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Introduction to Puppetry

(A Common Threads Collective Workshop)

Date TBA

The Common Threads Collective is excited to offer their fourth workshop in their Land(ing) project, supported through the Public Energy artist in residence program and the Ontario Arts Council.

Workshop Description:

A beginner’s introduction to puppetry, with easy movement and technique.

This three-hour workshop is a fun introduction to puppetry. We will look at different styles and examples of puppets, such as hand puppets, marionettes and found objects, and get hands-on using of few of these different styles.

What to Expect:

In an easy-going, casual environment, theatre artist Brad Brackenridge will start with a brief introduction, looking at a little puppet history, different styles of puppets,. some examples of puppetry construction.

Like any storytelling, puppetry is about exploration. We will explore movement and technique using a few of these different styles. With some simple exercises, we can find character and voice, and perhaps a beginning to a story. We will also get hands on and create some puppet faces, with some easy carving and sculpting.


  • This workshop is free and open to all members, 16 and up.
  • Bring your imagination and be ready for big fun.
  • No prior experience of puppetry is needed.
  • All puppets, supplies and any tools needed will be provided.
  • An internet connection and a device such as a computer, laptop, etc for Zoom in case new local public health measures limit gatherings outside the home.
  • Only open to residents of the city of Peterborough as materials may need to be delivered in case the workshop is delivered via Zoom

Registration is required; space is limited to 8 people.

The workshop will be held at The Theatre on King, 171 King Street West.

All heath and safety protocols will be followed such as social distancing, masks, and sanitizing of any and all touchable surface and objects.

Delivered by: Mithila Ballal and Kate Story

Instructor Bio:

Brad Brackenridge has been a performer and designer in theatre and film for almost 30 years. He founded The Nervous System in 2013, a puppet-based theatre company which has created and produced Komachi on the Shrine (with composer Kathleen Adamson, 2018); Festivus Rattus Rattus 2035 (Precarious Festival 2017); Life Comes to Resemble Unimaginative Literature: Or, the Moment of my Death (The Bernie Martin Festival 2016); VERTEP (Emergency 2015); Murmuratio (Erring 2014); Terror and Erebus (Artsweek 2013; remounted in the Otonabee in 2014 and as a solo show at The Theatre on King 2015); and Luminato: The Encampment, a large-scale public participatory art installation.

Brad has also created puppets for diverse theatrical companies including: Shaw Festival, 4th Line (“And there is a marauding buffalo (a puppet manned by three people) that is one of the single most hilarious things I’ve ever seen on the stage.” (Paula Citron, Globe and Mail), Spiel Players, Artsweek, Precarious Festival. Brad has studied with Old Trout Puppet Company, Puppetmongers Powell and Bernd Ogrodnik, taking courses in marionettes, the construction and manipulation of jointed puppets, and wood carving.

Brad had mentored two emerging artists in puppetry: Naomi Duvall and Samuelle Weatherdon. One of two recent works in progress was developed under the mentorship of Julia Aplin as part of Public Energy’s Alternating Currents program: Sputnik’s Shadow, a moving and hilarious exploration of the first man in space, Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, and the space race. This past fall, under the guidance of Martha Ross, Brad and dancer/choreographer Dreda Blow began work on a project about the interesting life of Edward Lear, which will premier at Public Energy’s Erring at King George in May of 2022.

Brad is the recipient of the 2018 Peterborough Arts Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Artist. Currently Brad is currently enjoying a yearlong residence at Artspace, an artist-run centre here in Peterborough.

Thank You!

Public Energy gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2023-24 Season Funders and Sponsors.

Season Sponsors & Funders

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Canadian Heritage logo Peterborough logo
Ontario Arts Council logo Canadian Council For The Arts logo

Accessibility Sponsor

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