Kids’ Puppetry Performance Workshops

Learn the basic techniques that bring Muppet-style puppet characters to life in an interactive workshop led by Brett Hansen and Elissa Jenkins. Larrikin Puppets runs beginner puppeteer workshop programs for children, ideal for schools, theatres, libraries and festivals. Students will get a chance to practice puppetry techniques using real puppets.

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Our puppetry performance workshop is a hands on puppeteer workshop teaching students the mechanisms of Muppet-style puppetry. We provide 45 of our professional workshop puppets for students to use in the session. We also have little puppet eyes called “hand eyes” that we use in the class too. We teach lip sync, eye focus, walking, arm movement, character voices and emotions. No previous puppetry experience is needed.

Puppetry is great for building confidence, improving communication and making people laugh. Students get an opportunity to come up on stage and demonstrate what they’ve learnt in the class.

There are three performance workshop options available:

Option 1: Puppet Performance Workshop – 45 Mins-1 Hour

Suitable for ages 5 and up (Prep to Grade 12). 45 mins-1 hour.

Short puppet show at the beginning to show how the puppets look when performed; educational talk about different styles of puppetry and how Muppet-style puppets work; a hands-on puppeteer workshop. 

Cost: $500 per workshop. Maximum of 45 students per workshop. Or for more than 45 students we can facilitate swapping and sharing of puppets with the help of supervisors or teachers.

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Option 2: Puppet Performance Workshop – 1 1/2 Hours

Suitable for ages 5 and up (Prep to Grade 12). 1 1/2 hours.

As well as all of the above in Option 1, this option includes the opportunity for students to view the short puppet show at the beginning from both the audience perspective and from backstage. The class is split into two groups – one group watching us perform backstage and the other group watching the show in the audience. Then the groups swap over and we perform the show again. This is a wonderful and rare opportunity for students to watch puppeteers in action. Students also learn a group puppet dance choreography.

Cost: $550 per workshop. Maximum of 45 students per workshop.

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Option 3: Puppetry Performance Workshop For Stage & Screen – 2 Hours

Suitable for ages 10 and up (Grade 5 to Grade 12). 2 hours.

As well as all of the above in Option 2, this option also features an exciting component on monitor puppetry – a technique developed by Jim Henson for performance on film and television productions, and used in productions such as The Muppets, Sesame Street, Furchester Hotel and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.

Unlike many traditional live performance puppetry styles, in Film & TV puppetry, the puppeteers don’t look at their puppets. They perform their characters up above their heads and into a video camera, watching their puppetry on a TV monitor. This enables the puppeteer to see if the puppet has good eye focus, good lip sync, is able to walk correctly into a frame, is able to perform many tasks within that frame, and is able to make sure no puppeteer heads or arms are seen in the frame.

Within the monitor frame we teach lip sync, eye focus, walking, framing singular characters, framing two characters and framing multiple characters.

  • 25 minute puppet show: 2 x puppet shows (audience viewing and behind the scenes viewing).
  • 15 minute educational talk on puppetry in general and demonstration how Muppet-style puppets work.
  • 40 minute puppeteer workshop.
  • 40 minute monitor puppetry workshop.
  • Total 2 hours.

Cost: $650 per workshop. Maximum of 45 students per workshop.

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Brett’s Blue Card number is 1161011/3, Elissa’s is 690261/3. We have Public Liability Insurance through Duck For Cover Entertainers Insurance.

We have completed three months of professional development in the USA, which included performances and advanced, formal training with Jim Henson puppeteers from The Muppets and Sesame Street.

Workshop Preparation For Students

Students may be interested in seeing our puppetry at work prior to our visit: