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Sunday, 21 April 2019 02:24 am

Henson Retrospectacle stars to spend time with capital creative students

Te Auaha’s chief Executive Victoria Spackman says her favourite Muppet is Gonzo the Great, “Because he’s purple and he can fly.”

A select number of creative tertiary students from Wellington will be putting on makeup and lighting up the lights for the inaugural New Zealand Institute of Applied Creativity Te Auaha Talks.

International performers Dave Goelz and Karen Prellz will take time out from The Jim Henson Retrospectacle – the world’s first festival celebrating the legacy of Jim Henson, to host private sessions with students.

The lucky few will be from Te Auaha, Victoria University, Toi Whakaari: New Zealand School of Drama, Capital E and Massey University.

Dave Goelz is better known as the man behind Gonzo the Great, and animator Prellz is also the voice of Red from Fraggle Rock.

Victoria Spackman, pictured, director of the New Zealand Institute of Creativity, Te Auaha, said Jim Henson represented everything Te Auaha stood for.

“His imagination, his dedication, his commitment to creating and shaping something that really connected with people of all ages created a legacy.

“What he did and encouraged people to do is something no one else could do,” she said.

We believe the students we’ve invited will really benefit from hearing these experts share their knowledge of working with someone like Jim Henson.

“A human actor can’t do what he made a puppet do.

“He changed the world for a whole generation. And our speakers helped him do it.”

Goelz is also the man behind Dr Bunsen Honeydew, Uncle Travelling Matt and many more characters.

He has worked with The Henson Company for over 40 years and will be speaking about creating and bring a puppet to life.

Puppeteer and Animator Karen Prellz will be hosting an exclusive workshop for up to ten students on the day.

Prellz is another Henson Company veteran.

Ms Prellz was also the voice of the worm in Labyrinth, and is a computer animator who has worked for Disney, Pixar and various videogame companies.

She will first be presenting Puppets to Pixels to Portals, and then a select number of students will join her for a puppetry workshop.

While the Te Auaha talks on Friday April 20 are not open to the public, both Mr Goelz and Ms Prellz are appearing at public events during the Retrospectacle speaking on the same topics, as well introducing various films, television shows and other Muppet related activities.

Ms Spackman already has her favourite events lined up.

“I have friends flying in for the Symphony Orchestra playing Muppet Music with Bret Mackenzie from Flight of the Conchords.

“I have to see Labyrinth, obviously, and maybe Celebrating Jim.

“I don’t actually know very much about Jim Henson the man.”

A full list of events is available at www.


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