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press release: Puppetry Workshop for Animators, Toronto


TAAFI and Skyship Entertainment announce exclusive workshop with leading puppetry professionals


TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) announced a partnership with Skyship Entertainment to host an exclusive workshop called PUPPETRY FOR ANIMATORS: ANIMATING THE INANIMATE. Led by industry veterans Trish Leeper (The Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street) and Kathryn Durst, who has worked with Pixar Animation Studios, the workshop runs on Saturday, July 22nd from 9AM – 5PM. The workshop will be hosted at the Skyship Entertainment’s studio space.


“This year is different for TAAFI and with the industry constantly shifting and growing, we wanted to find a way to train animators differently,” said Ben McEvoy, executive director, TAAFI. This workshop is a natural fit for the industry says, Skyship Entertainment executive producer Morghan Fortier, “Working on both animation and puppeteering content at Skyship, we discovered that there’s a natural transfer of skills between animation and puppeteering. Our workshop connecting these two worlds will be an interesting way to expand the animation skill set into a more physical art form. And it’s really fun!”


With only 25 spots, this exclusive, hands-on workshop will involve various exercises with puppet manipulation – from acting to the use of props. PUPPETRY FOR ANIMATORS covers strategies that animators can use to master the illusion of effort and weight by exploring basic puppetry technique while still applying the principles of animation. As well, the workshop strives to train attendees to hone their skills in crafting characters through physical puppets.


Trish Leeper, a renowned puppeteer, has worked on the TV series, Fraggle Rock, Jim Henson’s Muppets: the Jim Henson Hour, and Sesame Street. Leeper was also an animatronic puppeteer in Short Circuit II (1988), Tommy Boy (1995), The Santa Clause (1994). Kathryn Durst has worked on various children’s entertainment, publications, and media. Both artists are currently working with Skyship Entertainment on puppet content for the Super Simple TV, YouTube channel.


For more information about the event:



WHEN: Saturday, July 22, 2017 9AM – 5PM
WHERE: Toronto, ON. Exact location will be announced to ticket holders.
WHO: Studios and attendees may register at

EARLY BIRD TICKETS: $159.00* (runs until July 7th, 11:30pm)

*Plus applicable fees and taxes


About the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI):

Founded in 2012, the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) is a not-for-profit arts organization whose mission is to make Toronto the premiere international destination for animated arts and entertainment. TAAFI hosts a film festival and a variety of recurring industry and public events to create unique opportunities that connect animation artists and enthusiasts, and transform the way people create and view animation of all forms. Past TAAFI guests have included Eric Goldberg (Disney’s Aladdin), Natasha Allegri (Frederator’s Bee and PuppyCat) and Josh Cooley (Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out).

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