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Canberra Today 3°/5° | Friday, August 19, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Budding puppeteers wanted for new course at Belco

MARIANNE Mettes is a Canberra puppeteer, puppet-maker, artist and performer who works full-time through her company PuppetOOdle.

Marianne Mettes
Marianne Mettes

Mettes has trained with master puppeteers from all around the world and, back in 2013, she had a job in Connecticut to set up a puppetry workshop from scratch, create the curriculum and for two months, teach hundreds of teenagers the magic art of puppetry. That workshop was based in Buck’s Rock Performing and Creative Arts Camp) and was partially funded by the Sesame Street Workshop and the Jim Henson family.

Now the good news is that she’s has created a special program for Canberra youngsters to learn some tricks of her trade. Last year she received funding from artsACT and a residency with Belconnen Arts Centre to create an intensive puppetry program that local kids can participate in.

Marianne Mettes commission performance at NMA - photo by Pete Butz
Marianne Mettes commission performance at NMA – photo by Pete Butz

The term will be starting in May and Mettes is now calling for budding puppeteers to sign up for a course where they can create their own puppets, learn puppetry and performance techniques, create puppet films and put on their own puppetry production at the end of the 8-week term.

Inspired by the centre’s location at Lake Ginninderra, groups will work toward performances around the theme of ?water? — water consumption, recycling, climate change, marine life, the Barrier Reef, fairytale creatures, swamp monsters, Loch Ness, and so on.

As well, one-off workshops focusing on puppet therapy will be offered to the wider public, including people with mixed ability and senior members of the community.

Classes will be held on Sundays at the Belconnen Arts Centre and students will receive all the materials, training and equipment needed.

Marianne Mettes puppet classes, at Belconnen Arts Centre, Sundays, 3 May – 21 June (performances in July). Ages 5-7 at 10am-12pm; ages 8-12 at 2pm-4pm. Cost is $150 per term of 8 weeks or $20 per class, additional build days, rehearsal & performances are free. Bookings to or

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Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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