Ventriloquist and family entertainer Kellie Haines has a BA Specialized Honours in Drama and is a multitalented entertainer with a background in theatre, clowning, singing and dance. She performs at festivals, including the Vancouver and Surrey International Children's Festivals, schools across Canada and as a puppeteer/singer for television. Kellie's dream recently came true when she was cast as a puppeteer on a Jim Henson project for television. Kellie wrote and performed two popular, long running musicals: Frogs in Space - Kamilla's Quest and Rocket Magrau - Space Bird! at the HR MacMillan Space Centre Planetarium, opened A Space To Play at the Vancouver Kid's Fringe to rave reviews and in 2019 was invited to represent Canada at Vent Haven Vent Convention in Kentucky. She was also excited to be a workshop facilitator, performer and consultant at the Vancouver's Museum of Anthropology's 2019 exhibition of Shadows, Strings & Other Things.
During the two weeks of this project, Two kindergarten classes, one grade 1/2 and one grade 5/6 classes learned how to create a puppet from design to final build. Later, each student created character for their puppet with personality, language and learned how to manipulate the hand puppet's mouths to the beats of the syllables. A large part of this unique experience encouraged the students' to tell stories through fairy tales and in the older student's case, scenerios or scenes with a beginning, middle climax and ending. The 'buddies' or 'peers' of each student was invited to watch the final mini-musical performance with parents and families in the library. Many of the students who did not speak up freely were very animated with their puppet friends. Many different parents talked to me at length about their children's stories from puppetry class. In fact, there was talk on the playground too.
In The Puppet Musical workshop series, students are asked for their creative input from the start to finish of this workshop. Students build their own puppet, decide on their puppet's voice, movement, style and individual characteristics. Students learn the art of puppetry through hands-on activities that include improvisation, storytelling, movement and voicework. Through brainstorming and storyboarding the students choose 2 songs and then create a story around those two songs to later perform for the younger students or if you wish, at the school's talent show. Student input is essential to this workshop series. The teacher and I create a safe space of respect for the workshop's framework and the students are encouraged to creatively flourish. My goal is to provide guidelines and structure. It is the student's experience, ideas and input that will drive this project. This workshop can be custom tailored to fit the needs of your school.