We received from our colleague Gary Friedman this interesting information about a puppet workshop in Turkey: ‘Ten Days on the Island’ is an intensive puppetry workshop being presented by two master-puppeteers from different corners of the world. Çağlayan Sevinçer from Istanbul and Gary Friedman from Melbourne come together on the exotic island of Gökçeada, Turkey, to share their skills and life experience. The workshop will take place from 12 – 21 August 2013.

The Participants
The workshop is designed for puppeteers, animators, educators, drama & psychotherapists, community workers, theatre practitioners, as well as anyone interested in using the puppet to communicate a message to change their world.

The Content
This workshop teaches puppetry skills with an emphasis on skilful story telling and delivering a message using the most subtle and basic elements of breath, movement and characterisation, with minimal need for words. This tool is therefore ideal to work across any language, culture or age group. 

Gary Friedman

Gary Friedman

The workshop explores the power of raw materials. The ‘naked hand’, paper and every-day objects are created into characters and transformed into Bunraku-style, glove, rod or string puppets. These materials are eco-friendly and allow puppetry to be used in any setting. 

Participants will explore various ways of moving into a calm and centred head-space, with their senses and brain activated in order to tap into their innate power and creativity. Tools will be taught to overcome creative obstacles. 

A primary focus will be using the puppet as a tool for inspiration and change. This is ideal for gripping drama, satirical reflections of socio-political environments and uncovering profound insights within educational or therapeutic settings. 

Participants will learn how to create compelling performance pieces, and develop images, stories and content; drawing on techniques from surrealism, shamanism and performance art, clowning, improvisation and vaudeville. 


  • To develop skills and confidence to be able to perform or communicate spontaneously. 
  • To provide participants an opportunity to ‘give life’ to stories or messages that are important to them.
  • To trust the puppet in its interpretation of one’s message. 
  • To develop masterful ways of activating creativity
  • To successfully use the puppet to achieve therapeutic, social and/or curriculum objectives.

The Pre-requisites

  • An open mind and an eagerness to learn 
  • No previous performance experience is required. The approach is simple, efficient, empowering & fun.

The Power of the Puppet

The power of the puppet triggers something primordial in an audience. Not being ‘human’, the puppet is one step removed from the real world. It can suspend the audiences’ disbelief and get them enticed into the magical world where anything can happen.

The Facilitators
Turkish puppeteer Çağlayan Sevinçer from Istanbul runs one of the best-known modern puppet theatres in Turkey. The company began its work in Vermont USA in 2002 and later moved back its home Turkey. The Sevincer Dreamyard Theatre is now based in Istanbul and performs both locally and internationally. Çağlayan runs the Buyukcekmece Puppetry Festival.

Gary Friedman
Playing with paper

Although Gary Friedman hails originally from South Africa, he has been based in Australia for the past eleven years. After training with Jim Henson in 1987, he dedicated the majority of his career to social, health and political activism using the medium of puppetry. He is now an international Puppetry-in-Education consultant, workshop facilitator and lecturer. He teaches puppetry for theatre, television & the web. He is also the creative director of ‘Corporate Creatures’, using puppetry in the corporate world. He is the editor of the Puppetry News Blog.

The Cost 
Full Package: (Ten-Day Workshop, includes Materials, Accommodation for 11 days, Breakfast & Dinner):  
Euro 1299-  (Aus $1649-) 
Workshop Only (includes materials only):  
Euro 1025-  (Aus $1299-)

To see the island and accommodation pics, click here.
For more information, you can register interest here. 
You can download the workshop PDF flyer to send to friends here.
To view a short film of bits of this workshop, take a look here!
To book your place, click here to Register Now !