banjo the wild brumby, for the big stage show. Over the day, almost 5,000 people attended!

Baz 'n' Snags @ the NMA - photo by Ben Mettes

Baz 'n' Snags @ the NMA - photo by Ben Mettes

Baz 'n' Snags @ the NMA - photo by Methinks Photography

Baz 'n' Snags @ the NMA - photo by Methinks Photography

Baz 'n' Snags @ the NMA - photo by Methinks Photography

Baz 'n' Snags @ the NMA - photo by Methinks Photography

Baz 'n' Snags @ the NMA - photo by Methinks Photography

Baz 'n' Snags @ the NMA - photo by Methinks Photography

For EVEN more photos, click here for an album of goodies!

VIDEO: Baz ‘n’ Snags @ the NMA

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Last week we had two incredible performances of Baz ‘n’ Snags at The National Museum of Australia! Over the day, almost 5,000 people attended! If you missed it, here’s wonderful video made by Cheeky Creek.

Article in the Chronicle

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wow! Full page spread in yesterday’s Chronicle! We can’t wait to perform the show!

Click to enlarge, then click to zoom in

Click to enlarge, then click to zoom in

Article in the BMA magazine

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Nice spread in BMA Magazine about our upcoming show at the National Museum of Australia! For the online version of the article, visit the BMA magazine here.

Article in the BMA Magazine about our upcoming show at the NMA

Article in the BMA Magazine about our upcoming show at the NMA

Baz ‘n’ Snags at the Museum!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Since 2012, we’ve created several shows for the National Museum of Australia, including the 2012 Silk Road Festival and 1913 Country Fair in 2013.

This Australia Day we will meet Baz ‘n’ Snags – Baz is an ex-city slicker having moved to his Grandpop’s farm with his sausage dog Snags. See what adventures they get up to when they meet a wild brumby! A great story told within the framework of Australian bush verse.

Baz 'N' Snags at the Museum!

Baz 'N' Snags at the Museum!

Baz ‘n’ Snags was originally created in 2012 as a webseries, but will now be made for stage featuring a puppet horse! See more about Baz ‘n’ Snags here: www.baznsnags.com

We will be on stage at 10:00am and 2:30pm, 26 January 2015!

Rodney’s Nursery & Garden Centre

Saturday, October 25, 2014

I was invited to perform my Punch & Judy show at Rodney’s Nursery & Garden Centre this weekend! It was a lovely family day and had big audiences for all three shows during the day!

Happy 40th birthday Rodney!

Performing Punch & Judy at Rodney's Nursery & Garden Centre

Performing Punch & Judy at Rodney's Nursery & Garden Centre

Puppetry Workshops ANNOUNCED!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

I will be running a series of kids, teens and all ages puppetry workshops this month as part of my residency in the Project Space at Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres.

Sock Puppet Making (2 sessions):
Dates & Times:
- Saturday 13 September 11-12:30am (click to book)
- Saturday 13 September 1pm-2:30pm (click to book)
Venue: Currong Workshop Space, B Block, Gorman Arts Centre
Ages: 8 years and up (parents, teenagers and adults welcome)
Cost: $10 per person.

Puppeteering for TV (2 sessions):
Dates & Times:
- Tuesday 16 September, 4:30-6pm ages 7-12 years (click to book)
- Wednesday 17 September, 4:45-6:15pm ages 13-17 years (click to book)
Venue: Bogong Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre
Cost: $15 per person

Puppetry impro and performance:
Dates & Times: Sunday 21 September, 10:30am-12:30pm (click to book)
Venue: Bogong Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre
Ages: All ages (8 years and up)
Cost: $20 per person.

For all bookings, dates & info, visit: www.puppetoodle.eventbrite.com.au
Be quick – places are limited!

October holiday workshops @ BAC

Monday, September 1, 2014

I will be running three very special school holiday programs at the Belconnen Arts Centre in October.

Sock puppet making and play
- DATE & TIME: Friday 10 October 10:00am–12:00pm
- AGES: 5-7 years
- COST: $15

Sock puppet making and play
- DATE & TIME: Friday 10 October 2:00–4:00pm
- AGES: 8-12 years
- COST: $15

Puppeteering for TV
- DATE & TIME: Thursday 9 October 1:00–4:00pm
- AGES: Teens
- Cost: $15

For more info & bookings, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/spring-school-holiday-program-tickets-12522766933

Puppetry classes announced!

Monday, March 17, 2014

I’m really excited to launch PuppetOOdle School, with the first puppetry courses in ‘Puppetry Techniques for TV‘ starting in May!

To celebrate, I’m offering a 10% discount if you book THIS WEEK (offer ends 24-3-2014)!

For enrolment and info, visit: http://www.puppetoodle.com/school

Puppetry techniques for TV - CLASSES

Puppetry techniques for TV - CLASSES

Photos from Mindscape Festival

Friday, November 22, 2013

Last month (10 October), I performed my marionette piece I’d created in the USA (see previous blog post) at a very special cabaret/variety show night “Mindscapes Festival – Mish Mash Variety Night“, dedicated to mental health week. It was a fabulous show to take part in and I had great fun performing my piece on stage again! Here are some awesome photos taken from the night.




Photos from Kids, Creatures & 100 Harlequins

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What a fantastic day, the weather was beautiful and the crowds were full of fun and smiles (almost 4,000 of them too)! Our show was really well received and our manipulation workshop afterwards went down a treat – with even all the parents joining in too! Thanks to Elena Kirschbaum for organising such a great festival, dedicated and created specially for all the children and families in Canberra. Here’s some photos from the day!

Photo by Brent Kingston: http://www.brentkingstoncit.blogspot.com.au

Photo by Brent Kingston: http://www.brentkingstoncit.blogspot.com.au


Photo by Panta Rei

Photo by Panta Rei


Photo by Panta Rei

Photo by Panta Rei


Photo by Panta Rei

Photo by Panta Rei

Upcoming show – Kids, Creatures & 100 Harlequins

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This Saturday, we’ll be performing our latest show, Punch & Judy, at the “Kids, Creatures & 100 Harlequins” festival in Glebe Park!

The special kids festival will be on throughout Friday and Saturday and we’ll be performing between 10am and 2pm on Saturday the 26th - just look out for our colourful pop-up stage! We’ll do a show each hour (so just check out blackboard clock for the next show) and will also do a special manipulation workshop for enthusiastic little puppeteers-in-training! There will be a stack of other entertainment and workshops, including clowns, dragons and dancing. For more info, download: the full program.

Our new puppet show!

Our new puppet show!

Training with the masters

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Here is a video that was the result of training at a very specialised puppetry conference (O’Neill National Puppetry Conference), to which I won a scholarship to attend in the USA during June, 2013. I trained everyday from 9am till midnight along with 4 other students taking the 8-day “Advanced Marionette Manipulation” course. Here we worked one-on-one with Phillip Huber (world-famous master puppeteer, who did marionette sequences in blockbuster movies such as; ‘Being John Malkovich’ and ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’). At the conclusion of the conference, I performed my finished marionette piece, ‘Woo Pee Woo’ in 2 big public performances, attended by many well-known puppeteers, colleagues, family and friends.

It was an amazing experienced where I fully immersed myself into the world of the marionette and fell in love with the art form. I find that this style of puppetry feels more fluid and natural to me, as the dance movements I envision flow through my body into the strings of the puppet. I guess it also helps that my full name, Marianne Mettes, sounds like Marionettes… I must have been born for it! I’m looking forward to creating more marionette puppets and choreographies (and marionette puppetry fusions) when I get home!

The marionette students (manipulation & building course) at O'Neill

The marionette students (manipulation & building course) at O'Neill

I had created my puppet, Rosie, two weeks before I left for the USA and is a special ‘soft-body’ marionette design. I later improved my marionette with the assistance and direction of Phillip Huber at the conference. The music I choreographed my piece to, is actually music I wrote, recorded and performed in 2005 – when I was asked to compose music for a dance choreography. This was a result of a series of compositions I created for a big dance performance depicting the four seasons and ‘Woo Pee Woo’ was the summer song! I’ve always loved this song, but never found another place for it, until I was searching for a piece of music to choreograph the marionette piece to and it fit perfect with the character and personality of my puppet.

If you like the music, you can get it online here:
CD baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mariannemettes
iTune: https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/woo-pee-woo-single/id718616286

Puppet masters (left to right): Fred Thompson, Judy & Jim Rose, Phillip Huber

Puppet masters (left to right): Fred Thompson, Judy & Jim Rose, Phillip Huber

During the conference, I also took another course learning to build moving mechanisms, levers and triggers into puppets lead by The Muppets’ puppeteer and puppet maker, Jim Kroupa. Here I built my very own puppet (that resembled Rizzo the Rat from the Muppets) that had moving eye brows and a trigger mouth.

My finished puppet with teachers Jim Kroupa and Jonathan Little

My finished puppet with teachers Jim Kroupa and Jonathan Little

Punch & Judy video and photos

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Here are some video excerpts and photos taken by Pete Butz of our Punch & Judy shows at the National Museum of Australia, on the 13th of April 2013.

Punch saying "hello"!

Punch saying "hello"!

"The baby's behind you!!!"

"The baby's behind you!!!"

"Oh no, Punch is in Jail?"

"Oh no, Punch is in Jail?"

Wonderful laughter from the audiences

Wonderful laughter from the audiences

Fantastic turnout!

Monday, April 15, 2013

We couldn’t have asked for a better day – audiences, weather and the event were all FANTASTIC! We were thrilled to see that every age group was represented and were all in stitches with laughter and having so much fun! A very special thanks to everyone who made the show possible, including the entire PuppetOOdle family, The National Museum of Australia – and of course all the wonderful people who came along to see our shows!

A fantastic turnout for our Punch & Judy shows at the 1913 Country Fair

A fantastic turnout for our Punch & Judy shows at the 1913 Country Fair

Punch dancing his little dance

Punch dancing his little dance

Warming up our muscles before the show and getting the crowd excited

Warming up our muscles before the show and getting the crowd excited

Performance at the 1913 Country Fair, NMA

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Saturday (April 13th) we’ll be debuting our Punch & Judy inspired show (a politically correct version) at the National Museum of Australia’s 1913 Country Fair!

The fair will run from 12noon until 6pm and will feature a huge selection of 1913 inspired shows, workshops, displays and activities including circus performances, carousal rides, petting zoos, wood chopping and sheep shearing displays – and yours truly of course! Click here for a full program.

We’ll be performing between 1pm and 4pm each hour at various times. Just look for our pop-up striped stage and check our blackboard for performance times! We’ll also be doing some roving around the venue with our country friends, Baz ‘n’ Snags!

For more info, tickets and parking details check out the NMA’s website.

Hope to see you there!

Great performance

Saturday, March 30, 2013

We had a lovely day last weekend, performing at The Village in Glebe Park inside The Bally tent. There was a wonderful festive vibe, great crowds and fantastic weather! Here are a few photos from our performance of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Jack and the Beanstalk, performed at The Village, 24-3-2013

Jack and the Beanstalk, performed at The Village, 24-3-2013

Jack and the Beanstalk, performed at The Village, 24-3-2013

Jack and the Beanstalk, performed at The Village, 24-3-2013

Performance at The Village Festival

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We’ll be doing a last minute performance at the upcoming Village Festival, at Glebe Park in Canberra. We’ll be performing our Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation in the Bally tent at 12noon on Sunday 24th of March.

The festival will be on from 21-24 March and feature all sorts of entertainment, markets and workshops – should be great fun! For more info, check out their website: http://www.thevillagefestival.com.au/whats-on/c100

Jack and the Beanstalk, by PuppetOOdle

Jack and the Beanstalk, by PuppetOOdle

New museum commission!

Friday, March 8, 2013

We’re just about to start a new commission for the The National Museum of Australia – creating a Punch & Judy style show for their upcoming 1913 Country Fair! For inspiration, I found my mum’s beautiful old puppets that were carved by my great-grandfather and costumes made by my great-grandmother. I guess puppetry has been running in the family longer than I realised!

The event will take place at the museum, and will feature everything to take you back to 1913 including a live woodchopping and sheep shearing, a petting zoo, roving circus entertainment and more!

Date: April 13 from 12noon till 6pm. Cost: $10 adult, $8 concession, $5 child, $22 family (includes entry to the Glorious Days exhibition).

Punch and Judy, hand-made by my great-grandfather

Punch and Judy, hand-made by my great-grandfather

National Multicultural Festival

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Last weekend, we performed and hosted a puppet manipulation workshop at the Children’s Sanctuary, at the National Multicultural Festival in Canberra last week!

We were very honoured perform alongside the likes of Jay Laga’aia, from Play School and Star Wars and other fabulous entertainment! It was a beautiful day, filled with lovely smiling and inspired faces! Here are just a few amazing photos, taken by Pete Butz from Cry Havoc Media.

National Museum Workshop

Friday, January 18, 2013

It was a fantastic evening at the Big Objects Puppetry Workshop at the National Museum of Australia this week! The workshop investigated the life of Ernie Old, a famous Australian, with a famous bicycle that travelled all around the country and the world. Participants at the workshop created their own inspired puppet of Ernie and his bicycle and all worked together to perform his life story.

Here are some great photos by Pete Butz. We’ll be hosting the workshop again this Thursday (24-1-13)! For bookings, contact the Museum: bookings@nma.gov.au or (02) 6208 5021

Workshops at the National Museum of Australia

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

We’ll be will hosting two workshops at the National Museum of Australia for the School Holidays on Thursday 17 and 24 January 2013, 4:30pm to 7:00pm! Join us to make puppets inspired by their current exhibition (Big Objects) and learn how to perform them!

Suitable for children aged 8–14. Cost is $20 or $10 for “Friends of the Museum”. For bookings, contact the Museum: bookings@nma.gov.au or phone (02) 6208 5021

Huge crowds at the NMA Night Markets

Monday, June 18, 2012

What a event! Over 10,000 people came through the doors for Friday’s Night Market Festival at the NMA! We were absolutely blown away by the masses of smiling faces watching us perform and all the enthusiastic children who got so involved in our show! Thanks to all who braved the (insane) traffic and came out to see us!

Here’s a timelapse of the Museum’s Hall filling up over the night. We’ll be posting photos here soon too!

PuppetOOdle performs at a charity showcase

Monday, May 28, 2012

On Saturday, we performed our show ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ for a very intimate audience made up of young and old at a special charity event ‘Music as Peace Work’ festival. The lovely event was organised by Canberra MD, Graeme Thompson and the Medical Association for Prevention of War. For more info, visit: http://www.mapw.org.au/events/mapw-music-festival

PuppetOOdle performs at charity showcase, 'Music as Peace Work'

PuppetOOdle performs at charity showcase, 'Music as Peace Work'

A photo re-cap of a most fantastic day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On the weekend we performed our big custom-made show for crowds of hundreds, at the National Museum of Australia!

The show was an enormous success and there were plenty of laughs from all different age groups in the audience, especially after special appearances from a very cheeky camel puppet and a charming Italian puppet, Marco Polo – a famous traveller on the Silk Road. After the show they were overwhelmed with children, all queuing up to meet the puppets and their makers.

Here’s a few fantastic photos, taken by the wonderful Konrad Lenz (and a couple taken by Ben Mettes)!

Marco Polo, just being his charming self! Photo by Konrad Lenz

Marco Polo, just being his charming self! Photo by Konrad Lenz

"Jonathan, can you play that song, the one about me?" Photo by Konrad Lenz

"Jonathan, can you play that song, the one about me?" Photo by Konrad Lenz

Marco Polo singing the high note! Photo by Konrad Lenz

Marco Polo singing the high note! Photo by Konrad Lenz

A view of the crowd while performing 'The Golden Goose'. Photo by Ben Mettes

A view of the crowd while performing 'The Golden Goose'. Photo by Ben Mettes

Performing the sing-a-long Marco Polo song. Photo by Konrad Lenz

Performing the sing-a-long Marco Polo song. Photo by Konrad Lenz

Full concentration while performing the stick puppets... Photo by Konrad Lenz

Full concentration while performing the stick puppets... Photo by Konrad Lenz

Very proud to be listed on the Museum's program! Photo by Ben Mettes

Very proud to be listed on the Museum's program! Photo by Ben Mettes

BarCamp Canberra 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Last week Jonathan and I gave a presentation on puppetry at BarCamp Canberra - an event where no one is just a spectator, but rather, everyone is a participant and involved in the event in some way. Participants can give a talk, by signing up at the start of the day and allocating themselves a room and time, use social media throughout the event, voluteer and become an 'un-organiser' or avidly take part in other people's presentations by asking questions and giving feedback and suggestions.

We were newbies to the whole BarCamp universe (it's a world wide event, in an 'un-conference' style), and decided to give a brief overview about puppetry, what it's like to be a puppeteer and teach everyone some basic puppetry techniques, such as lip-syncing, eye-focus and character voices! Each participant created their own puppet character with their provided socks and eyeballs. Other presentations included talks and demos on bubble blowing robots, laser cut jewellery, small business funding, arcade games and more. The corridors were filled with all sorts of delights like 3D printers and designer cupcakes... We were a bit worried that we'd stand out a little with our puppets, but we were surprisingly embraced by the BarCamp community, which was evident from all the live tweeting that was going on (see a selection of tweets below) and the involvement of everyone who attended our workshop!

Thanks to all the participants that came to our presentation and everyone who tweeted and took photos! Special thanks to Ruth Ellison and Alastair D'Silva for sharing their great photos with us!

Marianne gives a preview of "Marco Polo" - photo by Alastair D'Silva

Marianne gives a preview of "Marco Polo" - photo by Alastair D'Silva

Explaining lip-syncing techniques - photo by Alastair D'Silva

Explaining lip-syncing techniques - photo by Alastair D'Silva

A captivated audience at BarCamp learning lip-syncing - photo by Alastair D'Silva

A captivated audience at BarCamp learning lip-syncing - photo by Alastair D'Silva



Latest bunch of holiday programs!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This month, we hosted a series of PuppetOOdle school holiday programs at four of the ACT Libraries. We launched our brand new show, 'Jack and the Beanstalk' with live, original songs and music and brand new special puppets I'd crafted. Before the show, we warmed up the audience with sing-a-long songs and dancing and afterwards, the children created wonderful drawings of their favourite characters in the show. We also hosted two very exciting and fun workshops. A 'Paper Puppet' making workshop, where participants learnt how to make and manipulate a puppet from paper and a 'Puppet Manipulation' workshop, where participants learnt the basics of manipulating puppets - just like in the new Muppet Movie! They learnt professional techniques, such as lip-syncing, eye-focus, character voices and applying different emotions and movements. All programs were booked out weeks in advance and all who attended left with enormous smiles and enthusiasm for PuppetOOdle!

Jack and the Beanstalk show

Performing Jack and the Beanstalk at Tuggeranong Library

Puppet manipulation workshop

Wonderful paper puppet creations created at Civic Library

Awesome holiday programs!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This week, Jonathan and I had fun during our holiday programs at ACT libraries! We debuted our new show, 'The Frog Prince', which featured a stack of funny, original songs and special 'velcro' puppets I designed - so that the Prince could magically turn into a frog and back again! The kids also made some fantastic little frog and princess finger puppets and in each performance, the room was filled with love and laughter.

The Frog Prince puppets

Frog Prince paper finger puppets

Booked-out library programs

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm proud to say that my last couple of school holiday programs at the ACT libraries were booked-out in almost 24 hours! Not only that, but they were a tremendous success! Our show, 'Rumplestiltskin' was a hoot and all the kids made some very wonderful little Rumplestiltskin finger puppets afterwards! Thanks again to all who came, the ACT libraries, my very supportive parents and my talented brother, Jonathan for the live music and specially co-written songs! Holiday program at Belconnen Library, performing Rumplestiltskin Paper puppet workshop

Debut PuppetOOdle show

Friday, April 29, 2011

My first PuppetOOdle show and puppet-making workshop went brilliantly. All the kids laughed at all the right places, they were engrossed making paper puppets afterwards and all the parents were pleased. I don't think it could have gone any better! I'd like to give a big thanks to Civic Library for having us, Cole Bennetts for the great photographs, my parents for all the help and support and my brother and partner in crime/puppet business, Jonathan Mettes for the amazing live music! Our debut show at Civic Library, performing Rapunzel. Photo by Cole Bennets