The 14th edition of MANIPULATE Festival features lots of opportunities to develop practice and sharpen skills through a series of workshops, delivered for the first time entirely online, and spanning puppetry, object theatre and animation.

Given the challenging circumstances that many freelancers have faced due to the global pandemic, we will be offering half-price subsidised places for all freelancers based in Scotland on our Bringing the Metaphor to Life and Object Theatre and the Virtual Stage workshops. Those on a salary or based outside Scotland are also welcome to attend the workshops at the full price rate.


Opening the workshop programme is Bringing the Metaphor to Life by Rene Baker, a three-day workshop combining online sessions led by Rene with solo and collaborative group work via Zoom. Rene has worked in professional puppetry for over 30 years as a performer, director, designer, researcher, pedagogue and coach, and has delivered several workshops for MANIPULATE across the past decade. The workshop will explore the ways that human beings identify with and find meaning in objects, and the symbolism, character and relationships that can be unearthed within everyday things. (27 – 29 JAN, ONLINE)


Berlin-based Israeli puppeteer, director and performer Ariel Doron will deliver Object Theatre and the Virtual Stage; a playful and dynamic three-day workshop for visually-led practitioners with an interest in exploring digital performance. The workshop will explore the online space as an invitation rather than a compromise, and will make use of the everyday items, objects and puppets we might already have in our home. Ariel has adapted his own acclaimed work Boxed – a minimalist puppetry work exploring loneliness – for MANIPULATE’s digital programme, into a dynamic digital offering called Unboxed, taking inspiration from YouTube ‘unboxing; videos. (3 – 5 FEB, ONLINE)


Towards the end of our Digital Festival we will offer an informal opportunity to consider our approach to gender in creativity, through our Drink’n’Draw with Panimation 90-minute workshop. No animation or drawing skills are necessary, and the workshop is open to people of any gender or artistic/creative background. A chance to come together with fellow creatives over a drink, to challenge stereotypes and promote positive messages of empowerment, diversity and inclusion. Later on the same night we will present Animated Womxn, a screening of animated shorts by extraordinary female and non-binary animators from across the Globe. (4 FEB, ONLINE)

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