Are you interested in learning what it takes to design, build and perform with puppets like those used in some of America’s most beloved productions like Sesame Street or The Muppet Show? Want to learn puppetry techniques from the professionals behind the characters? The opportunity is yours!
Beyond the Sock is a workshop co-hosted by the University of North Texas Department of Radio, TV and Film and Department of Dance and Theatre. This four day intensive workshop will allow attendees to learn techniques for performing with “hand and rod” style puppets similar to those found in some of entertainment’s most endearing television series and films. Over the course of the workshop attendees will learn the vocal and physical techniques vital to creating compelling performances from two of the top names in the field.
Peter Linz is a professional puppeteer who has performed in film, theatre and television using both handheld and full body puppets. Trained by the Jim Henson Company, some of Peter’s most familiar roles include Leo from the PBS series Between the Lions and Walter from the 2012 Disney film The Muppetsand Muppets, Again. Linz has also been featured in Sesame Street and multipleSesame Street specials. Linz has also performed as an ensemble member and understudy for the hit Broadway musicalAvenue Q.
Noel MacNeal is an author, director and Henson-trained puppeteer with a long history of performing beloved film and television characters. His roles have included multiple characters from the well-known children’s programs such as Bear of Bear in the Big Blue House, Lionel of the PBS series Between the Lions multiple characters from Sesame Street. MacNeal has also performed in the Disney film Old Dogs and NBC’s hit series The Cosby Show and 30 Rock.
Pasha Romanowski is a professional puppet-builder, part-time puppeteer, and the founder of Project Puppet, a puppet-design and tutorial website. In addition to creating patterns and tutorials for thousands of aspiring puppet builders, Pasha’s custom-designed puppets have been featured in various television and online programs in the U.S. as well as internationally. His puppets include the stars of Woot’s KidFoot! and Rufus of New Zealand’s children’s television series, Pop-Up
Attendees will also learn character development, design and construction methods by participating in hands-on puppet crafting sessions where they can conceptualize and build their own basic puppet for use during the workshop. There will also be practical application of the skills learned through a culminating studio performance on the final day of the workshop. DVDs of this performance will be available to attendees for a nominal fee.
Judy B. Brown, a master puppeteer who performed for three presidents and staged puppet shows at the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Theatre, died March 8 at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She was 72.
The cause was atrial fibrillation and cancer, said her husband and puppetry partner, Bob Brown.
This was a test- to demonstrate to a client how a puppet could shot himself. It was for a concept for a music video. Shot in half an hour and edited before the end of lunch 🙂 Sorry the lighting and puppeteering isn’t the best but it was done for a concept piece and wasn’t meant to be seen by the public 🙂
Here is the entire Evening with Jim Henson and Frank Oz show. It has been posted on Youtube but in bits and pieces and a couple of parts cut out. If you don’t know what the evening is, here is a description from the video’s uploader Aleza Makayla
“In July 1989, the Puppeteers of America held their National Festival on the campus of MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The celebration of the art of puppetry brings together students and master puppeteers to share techniques and foster new ideas. It is a celebration of the art and the artists who give it life. When Jim Henson and Frank Oz appeared on stage at one of the festival assemblies, it was an opportunity for everyone to talk with them about their long performing careers. Rowlf the Dog, Cookie Monster, Fozzie Bear and Kermit the frog fielded questions too. This puppeteer’s evening with Jim Henson and Frank Oz was a memorable event that has been enriched with additional histories by Frank Oz. Puppeteers of America was never just an ordinary interest group to Jim. As old as Jim himself, it was at their annual festivals Jim would go to meet and be inspired by great puppeteers who came before him, such as Burr Tillstrom (Kukla, Fran and Ollie), Bill Baird (Lonely Goatherd scene in The Sound of Music) and Edgar Bergen (Charlie McCarthy, father of Candice Bergen). It was among these senior puppeteers, at the 1961 festival, that Jim would first be introduced to what we have previously described as Muppets 1.0: Frank Oz, Jerry Juhl and Don Sahlin. Frank was the principal performer together with Jim, Jerry wrote everything Muppet for nearly 40 years, and Don created what became the quintessential Muppet look from that moment on until his early death. Jim in many ways owed the rest of his remarkable career to this organization, and the great talent it had helped him find. When PoA then asked Jim and Frank if they could host a one-hour discussion at the 1989 festival, they were more than happy to oblige. Nobody could have known that this would be their last chance to do so, as within a year, Jim would have died. This made the appearance all the more remarkable, and no puppeteer or aspiring puppeteer in the audience will ever forget that very special evening. Clearly an amateur production, with nothing but a few person crew, the appearance was filmed for use in the organization’s library. Following an introduction by Frank Oz, filmed in 1993, they printed some VHS copies for exclusive sale to their members. Hard to get even when it was available, this title has been out of print for many years, and was by far their most popular video production ever. One of those tapes is our source, and even if it’s a decently taken care of retail copy, original poor production values made for a rather low quality rip. We’ve spent countless hours trying to clean this up with the best of our abilities, using several different professional grade players for capturing different parts and assembling it all back together, cleaning up noise, adjusting colors and so on, but unfortunately it still doesn’t look very good, and the sound mixing makes it easy to miss a question or two no matter what. Looking beyond these technical flaws, this is a truly inspiring insight into the minds of two of the most talented puppeteers of the last century. Anyone who can pull a piece of fleece out of a bag, stick his hand up it, and make it immediately come alive in the manner demonstrated here deserves to be called a master of his craft. As an added homage to the organization that made this all possible, we’ve included the promo for PoA as seen on the original tape as an extra.”