Festival Staff

Dustin Curtis- Festival Director 

I have worked in special events and entertainment production since 1995. I’m a founding class member of The Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing, and Visual Arts, and I now reside in Seattle, WA where I support multiple area festivals, queer nightlife, and non-profit events while serving as the events and rentals coordinator for Seattle Central College.

I’m honored to be both the President of Puppeteers of America and the National Puppetry Festival Director in my sixth and final year of board service. I have been lucky to meet so many wonderful puppeteers on this journey and enjoy their support and knowledge as I explore and learn the art. My hope is that you have been touched by this event and will treasure our time spent together fondly.

Yolanda Sampson- Artistic Commitee Chair 

 Yolanda Sampson, a former National Capital Puppetry Guild President, is founder and president of GO Y.O. Worldwide, LLC, which is a gospel puppet ministry company that educates and empowers elementary-aged children to live out their Christian faith. A featured puppeteer in the Living Objects: African American Puppetry Exhibition at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Yolanda has performed message oriented puppet shows and taught puppet making workshops many places such as the SOS Orphanage in Colon, Panama, the Migrant Children at the Texas/Mexico Border in McAllen, Texas; The Harriet Tubman House in London, England; the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., and Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Peekskill, New York. Yolanda received a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Howard University’s School of Communications.


Anatar Marmol-Gagne - Workshop Committee Chair 

Director, designer and puppet theatre artist is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Puppet Arts from the University of Connecticut, and a BA in English/ Creative Writing from Hunter College. Her strong background in art, dance, writing, fiber and fabrication all come together seamlessly with her love for puppetry.  She has trained at the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, designed and directed puppets for The Dramatic Question Theater, Yale, Hartford Symphony, Boston Pops, performed at Dixon Place, Puppet Showplace, Lyric Hall, Black Cherry Puppet Theater, Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry, festivals, puppet slams, toured her full length production “Calle Allende” and is the founder and curator of The Pinned & Sewtured Puppet Cabaret (2014).  Her short films "Heart-Felt" and “The Moment Has Yet To Come” premiered at the 2019 & 2017 Reel Puppetry Film Festival at the Puppeteers of America National Puppet Festival. Her work has also been featured in multiple art shows and solo shows and was the Artist-In-Residence at Artspace in New Haven, CT 2019-2020. 

Her upcoming autobiographical show, Sueños, is the recipient of a 2022 Jim Henson Foundation Workshop Grant.


Dr. Paulette Richards- Exhibit Committee Director 

Atlanta-based teaching artist and independent researcher, Paulette Richards survived a ten month stint in Senegal as a 2013/ 2014 Fulbright Scholar without contracting any tropical diseases, but sometime during her service as an artist in residence at the Institut français de Saint Louis, the puppet bug bit her hard. She has taught animatronic puppetry workshops at Decatur Makers, the Dekalb County Public Library, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and the Puppeteers of America 2017 National Festival. During the 2017/2018 academic year she worked for Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Math, and Computing as an Innovator in Residence at Hollis Innovation Academy. More recently she has been teaching workshops on the history of African American puppetry through the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival and has served as an adjunct instructor in the Puppet Arts certificate program at the University of Connecticut. Co-curator of the Living Objects: African American Puppetry exhibit at the University of Connecticut’s Ballard Institute and Museum with Dr. John Bell, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Her book, Object Performance in the Black Atlantic is forthcoming from Routledge in 2023.

Lindsey Ball - Registrar 

Lindsey Ball (they/them) is an artist, maker, clown, puppeteer, and crybaby. 

A native Texan and recent MFA graduate of Columbia College Chicago/arthaus.berlin (formerly LISPA), Ball has had the extreme fortune to work for and/or train with: Generik Vapeur, Cosmino Productions, Lucy Hopkins, Lionel Menard, Cat Gerrard, Thomas Prattki, Michael Brown, Theater Unspeakable, Leah Urzendowski, Halena Kays, Rec Room, Tom Lee, Next Iteration Ensemble, Horse Head Theatre Co., Luciole International Theatre Company, and many more. 

Ball’s recent original work Kopfkino debuted in Berlin, Germany and was additionally presented at the Malta Festival in Poznań, Poland. The work has been presented in English and Polish with more versions on the way. 

Ball recently traveled to Prague, Czech Republic in August 2022 to work with Puppets in Prague (Mirek Trejtnar & Leah Gaffen) to build original, traditional Czech wire marionettes, which was followed by several performances of a devised version of Aladin (dir. Peter Varga) at the Letni Letna New Circus and Theatre Festival. 

They also previously performed in an Original Pronunciation production of Julius Caesar (dir. Kate Pogue) which traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland for presentation at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013. 

They currently serve as the Registrar for the 2023 National Puppetry Festival (Puppeteers of America) and have previously served as a Company Member for Next Iteration Ensemble, on the Advisory Board for Horse Head, and the Board of Directors for The Landing Theatre Company. In addition to traditional performance and administrative work, Ball has done vocal work for several podcasts and audio dramas, as well as written, directed, and performed for a sketch comedy and an improv troupe. 

Gabrielle Greenfield - Festival Coordinator (Assistant to Director)

Gabrielle Greenfield is a playwright, puppeteer, Grades Waldorf Teacher, wilderness educator, and clown. She creates location-based immersive theatre designed to awaken one’s reverence and affinity with Nature through puppets, prose, and humor.

Gabrielle graduated from Booker T. Washington HSPVA in Dallas, Texas specializing in playwriting, mask work, and mime and earned her B.A. from the University of Maryland in English Language/Literature and Plant Science. Her original plays have premiered at The Kitchen Dog Theatre, The University of Houston, The Paul Baker New Plays Festival, The Blank Theatre, The University of Maryland, and The Center San Francisco. She has trained and performed with the San Francisco Clown School, trained with Dell Arte International, The Kennedy Center "Making Connections through Puppetry" series, Mime Lorin Salm, and Fraggle Rock's wonderful, Lee Armstrong. Some of her performance credits include: Radio Disney, Sirius XM, Children's Fairyland, and The Marin Mycological Society Mushroom Festival. She is an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area Puppet Guild and was the Membership Chair from 2021-2022.

Gabrielle taught Wilderness Education in schools and residential programs, eventually designing her own holistic biome-specific Wilderness Program for Grade K-8 with original puppets, song and games. She has also authored a children’s book about mushrooms with her mycology professor at the University of Maryland. 

Gabrielle currently leads a Waldorf Grade Two class on the North Shore of Kauai where she lives. She is stoked to play and be surrounded by inspiring dramatic artists at her beloved Alma Mater. 

Conni Burke-Mulligan- PIET Coordinator

Conni Burke Mulligan is a K-12 Technology Integration Specialist currently working as a Technology Facilitator at a high school in Charlotte, NC.  As a technology integration specialist, Conni focuses on seamless technology integration for all K-12 administrators and teachers across all curricular areas.  Through puppetry, her workshops and sessions focus on a series that she calls, "Tra-Digital Storytelling." A blend of where and what our students know in this digital world with traditional storytelling and hands-on puppet building skills. She has presented at various conferences and workshops focusing on technology integration (ISTE, ICE, DEN, FETC, NCTies, SC EdTech and online) and puppetry (Virtual Puppet Con 2020: Northeast Edition, NCPF Online Summer 2020 (National Capital Puppetry Festival), PofA, PofA-Southeast Regional Festival and PofA-PIET.


Charlie Conley- Business Manager 

Charles Conley is the bookkeeper for Puppeteers of America and several other organizations. He is also a writer who has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center and the Sozopol Fiction Seminars and published in North American Review, Harvard Review, Southern Review, and many other fine print and online journals. Much of his recent work has been in video, which can be found at www.AnthelionProjects.com.

Kathleen Conroy - Grant Manager 

bio coming soon

Kat Pleviak- Customer Service Manager/ADA        

Kat Pleviak is the Artistic Director and founder of Sea Beast Puppet Company in Glen Ellyn, IL. She has an BFA in Directing from the University of Illinois (2002) and an MFA in Youth Theatre and Puppetry from the University of Hawaii Manoa (2009).

 Under Kat's direction Sea Beast has initiated a number of exciting puppetry projects including a series of original projects and productions including the Puppet Meltdown Puppet Slam, “The Shadow Puppet Conspiracy”, “The History of Light” and “Méfiez-Vous de la Vache-Garou”, which won best in show at the Chicago Fringe 2013. Her work has been featured all over the country including the Field Museum of Chicago, Illinois Wesleyan University, Fever Up, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, the Art Institute of Chicago the Detroit institute of Art, and the Skirball Cultural Center in California. She has also presented a variety of performances, workshops and pre-conference intensives at Puppeteers of America festivals dating back to 2006 and was a performer with Puppet Sports of Quebec at the UNIMA International Puppetry Conference in Perth Australia 2008. Most recently Kat has been working with C.A.P.E. as a teaching artist at Leman Junior High in West Chicago, IL. 

She has been a member of the Puppeteer of America since 2002 and has served on the Board of Trustees, The Scholarship committee, the Archival committee, the assistant Workshop Coordinator for the Minneapolis National in 2007, and is their current Membership Officer. She has been published multiple times in the Puppetry Journal and was a featured artist in Puppetry International’s issue of “40 under 40.

Katie Phoenix- Sponsorship/Fundraising 

Katie Phoenix resides in Seattle and is a lover of the arts and small businesses. Her professional background is in marketing and promotions..most of her professional life has been devoted to creating, developing and maintaining relationships. She's pretty good at media planning and out-of-the-box solutions too. Katie thrives on meeting new people and traveling. 

Christine Dempsey - Marketing Manager 

Christine Dempsey is a partnership coordinator, event producer, puppeteer, and fabricator working throughout the New York metro area. For over a decade she has been wearing all manner of hats while bringing fantastical live experiences to audiences of all ages. She is excited to put on her marketing hat and spread the word of the 2023 National Puppetry Festival far and wide!

Christine is an alumnus of the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, where she created new work under the mentorship of artists including James Godwin and Ronnie Burkett. As a recent artist in residence at The Center at West Park, Christine developed What We Have Left. In this solo piece she tackles feelings of grief and loss through the objects loved ones have left behind. 

Gabe Harzuda- Social Media Coordinator 

Gabriel Hazuda is a puppet school dropout, retired drag monster, current storyteller, and childrens’ puppet theater goblin. He presently leads all artistic practices at Middle-earth Studios, a Pennsylvania based theater company where he has worked for nearly two decades. He  briefly attended UCONN, had a blast at the 2019 O’Neill puppet conference, and would like to thank his puppet library and the generous online community of marionette mentors for showing him the ropes - or, rather, the strings. His work has been featured at county fairs, city bars and, on one special occasion, NYU Abu Dhabi. An excerpt of his original marionette play “Elliot and the Dread Pirate” debuted at Knoebels Amusement Resort in 2021. 

Mackenzie Doss-  Social Media Coordinator 

Mackenzie Doss [she/her] is a Southwest born writer, director, educator, and puppeteer with a penchant for the ethereal and the absurd. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in English Literature specializing in Literature of the Mind and Early Modern Studies and later received her MSc from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in Creative Writing. Mackenzie is a recent UConn Puppet Arts MFA graduate where her MFA production Voices premiered in the UCONN Mobius Space. Her previous work includes creating and directing A Eurekan Spectacle (Eureka Springs Arts Council), writing The Combustibles (Five & Dime Drama Collective), directing Accountability (Five & Dime Drama Collective), and assistant directing Nehprii Amenii’s Food For the Gods (Connecticut Repertory Theatre). Mackenzie is currently Managing Director of Sandglass Theater in Putney, Vermont. 

Laura Borgendale- Webmaster 

Laura has provided web and tech support to the Puppeteers of America since 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a degree in English, and also pursued continuing education in web design and development. Laura grew up on a dairy farm in western Minnesota, and that background launched her career in the non-profit sector working with beginning farmers, while also designing websites as a freelancer. In 2006, she transitioned her focus to contract web design and development for a variety of non-profits and small businesses in Minnesota and throughout the country. Based out of Minneapolis, Laura stays connected with the local arts community through her love of music.

Bonnie Kim- Volunteer Manager 

Bonnie Kim, Korean-American multidisciplinary & puppet artist and teaching artist  based on Hawaii Island, received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from University of Hawaii at Manoa, focusing on arts education with puppetry, masks and movement. Her passion for puppetry has led her to travel to study and create various types of puppetry works, such as giant puppets, hand puppets, Czech marionettes, shadow puppets and rod puppets in the United States, Europe and Asia. Her puppet shows and works have been presented in around the world in person as well as virtually.  She has also done numerous collaborative multidisciplinary projects with other artists in Hawaii, Europe and Asia.  

She also works as a teaching artist with Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the  Arts for the Artists in the Schools Program. For this program, she provides puppetry  and theater residencies to K-12 grade students in public and charter schools in Hawaii.  As a teaching artist, she has taught drama, puppetry, masks, creative movement and  recycle art to children and adults for many arts organizations and schools.


Workshop Committee

Milissa Orzolek

Milissa Orzolek, aka abandoned ships, produces projects large and small that explore ideas of belonging, care and coexistence. As a writer, director, human geographer, teaching artist, builder and performer, she fell into the world of puppetry in 2010 through a production of Fantastic Mr. Fox in New Orleans. She has worked on large-scale puppets for Wayne White and Cirque Du Soleil and performed her own work in Baltimore, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, New Orleans, New York and St. Paul. In 2016, abandoned ships received a Family Grant from the Jim Henson Foundation for its original production What Keeps Us.


Rowan Pantel

Rowan Pantel is a puppeteer and artist from Saskatoon, Canada. She was a founding member of the International Puppet Underground Film Festival, and the Caligari Festival in Saskatchewan, and has worked in community arts education and arts programming since 2011. She is thrilled to be volunteering with the festival this year and can't wait for you to sign up for the amazing workshops.

Artistic Committee

Sarah Olmsted Thomas 

Sarah Olmsted Thomas is half of Alex and Olmsted, an internationally acclaimed puppet theater company that was awarded 2017 and 2020 Jim Henson Foundation grants as well as the 2020 State Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. Sarah completed an apprenticeship with Bread and Puppet Theater, was awarded a Lisa Simon Scholarship to attend the 2017 National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and has been honored with 2 Helen Hayes Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress. B.A., Sarah Lawrence College.


Alex Vernon 

Alex Vernon is a puppeteer and theater maker based in Takoma Park, MD. He is the other half of Alex and Olmsted, an internationally acclaimed puppet theater company. Alex is a board member of the National Capital Puppetry Guild and is a regular host of their bi-monthly Potpourris. In 2017 he attended the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and studied mechanisms with Jim Kroupa and marionette construction with Jim Rose. In 2020 he was the guest teacher for the Puppetry course at the University of Maryland. If you see him at the festival, feel free to come up and geek out about mechs!


Dr. Leigh Lafosse 

Dr. Leigh Lafosse is an active-duty military musician, serving the last 15 years as a clarinetist in the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own”. She received her undergrad and masters from Texas Tech University and her doctoral degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. Actively involved in education and community, she served as Association Director of the MD/DC chapters of Odyssey of the Mind, a volunteer for Ameri-Corps Reading Partners in DC, a head of family for the THREAD outreach program in Baltimore, the education coordinator for the Del Ray Artisans and as a volunteer for STEAM onward in Fort Washington. As a puppeteer, Leigh devised, created, built, choreographed, and produced a two-person puppet production of “Hamilton,” that Lin-Manual Miranda sent a personal letter of regret for not being able to attend. She was also responsible for developing a puppet feature for the 2019 U.S. Army Birthday Ball, which included caricatured puppets of the Army Senior Leaders; an event that required her to escort the puppets through Pentagon security for likeness approval by the Secretary of the Army. She is currently serving as the President of the National Capital Puppetry Guild.

Dr. Schroeder Cherry 

A native of Washington, D.C., Schroeder Cherry is an award-winning Baltimore based artist and puppeteer. He played with puppets as a kid. In college he tried puppetry to see how he would respond to his childhood interest. He apprenticed to a puppet artist in Chicago while in college, then joined a troupe before setting out on his own. He earned a bachelor’s degree in painting and puppetry from The University of Michigan; a master’s degree in museum education from George Washington University; and a doctorate in museum education from Columbia University. Dr. Cherry has performed original shows with puppets in museums, libraries and cultural centers for adults and children across the U.S. Performances include "Can You Spell Harlem?" The Land of Primary Color;" “Underground Railroad, Not A Subway;" “Tuskegee Airmen;” “ How The Sun Came To The Sky,” and The Civil Rights Children’s Crusade.

Vanessa Spring Frank 

 Vanessa Spring-Frank has been a proud member of the NCPG Board since the beginning of 2020. As a Board Member at Large, she has helped to double the NCPG membership with the success of the 2020 and 2021 National Capital Puppetry Festivals. Vanessa is a freelance props artisan and puppet builder in the D.C. area working at theaters such as Imagination Stage, Baltimore Fringe, Round House Theater Center, and the John F. Kennedy Center among others. She has worked to focus her career on Theater for the Young Audiences through the lens of puppetry after being accepted to the 2016 National Puppetry Festival at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center where she fell in love with the limitless possibilities that puppetry has to offer storytelling. Since then, she has used puppetry in her art forms through creating large scale pyrotechnic effigy sculptures for festivals and rod puppets in theatrical settings.


Michael Lamason BC

Michael Lamason is co-founder and current Executive Director of Baltimore’s Black Cherry Puppet Theater where he wrangles puppets, builds new shows, and manages its community arts programming, all while trying to conquer a mountain of administrative tasks. He and the other Black Cherry artists have been touring marionettes, as well as other puppets, and creating innovative puppetry based educational programs in city neighborhoods and across the Mid-Atlantic region since 1980. Black Cherry has received several local citations for their use of puppetry as an educational and community engagement tool. They are also three-time winners of The Maryland State Arts Council’s Cherry Adler Award For Excellence in Children’s Theater. He and his wife are the proud parents of two University of Maryland honors students.


Heidi Rugg

Heidi Rugg is an interdisciplinary artist with her feet firmly planted in the worlds of both performance and visual arts. In 1997, she founded Barefoot Puppet Theatre, a touring company that performs in-person and virtually for youth and family audiences. Born in Hawaii, Heidi studied Hula when most mainland girls were twirling in tutus. She now calls Richmond, Virginia home and has toured throughout the country (and beyond!) presenting to schools, libraries, theatres, museums, and venues including The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Puppet Showplace Theater in Boston, and The Smithsonian Discovery Theatre.

Heidi enjoys tackling complicated themes and breaking them down into delectable, bite-sized morsels; she infuses her work with rich language, vibrant visuals, a touch of whimsy, and a joyful exuberance for the creative process. She specializes in wet-felting applications in puppetry and rod puppet mechanisms. She has a passion for sustainable practices in art-making that promote healthy people and a healthy planet.

A teaching artist for over 20 years, Heidi also leads master class workshops in puppet building and manipulation; she has extensive expertise in prototyping and creative processes. Heidi works with educational programs to implement arts integration. She works extensively with Greater Richmond Wolf Trap and is on the teaching artists roster for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She continues to further her own studies with renown master artists around the world.Heidi’s work has been supported by grants from The Henson FoundationPuppeteers of Americathe Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Arts. In 2005, Heidi Rugg received an UNIMA-Citation of Excellence, the highest American award for puppetry. 

Heidi lives in Richmond’s Northside with her husband, Sam, two daughters, a leopard gecko named Pepper, and a beautiful rescue pup named Naia.

 


Sam Rugg 

Sam Rugg has been involved with puppetry since 1996 when he met puppeteer (and wife to be), Heidi Rugg. Originally from the Windy City, Sam is known for his work behind the scenes with sound systems, stage design, terrible puns, and set construction with Barefoot Puppet Theatre. Sam brings a knowledge and love of power tools to the puppetry scene along with a deep appreciation for all forms of performance. He is in constant search of the perfect touring vehicle. He and Heidi have two daughters and reside in Richmond, Virginia. Same has served on the board of NCPG for over twenty years and retains much institutional memory for the organization.


Cheryl Capezzuti- Parade Artist 

Cheryl Capezzuti has been making giant puppets for more than 25 years after a workshop with Sara Peattie at Penn State in the early 1990’s changed the trajectory of her life. She is best known for the artist-made, people-powered First Night Pittsburgh Parade which features about 300 giant puppets, puppetmobiles, pedicab puppets, dozens of musicians and over 400 volunteers making it happen. She’s been an Artist-in-Residence at the Pittsburgh International Airport where she made puppets to parade through the airport completely out travelers’ discards and she’s been commissioned by the City of Pittsburgh to tell its history using giant puppets for the Bicentennial Parade. She teaches at Falk Lab School at the University of Pittsburgh where her Giant Puppet Dance Club may be the most unexpected student program. Between parades, her puppets are housed at the Braddock Carnegie Free Library, one of Andrew Carnegie’s first libraries, and can be checked out by anyone with a library card for events, celebrations and just for fun. She is joined for this production by her long-time collaborator Kellee Van Aken, a writer, director and Dean of the School of the Visual Arts and Theater at Seton Hill University. Learn more at www.puppetsforpittsburgh.com.

Exhibit and Store 

Stacey Gordon- Store Manager 

bio coming soon 

Gordon Smuder- Store Staff

Gordon Smuder is a puppeteer and builder. Owner of Minneapolis-based The Puppet Forge, his company is focused on puppets for media…television, movies, and internet.  Gordon also co-created the award-winning all-puppet sitcom for late-night audiences Transylvania Television.


Beau Brown- Puppet Slam Producer 

Beau is a puppeteer, producer, and host from Atlanta, GA, and is thrilled to be back at the PofA National Festival to present the 2023 National Puppet Slam! Beau produces and hosts the Atlanta puppet slam, The Puckin’ Fuppet Show. He created and produces the Puppetry Track at Dragon Con, featuring 45+ hours of puppetry programming including celebrities, performances, workshops, and panels celebrating puppetry in pop culture and introducing convention goers to the art of live puppet theatre. YOU SHOULD GO! Dragoncon.org PUPPET SHOW!     


Zane Exactly and Cassie Bray- Fringe Coordinators

Shadow Girls Cult is a queer shadow puppetry duo based out of Seattle, WA. Co-founders Cassie Bray and Zane Exactly are Seattle transplants who originally hail from the Midwest. Both performing and visual artists with an interest in developing new works, by 2018 they were generating their own unique form of overhead projector shadow puppetry.

They have created work that has been twice-nominated for the National Puppetry Slam (2019, 2022), as well as featured in the National Puppetry Journal (2019) and The Seattle Times (2022). Their work has been showcased in Chinese Theatre Works’ 2021 International Shadow Slam, as well as Dragon Con 2022 as educators and presenters. Over the past year, they have ventured deeper into educational outreach, presenting workshops for three local film festivals, and local youth theaters. Zane and Cassie are actively involved in the Seattle puppet community - they are co-producers of the Fussy Cloud Puppet Slam in Seattle, Cassie is vice president of Puppeteer of Puget Sound and Zane is Regional Director for the Pacific Northwest. 


Alex U Griffin- Reel Puppetry Producer 

Alex U. Griffin is an Emmy-award-nominated filmmaker, photographer, and puppeteer. As a filmmaker, Alex has created content for companies like Universal, Dreamworks, YouTube Studios, Jim Henson Company, and is the current producer for Heather Henson’s award-winning Handmade Puppet Dreams film series. Alex is also active in the puppetry community, curator of the Reel Puppetry Film Festival, the 48hr Puppet Film Project, and a past president for Puppeteers of America.

Drewbob- Potpourri Producers

Potpourri is a late night session where festival attendees can perform short pieces (no longer than 5 minutes).  Unfortunately, due to time constraints, only a limited number of slots will be available.  There will be sign up sheets available at the festival. Drew and Bob, affectionately named DrewBob, will be your Potpourri hosts.

Drew Allison’s Grey Seal Puppets is an internationally-acclaimed company that creates original puppet theatre, on-camera productions and custom-built puppets and mascots.

Drew is the co-author, along with Donald Devet, of The Foam Book.

Bob Nathanson, along with his wife, Elise Handelman, is the founder of Puppets To Go, which toured his children’s and adult shows throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Bob is the author of “Diary of a Doll Wiggler.” In addition to being the Humor Consultant to the Puppeteers of America for 30 years, he contributed a Humor Column to the Puppetry Journal, the Puppeteers of America quarterly magazine, for over 25 years.

In 2009, Bob was presented the George Latshaw Award for “accomplishments in Writing & Publishing in the Field of Puppetry.”

Drew and Bob co-directed the 2007 Puppet Rampage National Puppet Festival, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

DrewBob have been invited many times to co-host Potpourri, at regional and national puppet festivals.


Puppeteers of America
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office@puppeteers.org