TRURO – Zahra Dehghani takes a moment to rest, as she glances at a table full of colourful heads, stick bodies, fabrics, feathers, buttons and pompoms.
After more than a week of preparing puppet bodies, clothing and hair, Dehghani is ready to help others bring their own puppets to life. She and Heather Taylor, co-founder of Maritime Marionettes, are offering puppet-making workshops this month in Truro for both children and adults.
“Children use all their creativity and all their imagination,” said Dehghani, referring to when they take on a project such as this puppet workshop, which will be held Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Maritime Marionettes workshop on Young Street.
“They learn confidence in creativity and work with their hands. Some of this (art) is getting lost … and they are getting to know themselves, their likes and it’s just plain fun,” added Taylor.
Regarding adults, Taylor said there’s an interest in puppetry that never seems to fade.
“The puppets come alive … people, kids and adults both, resonate with things that are homemade. It’s about getting in touch with something inside that you have lost. Arts do that for people and anybody can pick it up. I’ve never found anyone who can’t.”
The workshop is open to anyone five years of age and older and for all skill levels and will include instruction time. There are stick or rod puppets, four-string human marionettes, two-string animals and shadow puppets to choose from. Puppets will be taken home with their creators. Materials will be provided and a session costs $30. Pre-registration is encouraged, even if it’s the day before.
Taylor confirmed the month-long workshops have never been provided by Maritime Marionettes in Truro before.
“It’s long overdue really. We’ve never offered them long term in Truro and it was usually just by request,” said Taylor. “It’s good to have in Truro because there’s a lot of strong cultural experiences here but I’d like to see more puppetry in Truro. It’s a niche that needs to be expanded.”
To register for a workshop, call 893-7626 or 893-0760. More information, and workshop photos, can be seen at www.maritime-marionettes.com.
In addition, Maritime Marionettes are also performing at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Bible Hill on Aug. 20 and 21. Both shows will be Rumpelstiltskin and will begin at 3 p.m. in the Industrial Avenue.
The company has been in existence since 1986 and does 120 marionette shows a year throughout Canada and internationally.