Kids learn to pull strings

March 14, 2018

Tatem Sharp and his puppet.

Alex Druitt, Caitlin Farrall, Mollie Chambers and Lily Guy.

Mollie Chambers with her creation.

Alex Druitt and Leah Druitt.

Jan Donaldson, centre, with (back) Sophie Le, Makayde Sharp, Lily Guy, Caitlin Farrall, and (sitting) Tatem Sharp, Leah Druitt, Alex Druitt, Mollie Chambers and Nessie Le.

Nessie Le and Sophie Le.

A puppetry workshop was held at the La Trobe University campus in Fryers St, Shepparton, on Saturday as part of the Shepparton Festival.

Nine children enjoyed the interactive design and construction of puppets with local artist Jan Donaldson.

Ms Donaldson teaches part-time at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, and has run workshops in Europe.

La Trobe campus head Sue Nalder said it was a delight to see happy faces as the children created their own puppet characters.

‘‘Thanks to Jan for her hard work in helping the children; we are proud to be closely associated with the Shepparton Festival as a principal sponsor, and to present creative workshops such as this.’’

The workshop was a hands-on project for children above the age of six to design and build their own puppets.

Puppetry making began more than 4000 years ago by people who used them to communicate ideas.

‘‘Travelling puppeteers were common in England from the 14th century,’’ Ms Donaldson said.

‘‘Mr Punch was mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary in 1662, and we all know of puppets from The Muppet Show of the 1990s.’’

Ms Nalder said the La Trobe workshop was ‘‘a brilliant opportunity to bring the arts alive in our community’’.

Asked if she was having a good time, workshop participant Hollie Chambers said it was ‘‘amazing’’.

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