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Early Years

Imaginary Leaps

Junior Workshops

Make & Play in a Day

Greek Masks

Shadow Play

Youth Projects


Teen Puppets

Giant Puppets

Sex 'n' Chips

Teacher Training

Theatre Professional Development

Education & Community Workshop and Training

DNA has an excellent reputation and history of successful workshops and residencies. DNA has worked in partnership with many organisations including the Tate Gallery London, Harris Museum Preston, Eureka! Halifax, Lyric Hammersmith London, The Puppet Centre Trust London, National Student Drama Festival, Scarborough, Central School of Speech and Drama, London, Life Education Centres, Creative Partnerships Salford and Horse and Bamboo Theatre Lancashire.

Click here for DNA's Education Work History

Puppetry combines craft, design, movement, drama, visual and verbal arts , and its naturally collaborative nature makes it a powerful and appropriate activity for school and community settings. All workshops use recycled and recyclable items and materials and DNA also often work to transform found objects. The company is committed to recycling and sustainability in all its work.

DNA offers a wide range of participatory activities, performances and experiences for schools and community events including:

Culturally diverse workshops for all - Indian puppet-making, African junk animals, creation myths and trad. folk tales

Puppetry is widely used for special educational needs. Rachel Riggs was the outreach special needs artist for The Little Angel Theatre, London, and currently works as artist-in-residence with PMLD children at Carson St School, Perth, Australia on a sensory awareness programme.

All our education work is inclusive and equally suitable for children and young people with special educational needs.

Me and My Shadow- working with shadows, shadow puppets and video imagery for young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Creative Partnerships UK
Featured in the Times Educational Supplement as a model of innovative good practice

Early Years

DNA’s Early Years work provides stepping stones towards early learning goals. This first experience of theatre and family workshops enables family integration and audience development.

DNA are continuously researching the links between child development and puppetry. As many believe, all people are born creative and we believe that all are born puppeteers! A young child’s imaginative play can turn everyday items into puppets. During free play with objects and materials, a child uses symbols (e.g.: a stick for a sword) and creates play props to work out identity issues. The transformational quality from everyday objects to extraordinary props is at the heart of DNA’s work.

Imaginary Leaps is a programme of theatre play workshops, professional creative training and playkits for Early Years Settings, Libraries, Museums and Art Galleries


DNA understand how puppetry can apply to curriculum attainment targets, whether for Key stage 1,2,3 or above. Each of our workshops can be specifically designed for a day, 2 day or week long residency, making and performing. DNA explain how puppetry is used in creating theatre and demonstrate traditional puppetry techniques eg glove, rod, marionette or shadow puppets.

Puppetry in story telling can be used for a variety of themes eg Literacy - poetry, Shakespeare,script writing.Personal & Social Education - bullying, safety, sex & relationships.Multicultural Celebrations - religous festivals, creation myths.Workshop techniques also include Shadows, masks, Play in a day puppetry sessions in design and performance and greek myths are all available. Serious social and emotional issues can also be explored with animated issues.


DNA works with youth theatres and groups in puppet making and performance, devising original work and introducing traditional techniques and contemporary practice. Genie in A Bottle explored genetics and nanotechnology in partnerships with the Green Room Manchester, Contact Theatre and Manchester Museum. Teenage puppets The Hoodies are used for issue based workshops developing material for film. Masks for site-specific performances were made with Coral Arts, Malborough. Young women in Blackpool explored their feelings about self-image in Fusion:Esteem. Sex'n'Chips was a flagship production devised with Year 9s to support school SRE education in the North West UK.

Professional Creative Training

INSET sessions showing how puppets can be quickly made and most effectively used in the classroom are always available in our teacher training section.

DNA regularly host training sessions for artists and performers to develop specialist skills in puppetry techniques. A puppetry encouragement subsidy from the Arts Council of England funded a Professional Development Season for which the top UK puppetry and visual theatre directors ran workshops. DNA facilitated a four day professional development workshop for the Edinburgh Puppet and Animation Festival at the Traverse theatre and Horse and Bamboo Theatre, Rossendale, Lancashire UK.

All text and images © Dynamic New Animation 2002