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Winners Announced for
Puppet Centre Trust / Arts Council England Bursaries 2004/5

The Puppet Centre Trust, national development agency for the artform of puppetry, is delighted to announce the winners of their prestigious bursary scheme for artists working with puppetry.

The two bursaries, worth £8500 each are awarded as an investment in the long-term creative development of artists committed to puppet or object work. The scheme’s focus changes from year to year and for 2004/5 aimed to support artists seeking a change of direction or specialisation in their work.
Application was open to artists from any background who could demonstrate a commitment to puppetry and a minimum of two year’s professional experience. The Puppet Centre was thrilled by the level and range of applications submitted, with 43 proposals received and 6 candidates called to interview. Applications were assessed by a Panel of four practitioners working in puppetry, education and arts management.
The winners are:

Alison McGowan – a freelance puppeteer based in Newcastle who has worked as a puppeteer and maker with theatre companies such as Improbable (Shockheaded Peter), theatre rites (The Lost and Moated Land), Theatre Sans Frontieres and in television for CBeebies and the Jim Henson Company. Alison will be using the bursary time and funds to develop her skills as a director of puppetry, and to further her ambition of establishing a network of puppetry-interested artists from a range of backgrounds in the North East of England. She will be setting up workshops for artists to develop puppetry skills and using her research and networks to develop the exciting new Puppet Boat Theatre she is in the process of establishing in Newcastle.

Sarah Wright - a freelance puppeteer who cut her teeth on puppetry at the Little Angel Theatre, the only permanent marionette theatre in London, founded by her parents John and Lyndie Wright in 1961. She has recently worked in theatre with the Royal Shakespeare Company (Venus and Adonis) and in Europe with a variety of theatre companies; and extensively in film and TV. The bursary funding will support her plans to explore processes of interdisciplinary collaboration between technology-based art and puppetry. She will develop the various skills of digital filmmaking and start to research a future production integrating both disciplines.
Both artists will be taking the opportunity to travel as part of their bursary development; Alison to festivals in Scotland and Denmark and Sarah to Prague and Croatia following artist Bastiaan Maris. This years bursary scheme forms part of PCT’s ongoing development programme for puppeteers, Animating the Animators, funded by Arts Council England, which also includes a national series of masterclasses and workshops in puppetry. The scheme, as the John Wright Bursaries, was run by PCT throughout the 80s and early 90s and is currently secured for a further year. Restarting the scheme last year was a strong statement by the Arts Council of the increasing presence and popularity of puppetry within the theatre sector.

Contact PCT, for further details:

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