Workshops 2018

Puppet Homecoming Workshops

There are 4 workshop sessions.  The workshops are included with the Full Festival Registration or you may Sign-Up to attend just the workshops.

  • Saturday 9:00-10:30 AM
  • Saturday 10:45-12:15 PM
  • Sunday 9:00-10:30 AM
  • Sunday 10:45-12:15 PM.

Workshops will be held at The School for International Training  1 Kipling Rd  Brattleboro, VT.  Workshop session are $15 each, or $10 each for Puppeteers of America members.
If you are not a current member  you may choose to join when you sign up.  Members receive discounts to Festivals and Workshops, and receive a one-year subscription to the quarterly Puppetry Journal; all while promoting and supporting the art of puppetry.

Some workshops also have a minimal materials fee which is paid directly to the Workshop presenter.   When you receive your Registration Confirmation use the link to create an account which will allow you to change and update your registration anytime.


Saturday 9:00-10:30 AM

  • Introduction to Silicone Puppets
    • Tom McLaughlin – Introduction to using readily available silicone for puppets; including texturing and coloring.
  • Playwriting for Puppets
    • Darlene Thompson – Learn how to create a pair of contrasting characters for various types of puppets.
  • Paper Automatons
    • Anna Vargas – Participants will cut and assemble a simple automaton.  Application to puppetry is endless. Learn basic principles and use your imagination for the rest.
  • Make a Crankie Box
    • Justin DuPont – After a brief introduction to crankies & techniques, participants will make their own crankie box using cardboard and wood, ready to create their own scrolling epic adventure.

Saturday 10:45-12:15 PM

  • Hand Puppetry 101
    • Z Briggs – Learn how to make a hand puppet come alive. Great for beginners or puppeteers who want to learn the absolute basics and specific hand puppet techniques.
  • Painting with Silicone
    • Tom McLaughlin – How to finish silicone puppets with textures, materials, and colors.
  • Building a Better Puppetry Guild
    • John Lechner – This panel discussion will talk about how to reimagine and reinvent puppetry guilds for the 21st Century. How do local guilds remain useful and inspiring to today’s puppeteers? How can guilds help each other? Bring your questions, issues, ideas!  Panelists will include Jeff Bragg, Joshua Holden, and Kurt Staven.
  • Movement and Material Exploration
    • Sharon Murphy-Bosky – Learn to perform alongside puppets in an exploration of materials and movement as a practice. Inspired by physical properties of individual gestures and materials, we will devise a short piece based on what is immediate and available.
  • Adventures with Cardboard
    • Allie Herryman – Ordinary cardboard can become an extraordinary resource for lightweight scenery, props, and even puppets.

Sunday 9:00-10:30 AM

  • Paper-Made Bunraku
    • Maggie Winston – Create a neutral looking human figure made out of crushed paper and masking tape. Then group into threes and experiment with making the puppet come alive with breath, emotion, physicality, and storytelling.
  • Writing Clinic for Puppeteers
    • Roxanna Myhrum – Learn how to translate the visual and movement-based discipline of puppetry into words.
  • Wet-felting for Puppets & Masks – Part 1
    • Heidi Rugg – Learn about the ancient art of wet-felting and its applications in both puppetry and maskmaking to create forms with a wide-variety of textures that are durable and beautiful.
  • Plaster Mold Making
    • Patrick Ahearn – Demonstration of plaster mold-making for puppeteers.
  • Make Your Own Pop-up Theater
    • Sarah Frechette – turn flat colorful pages into a three dimensional live-action performance using simple angles and moving paper puppets & props! Design your own paper pop-up theater.

Sunday 10:45-12:15 PM

  • Shadow Puppet Smorgasbord
    • Lily Gershon – From shadow shows to crankies, lots of tricks and techniques that can bring magic into a shadow performance.
  • Big Professional Mouth Puppets
    • Jill Kyle-Keith – Make a professional mouth and rod puppet in a day from a hoodie! Sounds crazy, eh?
  • Puppets, Gender, Race and Identity
    • Alissa Mello – Broaden the way we as practitioners and scholars think about and use puppetry in our work.
  • Wet-felting for Puppets & Masks – Part 2
    • Heidi Rugg – Learn about the ancient art of wet-felting and its applications in both puppetry and mask making to create forms with a wide-variety of textures that are durable and beautiful.
  • Sound Effects 101
    • Jeff Bragg – Understanding sound and its use in performance.