- PRESIDENT’S AWARD
- TRUSTEE’S AWARD
- MARJORIE BATCHELDER MCPHARLIN AWARD
Nick Coppola – “Nick Coppola is widely revered in contemporary American puppetry for launching many professional puppetry careers while maintaining high standards in traditional marionette theatre. Coppola is not only an esteemed director, writer, and brilliant marionette performer, he has mastered the the fine arts of teamwork, cooperation and collaboration.”
Nick is the perfect mentor. He wants the production to shine. Each detail of puppet design, costume, music and script show get careful attention. Nick lets his shows and performers hold center stage, with Nick quietly in the background avoiding attention
NIck joined P of A in 1952 and was hired by the Suzari company in 1954 and rose quickly to become the artistic director. After serving in the army, Suzari’s Ruth Waxman formed a new company based on Nick’s talent. The Nicolo Marionettes was an actively touring troupe from 1962-1978.
In 1980 Nick founded The Puppetworks. In 1987 Puppetworks became a permanent theatre in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn and Puppetworks is still actively presenting shows.
He’s written a few articles for the Journal, and wore a few Organizational hats:
Served on Board in ‘80s, was Consultant’s Chair, and on Journal Editorial Board. Chairman of Endowment fund Committee. M.C. at National Festival at Bryn Mawr
During the ‘80s, Nick also taught Puppetry at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn and The Children’s Aid Society, Manhattan, and was part of the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater as puppeteer and builder and costumer.
Perhaps Nick’s greatest contribution to the art of puppetry is as a role model, of quiet professional commitment to entertain his audience, and to work with others with charm and grace. His love of people and love puppetry have enriched the art of puppetry and the careers of many puppeteers.
Bob Nathanson accepted the award on Mr. Coppolla’s behalf.
Fred Sauers – Fred Sauers recently retired as the coordinator of the P of A Liability Insurance Program. In fact, Fred developed the insurance program that all puppeteers can buy into and has served our professional puppeteers since with good humor and prompt service.
Fred has spent most of his 82 years enjoying artistic pursuits. He is an accomplished stage, radio and movie actor (look for his 3-second appearance in The Dark Knight), make-up artist, set designer, wood-worker, sculptor, potter, and puppet-maker, and has explored magic, sewing, weaving, and jewelry-making.
He attended Grinnell College in Iowa and earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He entered the field of data processing at ITT-Kellogg and was a pioneer in Electronic Data Interchange with Sears Roebuck. He retired from IBM in 1998.
Fred’s interest in puppetry coincided with his interest in his future wife, a puppeteer. Together they founded Roberts Marionettes in 1982 and co-produced eight touring productions. Fred is Technical Director for the company and has built more than 100 hand-carved, lifelike marionettes and bunraku puppets and designed and built several puppet stages. Fred and his wife are long-time members of the Chicagoland Puppetry Guild, have been Registrars for many regional and national festivals and Great Lakes Potlatches, and Fred served as Treasurer of the Great Lakes Region for several years.
Karen Konnerth – Karen Konnerth is Founder and artistic director of Calliope puppets in New Orleans where she writes shows, designs and builds puppets in a wide variety of techniques, and performs with live voice, presenting either solo or with accompanying musician, or other collaborator. Calliope Puppets have been known for high quality programs in puppet theater since its founding in 1976. Presenting in theaters, museums, festivals, and schools in urban and in remote communities in the United States, South and Central America, Europe, and Asia, Calliope Puppets invite family audiences on explorations of folklore, culture, and fantasy to bring imagination to learning.
Karen is also a specialist in the integration of the arts across the curriculum, creating formats in active learning successful in motivating enthusiasm in students towards comprehension and retention of core content. Dedicated to educational advancement and support for children, families, and teachers, Karen engages students in meaningful learning as well as challenging and inspiring creative thinking on current issues affecting our education and world communities.
Karen presents workshops regionally, nationally, and internationally. Her Calliope Puppets also have presented in festivals and tours in Peru, Argentina, México, Guatemala, Spain, and Puerto Rico.
Closer to home, in their New Orleans studio space six blocks from the Mississippi River, Calliope Puppet Center shares connections with the local community, as it hosts workshops for children, teachers, and other adults, including collaborative works with community members and visiting puppeteers.
Most recently, Karen has been involved in the writing and implementation of arts in education residencies for Pre-K through grade 5 in a variety of curriculum areas including social studies and reading comprehension strategies, all using puppetry in active learning formats.
Karen was touring during the festival and was unable to attend – Jean Kuecher received the award on her behalf.