In this playful and sensitive exploration of everyday objects as symbolic communication, metaphors such as a cup half full or treading on eggshells are brought from the page to the stage.

We will look at how human beings identify with objects, drawing inspiration from their material qualities and cultural functions to articulate notions of character and portray relationships to other people or to concepts such as work or belonging. The tools and exercises can be used to explore personal narratives as well as for creating theatre and the workshop welcomes those with therapeutic and social interests as well as theatre-makers and artists.

Topics include:

  • Choosing objects
  • The language of every objects: symbol and metaphor
  • Relationship of human to object
  • Using objects to understand and articulate experience
  • Creating characters out of everyday objects

The workshop will run for three days, for four hours a day. We will be a group of 12 participants and the philosophy for the course will be as if we were in real space working together. This means we can be relatively flexible with timings and responsive to what comes up in the workshop. Having said that, working online can be tiring so there will be a balance between online participation and offline tasks.


Rene Baker has worked in professional puppetry for over 30 years as a performer, director, designer, researcher, pedagogue and coach. Since 1998, she has specialised in training and has developed her own method for working with objects in performance, teaching in drama schools, rehearsal rooms and theatre festivals all over Europe. Rene is currently a core tutor at the Curious School of Puppetry and is also translating her teaching into online offers, finding herself particularly interested in investigating the psychology and practice of creating connection when leading groups remotely.


The workshop programme at MANIPULATE 2021 will be delivered entirely online, allowing you to develop artistic practice and connect with fellow creatives from your own home. Please note that you must have access to the internet and a laptop, tablet or similar device in order to attend this event.

Other workshops at MANIPULATE Festival:



Image courtesy of (C) Rene Baker