As Creative Director of Imaginary Leaps & Artistic Director
of DNA Puppetry & Visual Theatre, Rachel Riggs is an experienced
director, artist/performer, educator and producer of puppetry performances
for all ages and abilities.
‘In addition to the historical
research that informs her work, Rachel impresses by the breath of
her artistic interpretation, which includes site-specific installations
and animating the past through shadow-plays and film.’
Amanda Draper – Keeper of Fine Art, Harris Museum & Art
Previous work includes:
- • 2011
Artist for Fremantle Festival Parade 2011 with Samson Primary
Awesome Children’s Festival, Perth, WA – artist in
residence for ’Creative Challenge’, Karratha &
Imaginary Leaps sessions programme for early childhood tent.
Creative Director Imaginary Leaps
interactive theatre play specialist programme at the State
Library of Western Australia and author of Good Practice Guide.
Artist Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle
Making large scale parade puppets for Kwinana Festival community
parade with young people and community at Koorliny Arts Centre
& Gilmore College.
Creative Director for the Art Gallery of Western Australia,
Perth, WA 'Imaginary Leaps'
of family engagement art programme with AGWA arts education
Lead Artist for the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston,
installation of puppets & props from DNA puppetry & visual
theatre co. for ‘Enchanted
Worlds' exhibition, research lecturer on 'Local Fairy Folklore’
& community Shadow Theatre programme.
Lead Artist TATE, Liverpool, UK
Lead artist for international shadow theatre project for 'The
Fifth Floor' exhibition collaborating with artists from China
and Everyman Youth Theatre for Liverpool City of Culture 2008.
Lead Artist Selected Artist Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster
'Making Money' bursary artist, 'Change
of Heart' project exploring the heart as an emotional object,
exploring artists creative process in installation & performance.
Theatre Educator National Student
Drama Festival, Scarborough, UK
Training students in puppetry skills for the Puppet Centre, London
Creative Partnerships, Salford- working with Crab Lane
Primary reception class on achieving literacy objectives through
Eureka! Museum for Children, Halifax - Training play enablers
in puppetry technique.
Watermark, Preston - Professional development sessions for artists
STARS Blackpool - summer residency working with special needs
Puppets a Go Go! Festival Puppetry workshops
Life Education – training for visiting school
Connexions – DNA worked with teenagers in Oxfordshire combining
various puppetry & video techniques
Arts in The Parks- Mask workshops with special needs schools in
Teacher training- Bethnal Green Children's Museum
The Lyric Hammersmith -early years tissue play workshops
Professional Development Training workshop 'Imaginary Leaps -
transformational theatre' - Horse and Bamboo.
Liverpool Museum – Workshops to accompany puppet exhibition
Henshaw Society for the Blind, Manchester- musical puppets and
object play residency
Phoenix Youth Arts Bolton - building a giant processional puppet
for arts week
Total Theatre Talks 2003 - discussion on design and scenography.
to visit the Total Theatre page
Specialist direction for 'The BFG' - Bolton Octagon (puppetry
Puppetry Training for Bethnal Green Childrens Museum Gallery Educators.
Assistant director 'Grim Tales' - Dukes Theatre, Lancaster
Professional Development Training workshop 'The Animated Other'
- Horse and Bamboo.
Director 'The Enormous Turnip' - Dynamic New Animation
Artistic Director - 'Puppet Up!' 1997 - 2003 Blackpool Festival
of Puppetry and Visual Theatre.
Artist at the Tate Britain, London, Teacher Librarian Training
in Puppetry Techniques for the Young Cultural Creators Literacy
Director with Bob Frith 'Skin Deep Circus' Arts Council Research
Professional Development Training workshop 'Traditional Techniques
to Contemporary Practice' - Horse and Bamboo, Rossendale. Puppetry
Director for the Discover Childrens Centre, London - Storybuilders
Director - 'Chicken Licken' touring shows including the National
Company Residency week at Bispham High School Arts College (Year
7) making Carnival Costumes for the Commonwealth Games Parade,
Puppet Centre Active Board member for 5 years.
Director-'SRE:production' sex and relationship education through
Director 'Sweetie Pie' - touring show.
Theatre Centre One week residency at Carden School, Brighton,
for production 'Violet and The Angel'
Barbican Festival consultant to weekend of puppetry activities
linked to Julie Taymor 'The King Stag'
Portsmouth University lecture demonstration for post-grad drama
TATE education Two days of Training for Teachers Librarians at
Artist in Residence for the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith working
with local schools with Shadow theatre inspired by the xmas production
Artist at the Tate Modern using puppetry to bring art alive for
children, work inspired by the Louise Bourgeoise installation.
Forum 28, Barrow artist in residence at Springboard an activity
program run by Ashton Group contemporary theatre
- Specialist Puppetry Workshops for Life Education Drugs Education
- Artist at the Tate Gallery, London, on 'Constructing Identities'
& 'Visual Paths to Literacy'
- Spec Needs Puppetry Workshop Leader for The
Little Angel Theatre
- Co-ordinator and facilitator of professional development workshops
in puppetry for the Edinburgh Puppet and Animation Festival, British
Festival Of Visual Theatre, and the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith.
- Puppets & Poems -Two week residency at St Mary's and St
Michael's RC school, London, working with nursery and reception
classes on puppetry and visual theatre
- Artistic Director - Puppet
Up!97& 99 Blackpool Festival of Puppetry.
Education Programme co-ordinator - Puppet
- Puppeteer on 'Dr Xargle' TV series for HTV. Straight and reverse
scan lip-sync. to pre-recorded soundtrack. Director - Andrew Gosling.
- Designer/Director of 'I, Object' BAC youth theatre performance.
- Puppeteer in 'The Kitchen of Life' at BAC 'Time Out Critics
- Blow Down project for Holly Street Public Arts, Hackney.
- Puppet making workshops for Phoenix Festival & Virgin 96.
- International Mime Festival workshop with Stephen Mottram.
- Puppeteer in 'Hotch Potch House' - BBC TV Education
- Workshop leader for 'Sticking With the Rainforest' Kazzum Arts
Project to create rainforest pilot project for school residencies.
Drayton Park school.
- Attended Shadows of the Past, Indian shadow puppetry and dance
masterclass with Mrinalini Sarabhai, Norwich Puppet Theatre.
- Project leader for the Puppet Centre's 'Shadow Me'- special
needs puppetry performance project linking schools.
- Puppet Designer/Maker for 'Tom Thumb and the Dragon' youth theatre
project and 'The Adventures of Tom Thumb' for St George's Theatre,
- Designer/Maker of life-size puppet for Theatre Workshop, Manchester.
- 'Technique Meets Fantasy' string puppetry masterclass with Albrecht
Roser, Amsterdam Summer University.
- Puppeteer in 'Muppet Treasure Island' - Jim Henson Productions.
Director - Brian Henson.
- Carnival project at Parliament Hill school. Workshop leader
for Kazzum Arts.
- Puppeteer in 'Tiny & Crew' - The Children's Channel TV. Director
- Amelia Johnson.
- Puppeteer in 'The Picture Stick' special needs show for Caught
in the Act T.I.E.
- Workshop leader for Bermondsey Village SE1 community performance
- Puppeteer with PuppetCraft in 'Sir Fool's Quest' by Adrian Mitchell
- National tour. Director - John Roberts.
- Certificate in woodcarving marionettes at the Little
- Puppeteer/designer in The Cabinet
of Hearts, performed at DNA Cabaret - London, Glastonbury
Festival, Charleville World Puppetry Festival & LUTKE '95 festival-Slovenia.
- Puppetry & Mask Workshops - Homerton Teacher Training College,
Cambridge & North London University.
- Assistant Puppeteer for 'Mortimer & Arabella' and 'Artrageous'
- BBC TV.
- 'Where The Wild Things Are' - Maskmaking and Performance with
Special Needs children for European project, - Manor Park School,
1993 - 1994
- Puppeteer with Movingstage Marionette Company in 'All He Fears',
by Howard Barker - National Tour
- Puppeteer for 'Three Billy Goats Gruff' - Children's Rod Puppet
Puppeteer and Stage Manager with The Little
Angel Marionette Theatre in "Odessa and the Magic Goat", by
John Agard - National Tour. Director - Christopher Leith
- Advanced Diploma in Puppetry - The
Central School of Speech and Drama, London. TV Puppetry Workshop
with Francis Wright & Richard Coombs. Group Production with Faulty
- Commedia dell'arte mask making - Florence, Italy.
- Stage Manager - Open Zip Theatre Company, Manchester.
- Chaos Arts - Freelance creative artist leading workshops in
Puppetry, Mask Making, Mosaic and Performance Arts in mainstream
and spec. needs schools.
- 'A Piece Of Cake' Mosaic Project - Co Ordinator of 10 spec.
needs and mainstream schools, creating a giant mosaic. Presented
at Manchester Festival
- Puppeteer and Stage Manager for "The SuperTed Magic Show" -
National tour. Designed, built and performed puppet sequence for
- Certificate in Practical Theatre Arts (Distinction) - The Arden
Drama Centre, Manchester.
- Youth theatre worker for Contact Theatre, Manchester.
- 'The Dinner Party' - 10 Special Needs Schools Project in Visual
and Performance Arts.
- Certificate in Community and Recreational Arts (Commendation)
- Manchester Polytechnic.
- Trainee Puppeteer with Doo Cot Theatre of Objects and Figures.