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OCTOBER - 2010


• Open Door Designs' Fall Now Workshops Scheduled
• Open Door's Open House
• The Children's Music Garden at Open Door Design
• Al Stencell's new book: Ballyhoo
Basement Studio now available for rent

• BILLY TWINKLE - Ronnie Burkett at Factory Theatre
Hard Times - Puppetmongers - Theatre Pass Muraille
• Clay & Paper Night of Dread
• The Old Trout Puppet Workshop - Banff

• 26 Czech Marionettes from the '20's or 30's?
• Cate & Levi

• The Old Trout Puppet Workshop - Ignorance project
• Visiting Steven Barkley of Diabolo

• Alex Novitsky

Hansjürgen Fettig
Super Clogger

• Joel Richardson finishes mural
• Nuit Blanche: Neighbourly Advice Wheel: Roy Mitchell
• Nuit Blanche - Rail of Light - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
• Red Wagon Collective
• Gilbert Dufour in the 2010 Design Competition + Art of Fashion Trunk Show





Brochure Correction: Naomi Kates' Bunraku Puppet workshop is on Saturday, October 23rd, 10am-Noon and 1:00 - 3:00pm

OPEN DOOR DESIGNS is pleased to now offer Workshops on a regular basis in our brand new dedicated space. We are keeping the workshops small, 6-10 participants depending on the workshop. So register soon to guarantee a place.

As a result of requests we have created an "Educator's Series" that includes Puppetry: History and Applications in the Classroom with Naomi Kates; Performance with Mike Harding and Kelly Kirkham's papier mache workshop that has already been taken back to many daycares and classrooms.

Mike Harding is also offering a Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced "muppety" puppet workshop including a building a foam puppet, building a fur puppet and finally, a more professional type puppet.

In addition to the History and Applications workshop for the Educators Series Naomi Kates is also offering a Bunraku workshop for Kids & Parents.

Alexander Mergold will be offering another Marionette Building workshop along with a new workshop, Building a Tabletop Puppet.

The Bricoteers are offering two workshops. One under the heading "Educator's Series: Storytelling Workshop and one workshop for children, Hallowe'en Monster Party the day before Hallowe'en.



Kelly Kirkham demonstrated her papier mache technique

Mike Harding performed a hilarious show for younger people

Alexander Mergold worked on a recent commission

Naomi Kates worked with eager puppet makers

James Ashby and Grey Muldoon of the Bricoteers created a WEREWOLF now hanging in the window

I would like to thank all the artists for giving their time to show us what they do and it is magic! To see more and take a workshop just click on the links above or click here for the Workshop Schedule.

Al Stencell: New Book

A retired showman, he worked his way up through concessions, novelties and bill posting until becoming a showman. From 1973 to 1976 he was part owner of Royal Bros. He and his wife founded and operated Martin and Downs Circus from 1977 to 1983. In 1983 he built Super Circus International and toured it until 1992.


Puppets, clowns circus...are all kin...
I met Al Stencell when I first opened the store...

click on images for relevant link to ECW Press

August 2010
October 2002

March 1999

We are thrilled that Julia has chosen Open Door Designs as a location for her music program for children. Come and see a demonstration at the Open House,
Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 2:00pm

Julia Collins from The Children's Music Garden outside Open Door Designs

At the Children's Music Garden we will be creating wonderful musical moments just downstairs from wonderful puppet creating happening upstairs!

We offer unique, creative music education for babies and children. We offer small classes for children ages 6 months – 7 years old.
Our program teaches the basics of music in a fun, encouraging environment that promotes peer interaction and personal development. General music training has many benefits, like improved motor-skills, self-esteem and focus. Movement, singing, listening and imaginative-play are the main focuses in the lessons. The children play percussion instruments and hear the teacher make many different sounds from the violin and piano at each lesson.

JULIA COLLINS, Musician and Teacher, Children's Music Garden

If you would like to inquire about the program, please feel free to contact Julia at 416.516.8679 or julia@childrensmusicgarden.com
website: www.childrensmusicgarden.com


The basement studio is now finished and available for rent
for small meetings and events. A beautiful clean new space, there is approximately 350 sq ft of floor space. 2 tables, 12 chairs, microwave, kettle, coffeemaker, fridge and bathroom.

$15/hr - 8 hour minimum
$20/hr by the hour.


more info: info@opendoordesigns.ca , (416) 531-1290

BILLY TWINKLE Requiem for a Golden Boy
created and performed by Ronnie Burkett
at Factory Theatre


See a video clip on Montreal Gazette Website

Previews: September 24-26


"Ronnie Burkett returns to Factory Theatre with his newest work. Billy Twinkle is a middle-aged cruise ship puppeteer who dazzles audiences with his Stars in Miniature marionette niteclub act...until he is fired by the cruise line. Contemplating a watery demise, his dead mentor appears as a ghostly hand puppet, forcing Billy to re-enact his life as a puppet show and rekindle the passion for a life that sparkles."

Factory Theatre
125 Bathurst Street
Toronto ON
Tel: (416) 504-4473
Box Office: 416 504-9971
Web: www.factorytheatre.ca/1011season.htm

Hard Times
Produced by Puppetmongers
in Association with Night Kitchen Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille
Written and Directed by Chris Earle

Puppet construction and performance by Ann Powell, David Powell and Anand Rajaram

September 29 to October 16, 2010

This is the play that wonders how far we’ve come.
Chris Earle takes one of the classics of Dickensian literature and flips everything on its head, including the audience. Hard Times shows us a world where supply and demand govern every human interaction, a world where a lot has changed since the Victorian era of greed, power, marginalization and class conflict—or has it? Told using Puppetmonger signature-style puppets and live performers, Hard Times is a tale of two worlds that looks at intimacy between generations and power between classes.


More Information: Theatre Pass Muraille



Clay & Paper Theatre presents: The 11th Annual Night of Dread
Dufferin Grove Park
(Dufferin South of Bloor)
Saturday October 30, 2010

Join us for the eleventh annual Night of Dread, Clay & Paper Theatre’s invitation to the community to parade our private and collective fears through the darkened streets of Toronto. The hour-long procession returns to Dufferin Grove Park for an evening of ceremonial festivities that compel us to call on, mock and banish the fears that unite and divide us in these times. Night of Dread is an unforgettable evening of pageantry, music and masquerade incorporating towering puppets, stilt dancers, fire-spinners and fearful masks in a daring exploration of dread.

More Info: www.clayandpapertheatre.org

The Banff Puppet Theatre Intensive
Old Trout Puppet Workshop
Dec 27, 2010 to Jan 7, 2011

The Banff Puppet Theatre Intensive, presented by The Banff Centre, the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and the AQM, and in association with the Calgary Animated Objects Society, offers a two-week exploration into the creative art of puppet theatre. The Old Trouts are a company founded on the collaborative nature of ensemble-based creation, they build their shows through a process of consensus, which shall be the thesis of this workshop.Over the 17-day period of the workshop, participants will explore exercises that identify the physical awareness and synchronicity of an ensemble, as well as participate in an arena of debate and building that facilitates an effective sharing of ideas. These exercises will in turn support the foundation of original, theatrical, puppet performances to be developed in the subsequent part of the workshop. More info
These wonderful Czech puppets were brought into the store recently. They are in mint condition and we think are from the 1930's or earlier. They were purchased "as old" in the 1950's. The 26 puppets are about 10" tall and with the controller 24" tall. The owners would like to sell them. If you have any information about them as to maker or would like to purchase them, please contact us at info@opendoordesigns.ca or call (416) 531-1290.

Open Door Designs is please to now be carrying these whimsical puppets made right here in Toronto by Cate & Levi.

" All the materials are sourced as close to home as possible. This process cuts down on shipping and reduces our carbon footprint. The choice of reclaimed wool reduces demand for new materials that require both water and oil for production. My goal is for these items to leave the softest possible pawprint on our planet."



The Old Trout Puppet Workshop innovating again! Take a look at this interesting project. The following text was taken from their BLOG.

What is this?

Ignorance is a puppet documentary about the blissful prehistoric origins of humanity, and how our brains evolved into the hideous bliss-sucking parasites they are today. Yes: it’s about how why we’re not happy. And how we might solve this problem without resorting to alcoholism, tranquilizers, frontal-lobotomies, or other forms of induced ignorance

But not just that: it’s an experiment in a whole new way to write theatre. As far as we’ve heard, anyway.

Here’s the plan: we’re going to create the whole thing right here – words, drawings, pictures, little bits of video from rehearsals even – the entire shamozzle. Anybody who wants to have a look at what we’re doing can watch as the ideas develop.

Steven Barkley of Diabolo Puppets hard at work

I visited Steven Barkley of Diabolo Puppets late this summer to pick up some puppets now in the store as well as materials for the fur puppet workshops. Steven is busy getting ready for the One of a Kind Show, the Salon des Métiers d’art in Montreal and Circle Craft in Vancouver. A lovely visit and a beautiful day in Laval.


Born to be... from Alex Novitski on Vimeo.

Alex Novitsky and his wife Yumi, new friends Open Door Designs visited during the Open House. Alex recently won First Prize of Jury & Audience Chose Award for this animation sponsored by the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) Chicken Jam 2009.

This is another gem from Alexander Mergold from Gary Friedman's blog., a puppeteer from Australia.

Hansjürgen Fettig - German Puppet Master
"German puppet master - designer, builder and author, Hansjürgen Fettig's famous 1973 book Glove And Rod Puppets, A Handbook of Design and Technique is one of our greatest puppetry books. I don't think that this puppet master has been given the acknowledgment he deserves for his influence on modern puppetry. I know many puppeteers who have been much influenced by Fettig's unique designs, innovative use of cardboard and household odds and ends to create incredible puppet designs.

In the late nineties, I was fortunate enough to interview this puppeteer in Charleville-Meziers, France. He had already been living in France for a number of years and I filmed this private masterclass in an interview which he did for me in French. Now for the first time, I would like to share this edited short interview with you. For more info, go to: www.puppetrynews.com "
Gary Friedman

Traffic Jam...puppet jam...?


"Joel Kyack's (MFA '08) first large-scale public project, Superclogger, will present various puppet shows to L.A. drivers caught in afternoon traffic jams from a mobile theater housed in the back of a nondescript white pickup truck. Broadcasting soundtracks discretely to the viewer's car stereo, Superclogger, curated by Cesar Garcia (MPAS '09), aims to briefly halt the progression of chaos by temporarily drawing the audience out of the commute experience and placing them within an intimate space of engagement and performance that highlights their own individual presence within the broader structure of the traffic jam."

Volunteer for Junction Triangle Nuit Blanche event!
The Junction Triangle neighbourhood is taking part in the 2010 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche exhibit and needs volunteers!
On October 2, our installation Rail of Light will see the Wallace Avenue Footbridge transformed into a huge, sparkling chandelier, literally shedding light on the massive diesel rail expansion planned by the Ontario government.

If you can help with set-up, take-down, or manning the exhibit, please get in touch with us at rail@junctiontriangle.ca We need help to install the
exhibit during the day on Saturday (Oct.2) beginning at 9 a.m. and people to staff the showing (in four hour shifts) during the evening/night. Be a part of a great, city wide arts event happening right here in the Junction Triangle and help send an important message about electric trains.
Visit railoflight.ca for details.

Neighbourly Advice
Need Advice? Give Advice?

Come Spin the ADVICE WHEEL
on the Railpath at the end of Wallace Avenue

A project by your neighbour (and mine) Roy Mitchell

Local artist Joel Richardson completed his mural this past weekend September 25, 2010 on the south side of the bridge underpass at Dupont and Lansdowne.

Material Donations Needed

Donations may be dropped off at Open Door Designs or email Nancy Davis Halifax for more information.

fabric, wool, embroidery floss, needles, crochet hooks, old sweaters

RED WAGON COLLECTIVE was formed in 2006 in response to our desire to deepen our artistic, collaborative, and community-engaged practices through residency projects that would enable us to develop both intensive and extensive relationships in the Junction - a rapidly changing neighbourhood in Toronto's west end. We share a desire to work collaboratively with artists and non-artists to create work that inspires new conversations; softens boundaries between groups separated by age, culture, ability, and economic status; promotes the presence of art in everyday life and contributes to increasing public engagement in community development. The work we create with communities is used in producing exhibitions, public installations, and celebratory performance events.We are currently working within the walls of the Evangeline Shelter.

Our former neighbour Gilbert Dufour is participating in this show happening this weekend

2010 Design Competition + Trunk Show
Saturday 2 October 2010, 7PM – 1AM
KingWest Fitness
VIP Reception 6PM – 7PM

For more details on this year’s event, visit La Belle Époque.
Each year, 10 emerging Canadian designers bring their collections to life in an exhibit space and through a fashion show where they compete for 2 awards: Most Promising Designer is decided by an industry judging panel, and Best Exhibit is voted by the public. The winners for both are announced one week after the competition and awarded a monetary grant, exclusive retail and media opportunities, and valuable memberships to art and design organizations.

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