On Sunday March 18th 2018, Adam Bennett of DNA Puppetry and Visual Theatre conducted a day long masterclass on puppetry manipulation and performance technique.
The venue was Siteworks in Brunswick, a newly opened facility which offers a great set of spaces for a variety of activities. The workshop took place in an open, light and airy space which gave everybody plenty of room to move, create and perform.
The workshop looked at the physical flexibility and relaxation of the puppeteer, the concentration and focus required and some hand and body training and technique. Lemony S had some practice puppets and with these the participants spent some time on eyeline, focus, thought and impulse, bringing the puppet to life, the puppet’s physicality and the illusion of the laws of physics i.e. when to obey them and when to break them.
Later the workshop focussed on quick and easy techniques to train in multi-operator puppetry (sometime known as ‘Bunraku’ technique) where three puppeteers work together to bring a fully articulated figure to life. This gives participants the opportunity to look at some issues around puppet manipulation in detail, separately. For example, the legs and feet must always be providing the illusion of maintaining the centre of balance, and the head must always be clearly signalling intention and focus.