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Montreal Families

Puppet workshops offered in Hudson

Kids can learn how to create Muppet-style hand puppets out of fleece, felt, foam, yarn and ping-pong balls at a new workshop series beginning in Hudson in January, as well as puppetry and improvisational techniques to bring them to life.

Led by Lisa Drupsteen, a certified counsellor with a master’s degree in creative art therapy and a specialty in drama therapy, the workshops are designed to help children, teens and adults use improvisational theatre and creative expression to gain confidence and experience the joy of play.

Drupsteen became taken with the art of puppetry while learning about using puppets as a therapeutic tool in drama therapy. ”My inner child just jumped for joy and I fell in love,” she said.

But puppets don’t come cheap. Drupsteen said she found it too costly to build up a collection of store-bought puppets so she began to teach herself how to make them. She started teaching workshops in Montreal two years ago, and now offers regular classes in puppet-making and applied improvisation in addition to her drama therapy services.

Drupsteen said puppets are a powerful tool to help children and adults share thoughts and feelings.

“Puppets give adults and kids permission to play. Having a puppet on your hand allows you to express things you otherwise wouldn’t,” she said. “You can always blame the puppet.”

In January, Drupsteen is running two workshops, one for children between 6-12, and the other for teens and adults. In the children’s class, kids will make their own hand puppets from a simplified pattern over four, two-hour sessions. The classes for teens will be four hours and include instruction on techniques to create puppets from scratch, as well as on puppetry and improv. At the end of the four-week session, both groups will come together to put on a show featuring their new friends for parents and classmates.

The puppetry workshops will be held at Wyman Memorial Church, 513 Main Rd. on Saturdays from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3. Children’s classes are from 10 a.m. to noon and cost $125, while teens will create their puppets from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the fee is $200. All participants will reveal their creations at a showcase performance on Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m.

Drupsteen said she plans to offer more puppet workshops in other areas of Montreal in the coming months.

For information, visit creativeexpression.ca.

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