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The Bursary winners announced

After an extremely high response to the return of the PCT / Art Council England bursaries for 2003 / 04, the Puppet Centre Trust is delighted to announce this year's recipients. Thirty-four candidates applied and eight were called for interview: you may imagine how difficult the final choices were. The thirty-four was whittled down to eight, then four, and finally and painfully two. The winners:
Mervyn Millar who has come to puppetry through his work as creator and director of theatre pieces (some readers will have seen his work in the company called 'wireframe' which showed in two of the Brighton 'visions' festivals). He is currently working at BAC and the National Theatre and is interested in making theatre that has puppetry at its heart and in finding artists who can collaborate with him in experimental ways. Ramon Abad, a shadow puppeteer whose family hails from the Philippines but who has worked extensively in the States and recently in England where he is now resident. He wants to develop shadow puppetry here, looking into the relationship of shadow puppetry with other culturally diverse art forms and video technology. He has recently been creating shadows for the Little Angel Theatre and theatre-rites company.

As part of their nine-month proposals both winners hope to study with companies of international excellence:
Mervyn with the Handspring company of Cape Town which is engaged in a very interesting collaboration with a group from Mali;
Ramon with the Italian company Gioco Vita and a number of German groups he met in the context of the annual shadow festival run by Rainer Rausch.
The bursaries, worth 8500 each are awarded as an investment in the long-term creative development of practitioners committed to puppet or object work. They are directed to mid-career artists to grant time and funds for the development of their practice in the service of puppetry. The Puppet Centre was overwhelmed by the level of response received and is extremely excited by the return of the bursary scheme which ran throughout the eighties and early nineties. The PCT is hoping to make the bursaries an annual award. If we realise this hope, we will announce it as soon as possible so that potential candidates have good time to prepare their applications.

PCT Seminar:
Sourcing Funding for Puppet and Object Work in England. The Puppet Centre Trust in association with Arts Council England recently hosted a seminar in Sourcing Funding for Puppet and Object Theatre in England. This was held on January 22nd 2004 at the Puppet Centre Trust and led by Sue Buckmaster of theatre-rites with Denise Jones, assistant theatre officer, Arts Council England. The event was organised due to the demand for funding highlighted by the unprecedented response to the return of the PCT /ACE artform development bursaries this year. The Puppet Centre's aim is to support the needs of puppeteers and related companies by looking at how to source funding and focus content to achieve successful applications, concentrating on identifying funding for projects, training and community work and organising material to attract bursaries, grants or other sources of support. The PCT hopes in future to see further funding directed toward puppeteers. It is hoped that this seminar helped artists to connect with the finance available to them, to further the artform of puppetry, the skills of the sector and the benefits offered by puppetry to the wider community -and we look forward to feedback from the event which will be posted in the next edition of Animations Online To give your feedback on the seminar or to find out about the work of the pct contact us at:
The Puppet Centre Trust BAC Lavender Hill London SW11 5TN.
Tel: 020 7228 5335
Fax: 020 7228 5335

PCT Development
Penny Francis of PCT writes: We've already announced the ACE organisational development grant for a Lead Advisor and a Project Manager to work on a three-year plan which will, we hope, ensure the future of our excellent space and the services it can offer practitioners that will keep the art form advancing, bursting banks and skins and boundaries and renewing itself. Consequently, Beccy Smith has been appointed Project Manager. We all welcome her to the Puppet Centre Trust! A Lead Advisor has been chosen from a high-calibre field: he is John Sharples who is a blend of highly experienced arts person and businessman. He takes his kids to puppet performances, which is a start. He seems really approachable, so if any of you feel like writing to him c/o the PCT and being opinionated about where you think the Centre should be heading, how it could help your work, and what the space should be used for, please e-mail

Dorothy Max Prior (AO editor) writes: Following a consultation process with Puppet Centre Trust, we are pleased to announce that Animations Online will continue in 2004 as the voice of the Trust, updated bi-monthly on the PCT website. The editorial team of Penny Francis and Dorothy Max Prior have, with webmaster Mark Down, collectively produced six issues of Animations as a pilot for PCT. Mark is now stepping down, and we welcome our new web designer Gabz. Many thanks and much appreciation to Mark for all the hard work he has done with the design and upkeep of the PCT website in general and with the setting up of Animations as an online publication. We will also in future be working closely with PCT project manager Beccy Smith to bring you the latest news and views in puppetry and animated theatre. Any thoughts on the future of Animations Online can come to:


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