Puppet looking like human - Klikk for stort bildeWorkshop with Matt Jackson


Friday Sep 29 – Monday Oct 9, 2023
Place: Figurteatret i Nordland (aka. Nordland Visual Theatre), Stamsund, Norway

For: Professional puppeteers who want to deepen their knowledge of puppetry.
Required: Professional experience in the performing arts and committed attendance for the full duration of the course.

Language: Englis
Max 10 participants

Workshop fee, travel expenses up to 600€ and housing in Stamsund covered by NVT.

Submission deadline: June 1, 2023.
Apply via produsent.fin@nfk.no

Application requirements:
Short motivational letter, maximum 150 words

Selected applicants will be invited to the workshop. The selection will be made by NVTs artistic director together with Matt Jackson


Course objectives:

This is a 10-day workshop in exploring the construction and manipulation of a nearly human-sized hybrid puppet.

The puppet is not only a powerful tool to create a character on stage, but has the potential to become a living being right before your eyes. The main objective of this course therefore is to question how actually to bring it to life.  How can you make it breathe…?

Participants will first dive into the sensitive process of designing their new character using photographs and sketches.  From working 2D to 3D these images will inspire you throughout the sculpture process.  During these early stages focus is on creating subtle and neutral expressions that allow the puppet to portray a wide range of emotions and characters.  In total you will experience sculpting with clay; basic woodworking for armatures and body parts; casting with paper-mache; painting; incorporating “found-objects” into the design and much more.

There will be special awareness of the ecological effect of the complete process and therefore a focus on non-toxic materials.

Simultaneous to the building exercises you will be lead through a series of “play” sessions that open your understanding on how you can give breath to objects from working with simple materials to finally your fully-articulated puppet.



MATT JACKSON is a professional puppet and mask-maker for film, theater, and the fine arts with over 20 years of experience. Originally from The United States he is now based in The Netherlands.  Matt works on commissions and produces his own performances and exhibitions. Select creations are used by the master puppeteer Kanroku in Osaka, Japan; the Ulrike Quade Company in Amsterdam, NL; Créa-Théâtre in Tournai, BE and many more.

His personal research is in the use of organic/non-toxic materials and methods. An awareness of sustainability in the arts also inspires him to work with “found-objects” that give an element of surprise to the design process. Matt regularly hosts professional courses in fabrication at his studio in The Netherlands, and has also taught at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (Charleville-Mézières, France); Le Centre de la Marionnette (Belgium), and the Central School of Speech and Drama (UK).