Fresh Ideas in Puppetry Day 2017

At the Aki Studio in Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. East  See the mapOptimized-Native Earth logo brown

Tickets will be available on-line ASAP

An almost-annual totally day-long mini-conference and festival, showcasing artists taking new and ground-breaking directions in puppetry

Fresh Ideas is a day of presentations and demonstrations, discussions and hands-on workshops, culminating in an evening cabaret of fresh new performances; it is a day of exciting innovations and explorations in puppetry, a stimulating event for everyone interested in current developments in the art form.

Fresh Ideas in Puppetry is officially accredited by UNIMA Canada


Puppetry Intensive Course this June

contortionist, thumbIntensive puppetry course this June!

Puppetmongers and guest artists will offer a two week intensive course at their Toronto studio this June. This will be an exciting, vigorous, hands-on, 12-day training program in the arts of puppet theatre. It is designed to introduce you to the basics of many styles of puppetry, from manipulation and construction to design and performance creation.

This Intensive is for puppeteers, visual artists, composers, teachers, writers, performers, designers, dancers, technicians, or anyone interested in integrating puppetry into their creative practice.

Participants will be selected based on experience and interest. Enrollment is limited to ensure small classes.  For more information or to register please visit the School of Puppetry page.

And now Stratford comes to our studio!

This Fall Keira Loughren and her team of designers and actors were at home in our Toronto studio for a week long workshop of The Komagata Maru Incident, by Sharon Pollock, slated for production at Stratford in mid 2017.

Our job was to create shadow puppets for a Sikh folktale inserted into the play – here are a few pictures of what we made, based on a style of thai shadow puppetry… projected with halogen lamps.

The Crow


The farmer’s Wife

The Banyan Tree and happy ending













Workshopped in Stratford

Collaborated on a workshopping of Cue for Treason at Stratford Ontario, with directors Varrick Grimes and Keira Loughran and video artist Erin Gruber.  It was done with a blend of shadow image/action with projection and live action from a team of six actors.

For this made cut out shadow images to be projected by halogen lamps, and then Erin captured them on video and played with them on her computer before re projecting the results.

Some memorable moments were:

  • A few galloping horsemen I cut out became a hoard of charging cavalry.
  • A ghost scene/bad dream with actors silhouettes and projected visions as shadow images.
  • A cut out chest was projected so that two actors could climb in to hide.
  • Live actors working on the sides of the stage were filmed and projected onto a two floor house interior I had cut out, so you could see them plotting, running up and down stairs, climbing through windows etc, while also seeing them do it all in mime.  A hoot!

Altogether a great shame that the Stratford Festival did not choose to take in on to production – it would have been so much fun!


Dragon for Paper Bag Princess

A recent project to built two dragon puppets for the production of Munsch At Play by Tetrault Arts Productions.  One full size head and neck on a backpack, with moving eyes and eyelids, twitching antennae, and wagging tongue.  And a smaller rod puppet with flapping wings, to fly around stage.  It was a great deal of fun!

small dragonlarge dragon

PXL fees reduced to $250

We have been worried that the fees for PXL projects and participation had to rise too high  to cover our costs.  So we have applied to the Canada Council for assistance with running this program, and without knowing the outcome, are taking the risk of dropping the fees to a more reasonable $250 for all participants.

Ann & David