Show off your creative side- Take a course in Puppet Making

Puppet Making Workshops (August 4 to 7) Leave a Life-long Impression

ALMONTE (Town of Mississippi Mills) – Making a puppet from scratch is something few people will forget once they’ve tried it, says Noreen Young, Master Puppeteer and Artistic Director, of the Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival. And workshops with Noreen and visiting puppet experts have inspired both successful puppeteer careers and passionate hobbyists.

“There’s something about turning inanimate materials into something that literally comes to life in your hands,” says Young. “Personally, I never get tired of building puppets and adding new puppet characters to my collection.”

This year, Puppets Up! offers an extensive array of puppet workshops in advance of the festival itself featuring some of the world’s best puppet artists. Workshops commence on August 4 at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte and run until the festival begins on August 8. Workshops are for participants sixteen years of age and up.

Highlights of the workshop offering include:

*A 4-day workshop with Noreen Young on making hand and rod puppets with latex/rubber faces. Puppets like these made Noreen famous on TV and around the world!
*Stephanie Atkinson’s three-day workshop teaches students how to design, construct and manipulate a marionette. Puppets will be fabricated using a combination of papier mâché, wood and foam rubber.
*Ever considered expressing your creativity on, say, YouTube... using puppets? Trish Leper brings her years of experience, including stint with Jim Henson’s Muppets, to a 2-day workshop about the creative and technical aspects of television puppetry.
*Talk about recycling! James Ashby and Grey Muldoon (The Bricoteer Puppetry Project) will show you how to turn household and found objects into fantastic puppets during a one-day workshop.
*Art teacher, Stephanie Williams provides her own take on the same theme at another one-day workshop.
*Not only will she be on stage during the festival, but Kingston puppeteer Annie Milne, of Gentle Wings Puppet Theatre, will lead a one-day workshop about how to make a personal rod puppet using foam covered in fabric and wooden rods. Ask her about the huge Purple Dragon in her life.
*Master puppeteer Luman Coad says “Get A Life!”. He’ll teach a one-day workshop on how to really bring puppets to life for the stage.
With a song in his heart, puppeteer Ben Durocher will lead a one-day workshop on puppets in musical theatre. By the way, Ben was a finalist in the CBC’s “Triple Sensation” in 2008.

“We take full advantage of the world-class puppeteers who are coming to perform at Puppets Up!, along with our resident experts, says Young. “These workshops are absolutely magical.” Marta Singh, a story teller who will perform in the festival’s Telling Stories theatre shares Young’s enthusiasm for puppet making. “When I was still living in Buenos Aires, I took a weekend-long workshop. We had to make a puppet with our own hands, then breathe life into it. Holy Henry, I'll never forget that. It was, well, it was almost otherworldly!”

For more information about Puppet making workshops and the Puppets Up! festival visit

Media Contact: Susan Wright: (613) 730-2020 e-mail:

Michael Rikley-Lancaster
Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

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