Rod Puppetry Workshop

Available all year.   Contact Ann Powell  416-538-6210

Rod puppetry is a form of puppetry that originated in Asia long ago. In the 1800s European colonizers and merchants took samples back home, and then European puppeteers picked up on the idea. These figures are built on a central control rod, and manipulated from below. The arms, and sometimes the legs, can be moved with separate rods.

Rod puppets by grade 4/5 students

“Outstanding instruction!  Ann established excellent rapport with the children. She motivated them and inspired them to produce excellent work. An outstanding experience for the children”                   The Principal, Cottingham P.S. Toronto


2D Paper Rod Puppets Grades 1 – 3

Having decided what stories to tell as puppet plays, students draw and colour their stories’ characters on construction paper, cut them out and give them moving parts using brass brads and bamboo sticks. With a bit of rehearsal, students are ready to help their puppets act out amazing stories. These puppets are a simplified version of the traditional flat-carved Wayang Klikit rod puppets of Indonesia.

  •  In a half day session, puppets can be made.
  • In a whole day, “plays” are planned and performed as well.


Rod Puppets for Grades 2 – 4

Using scrumpled newspaper, masking tape and paint to sculpt puppet heads attached to dowels, each student constructs and clothes their own puppet character for the retelling of stories. These simple rod puppets are sometimes known as Marottes, and are a contemporary update of the Fool’s stick of a medieval jester.

  • In 2 half days puppets are made.
  • With an extra half day, plays are brainstormed, planned and rehearsed in small groups, and performed for each other.


Rod Puppets Grades 5 – 8

Using wire coat hangers for puppet rods, cardboard tubes for shoulders, and pantyhose and stuffing for heads each student constructs and costumes their own puppet character, based on the rod puppetry traditions of Indonesia, Mali and China. Inventive skits and plays are devised by the students working together in small groups, either in advance of a puppet building day, or as part of a 2 day project.

  •  Minimum 1 full day/2 half days
  • A two day/4  half days program includes in-depth planning and storyboarding, leading to the design and building of puppets and props, and culminates in rehearsal and performance.


Contact Ann at    416-538-6210


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