A Birdy Told Me So

Eight year old Kellie doesn’t feel like she fits in until she receives a gift that talks on its own! Kellie meets Magrau, a chatty puppet who makes people laugh. When Magrau signs them up for the school talent show Kellie is mortified. The advice from Magrau? Never give up! Magrau the bird puppet appears to talk by himself leading the students into the imaginative world of this story. Kellie learns that success is like learning how to ride a bike – you’re going to fall down a few times on your way. This multi-media show opened to rave reviews at the Vancouver International Puppet Festival in 2018 and has toured schools and theatres in British Columbia and Alberta. This production is inspired by Kellie’s own experiences having Tourette Syndrome, performing at her school talent show on stage where her symptoms of TS went way and she found her talent.

A Space to Play

The sound of drums starts the show as Magrau the bird and Kamilla a frog with red hair take a series of comic detours with Storyteller Kellie Haines. Volunteers come to Kellie’s rescue to help keep the show on course. Puppets magically come alive, hilarious dialogue keeps the audiences laughing and Kellie’s puppets learn that being different is extraordinary. The physical comedy, songs and ventriloquism keep the children engaged and the reaction is priceless.

It was an absolute pleasure to have Kellie in our school. The performance was fun, upbeat and shared some strong messages of inclusion, diversity & resilience. The follow up workshop sessions were fabulous. It was a joy to see our students so invested in making their puppets and engaging in imaginary play – creative thinking, communication and social responsibility skills all rolled into one powerful session. Kellie modeled inclusive and personalized learning and made strong connections with both students and staff throughout or school day. We would not hesitate to have her back!
Principal of McGowan Park Elementary

Kellie’s performance was wonderful and I would highly recommend it! In seconds, she had the whole school engaged and following along.  I have a very busy, and full, Grade One class, and she had their full attention, which doesn’t often happen! I loved that the students were given appropriate opportunities to move, and participate in the show.  Kellie had great management and interaction with the audience: she made sure everyone participated in a way that they were comfortable with, and that they settled for the next part of the show.  The presentation was very cross- curricular, and included conversations around the core competency skills.  The show was fast paced, and the hour flew by. The kids loved the puppets, especially when they were trying to be sneaky. The interactions between Kellie and the puppets were very smooth and believable. Their movements and conversations were so life-like that I had to explain to several students that they were not alive, and that Kellie was just very talented. It was a lovely mix of humour, conversations about her experiences, music, and big life topics like being yourself, and being resilient. We are so grateful that you came all the way up to Williams Lake!
Ms. K  – Nesika Elementary

Puppet Making and Ventriloquist Workshop

In The Puppet Musical workshop series, students are asked for their creative input from the start to finish of this workshop. Students build their own puppet, decide on their puppet’s voice, movement, style and individual characteristics. Students learn the art of puppetry through hands-on activities that include improvisation, storytelling, movement and voicework. Through brainstorming and storyboarding the students choose 2 songs and then create a story around those two songs to later perform for the younger students or if you wish, at the school’s talent show. Student input is essential to this workshop series. The teacher and I create a safe space of respect for the workshop’s framework and the students are encouraged to creatively flourish. My goal is to provide guidelines and structure. It is the student’s experience, ideas and input that will drive this project. This workshop can be custom tailored to fit the needs of your school.

“Having Kellie come to KGMS was such a treat for our students and teachers in the school. Her program encouraged confidence, respect and brought a lot of shy, introverted students out of their shell. Throughout the time she was in our classroom, the students were excited to practice and hone their puppeteering skills. It was an incredible experience to say the least.” Adam Lewis – Grade 5/6 Teacher

“Kellie was an incredible puppeteer and educator to the Grade 5 and 6 students of KGMS, she brought out skills and personalities I had not seen from our students before. The Talent Show was met with roars of approval from the parents, and squeals of glee from our school’s younger audience members. At the end of the experience, all our students gained that incredible feeling of being rock stars. Not just from rocking out to Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi but completing a unique task from start to finish that had never been done in a school before. They all got to walk away with amazing skills and memories, and the best souvenir of all, their very own puppet!” Layna Pohlod – Grade 6 Teacher

Our school loved having Kellie visit and perform with her amazing puppets. In her performance of “A Space to Play,” the message is very clear (everyone counts and everyone can make a difference). Each one of our students, left the play with a smile on their face and a spring in their step. I really appreciated the audience participation which included many of our children with special needs. Kellie and her team arrived early to set up and even rehearse before the students arrived. Kellie also has very good management skills to keep even our young students focused.

Don’t miss out.
– Katherine, School District 40, New Westminster BC

You chose great kids who have lots of challenges but are making strides at school. Will certainly talk to my colleagues about your program. Highly recommend it.
Dino, Lochdale Community School, Burnaby BC