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American Trained Puppeteers Host Rare Film And Theatre Workshop In Queensland

October 3, 2018 Events / Whats On No Comments Email Email

 American trained puppeteers Brett Hansen and Elissa Jenkins of Larrikin Puppets will host a rare public workshop teaching the challenging and exciting techniques that bring Muppet-style puppets to life for stage and film. 

To be held on beautiful Bribie Island in Queensland, the Island Puppetry Workshop is for adults and children aged 8 and over who wish to enhance their drama portfolio, improve their confidence or discover how the popular characters from The Muppets and Sesame Street are performed.

Larrikin Puppets is a fast-growing arts business that performs puppet shows at festivals, shopping centres, childcare centres, and schools across Queensland, and has appeared in short films, music videos and TV shows, including new children’s TV series The Bureau of Magical Things and Network Ten’s Totally Wild.

Larrikin Puppets is a Queensland small business success story – an arts business that grows from strength to strength every year.

While Brett and Elissa regularly run puppetry workshops for schools and theatre companies, this is a rare public workshop and only the second time they have hosted it since the award-winning business was founded six years ago.

Principal puppeteer and founder of Larrikin Puppets Brett Hansen, who set up his own puppetry business in 2012 to service the greater Brisbane area, said he’s been practicing puppetry since he was three years old.

However, formal training in the Muppet style artform was very rare in Australia, so in 2016 he spent three months in the USA for professional development.

“I undertook advanced training in the USA under Jim Henson puppeteers from Sesame Street and The Muppets,” said Brett.

“I was trained by masters like Marty Robinson who plays Mr. Snuffleupagus and Telly Monster and Noel MacNeal known for Bear In The Big Blue House,” he said.

Co-trainer Elissa, who received puppetry training in New York City, performs beloved characters Marina and Flossy in Larrikin Puppets’ larger touring and stage shows.

Elissa, who also performs as a fun, colourful human character during stage and story time shows, is now much loved by audiences of children all over Queensland.

The two-day puppetry workshop on Bribie Island is tailored to all levels of skill and interest from amateurs to professionals, with Brett supporting the adults in their learning and Elissa helping the kids.

It’s guaranteed to be an enjoyable weekend of entertainment and education.

“Last year’s workshop was a big success! We had people attending from as far as Melbourne, Sydney and Mackay, but this year we’d love to see a large Brisbane contingency take advantage of this rare training opportunity.

“You might be a children’s entertainer, theatre performer, improviser, comedian, aspiring film and TV star or simply someone who loves puppets and wants to do something completely outside of the box.

“You might even be a film director or videographer who wants to better understand how puppetry is filmed on camera – it’s very unique,” said Brett.

Elissa said every workshop participant would be able to work with a physical puppet.

“On day one we’ll cover the fundamentals of puppetry as well as puppetry for the stage while on day two we’ll be working with a video camera and TV monitor to show how film and TV puppetry is performed,” she said.

What: The two-day Island Puppetry Workshop is open to adults and children aged 8 and over.

Times: Saturday 3 November, 10 AM – 4 PM | Sunday 4 November, 10 AM – 3 PM.

Cost: $135+booking fee.

Bookings: or email Brett Hansen at

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