July 16, 2019
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Curated by Judith O’Hare
Committee: PIET members: Michael Vetere, Aretta Baumgartner, Matthew Bernier
The Professional Day for the Teaching Artist and Therapist will focus on building skills and expertise in using puppets in Educational and Therapeutic settings.
The Professional Day for Teaching Artists and Therapists (PDTAT) is a Professional Development day for puppeteers, educators, and therapists with topics on how to be more effective in working in educational and therapeutic settings.
PDTAT Director and PofA Education Consultant
Judith O’Hare is the Education Consultant for Puppeteers of America. She has planned and implemented the “Professional Day for the Teaching Artist and Therapist” for regional and National Festivals for the past 10 years and has worked to bring attention and prestige to those puppeteers who work in the area of education and therapy. She is the co-editor with Matthew Bernier of “Puppetry in Education and Therapy: Unlocking Doors to the Mind and Heart.”
She is a touring artist and teacher trainer and developed a unique style of Toy Theater using Pop- up Scenery. She has done teacher training in Kenya, Tanzania, Calgary, Canada, Hong Kong and across the US. She is a recipient of the Marjorie Batchelder award for Puppetry in Education.
Puppetry in Education and Therapy (PIET) Committee Members on the PDTAT Team
Michael J. Vetere III
PIET Chairperson and PDTAT Committee Member
Associate Professor, Illinois State University
Michael J. Vetere III is Associate Professor of Creative Drama and Puppetry at Illinois State University (ISU), Normal, IL. He received his Doctor of Education from Illinois State University, a Master of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University in Theatre Pedagogy and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from West Virginia University in Creative Dramatics, Puppetry, and Youth Theatre. He taught and directed creative dramatics and puppetry programs in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and the DC area.
Dr. Vetere instructs teacher candidates and artists at ISU and is a published author. He has presented at state, regional, and national conferences on various topics including creative dramatics, puppetry, and youth theatre. Currently, he directs the ISU Saturday Creative Drama program for youth in grades kindergarten through grade six and is the Artistic Director for Suspended Belief Theatre in Bloomington, Illinois. He has also been awarded the 2018 College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teaching Award.
Never Too Old!: Forming a Student-based Puppetry Organization… in ANY School
This workshop will model how to form a high school-based puppetry program and address the growing pains along the way. Stemming from teacher/performer Michael Husni’s work with Puppetry in Education at Middletown High School (Delaware), participants will discuss the initial steps it takes to setup a program that will engage teenagers in puppetry.
Bio: Michael Husani teaches at Spanish and Theater at Middletown High School (Delaware). He co-direct the Fall Play and Spring Musical productions every year in addition to leading Puppetry in Education, Delaware’s foundational after-school puppetry program. He also partners with early childhood centers, elementary schools, and other co- and extra-curricular organizations throughout the Appoquinimink School District to provide age-appropriate performances for younger students. Initial funding was supported by Delaware Division of the Arts, and he listed on the active roster of artists throughout the state.
21st Century Skills and Educational Puppetry
New York, New York
21st Century Skills for today’s students to successfully participate in the global economy include the four “C’s” for development: Collaboration and Teamwork; Creativity & Imagination; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and Cross-Cultural Understanding. Well organized thoughtful puppetry projects can help students deepen their understanding of the school curriculum while strengthening their ability to communicate, work cooperatively, be flexible and culturally aware. We will explore how the work we do in schools can be analyzed in terms of these four critical areas for development and how they can be used in proposals to school personnel as well as in lesson plans, promotional, and advocacy materials.
Bio: Carol Sterling has been an educational puppeteer and art teacher for 40 years plus. She has conducted puppetry workshops in eight countries and throughout the United States at Puppeteers of America Festivals. In November 2018, she was invited back to China to present “How Educational Puppetry Can Teach the Curriculum” at a Puppetry Conference. Carol is an alumna of the Fulbright Program Specialist in Educational Puppetry and taught in Uganda (2012) and India (2015). She is a former Education Consultant with Puppeteers of America and a former member of the Advisory Board for The Puppetry Journal as well as former President of UNIMA-USA. She is currently serving on the Boards of the Jim Henson Foundation, the Puppetry Guild of Greater New York. (PGOGNY) and the Penny Jones Early Childhood Puppet Theater.
She is a recipient of the 2013 Marjorie Batchelder Award for Contributions to the field of Education by the Puppeteers of America.
Carol is the former Director of Arts Education for Brooklyn Arts Council where she hired more than 200 teaching artists (including puppeteers) a year and placed them in schools and community settings.
Using Puppets in the ESE and ELL Classroom
Puppets are great teaching assistants. They can be used in a variety of content areas, especially in the area of language arts. This presentation will show how puppetry was used to help students with learning mental disabilities with phonics, phonemic awareness, and reading comprehension. In addition, a demonstration will be shown how puppets were used for or ELL (English Language Learners) in the area of helping them to learn and develop the English language.
Bio: Edna M. Bland, is a certified educator and teaching artist in theatre and puppetry arts who has honed her skills at The Kennedy Center’s VSA and CETA programs, Lincoln Center Education’s Teaching Artist Program held at The Juilliard School, and attended workshops at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, England. She has been a guest speaker at all three of her college alma maters and has conducted workshops around the country, and in Rome, Italy.
Prior to her career as an educator, Edna worked in the entertainment industry for years including The New York Emmy Awards as a talent coordinator and producer with Sony Music Entertainment’s children’s audio and video division, formerly known as Sony Wonder where she was the Executive Assistant to the President. She was also the Production Coordinator where her credits included contributing to the 35th anniversary Sesame Street musical box set.
As a puppeteer, Carroll Spinney, “Big Bird”, and Dr. Loretta Long, “Susan” of Sesame Street mentored her. She was honored to be a puppeteer for Jane Henson’s Nativity. Miss Edna is the creator of the edutainment brands, Lovely Day Arts, and Sock n’ Sew Puppets.
As one of the only African-American female puppeteers in the country, Edna is one of the featured artists at The Ballard Institute and Museum’s Living Objects exhibition at UCONN. She was the feature on Orlando’s News 6 “”Getting Results in Our Schools”” and the Orlando Sentinel as creating and teaching the only puppetry arts elective class in the State of Florida.
Edna has a M.F.A. in Entertainment Creative Writing, M.S. in Entertainment Business, B.S. in Organizational Management and A.A.S. in Music Business. She is currently a national teaching artist and theatre instructor at a performing arts magnet school in Sanford, Florida.
Making Connections: Using Puppetry to Enrich After School Programs
Black Cherry Theater
Black Cherry Puppet Theater’s after school programs are targeted to engage children from Baltimore City neighborhoods in enriching hands-on puppet making and performance projects that strengthen and augment their academic and social skills. Company artists work with schools and community representatives to develop projects targeting specific outcomes. These can include simply providing a safe and welcoming environment where kids make puppet shows, helping them meet academic stands, or as a tool for exploring social issues. This presentation will highlight the process, planning and assessment strategies used at several different sites.
Bio: MICHAEL LAMASON was a cofounder in 1980 and is currently executive director of Black Cherry Puppet Theater. The troupe’s goals are to excel at the art of the puppet, to make puppetry accessible to the widest audience, and to use it as an educational tool. A three-time winner of the Cherry Adler Award for excellence in children’s theatre from the Maryland State Arts Council, the troupe has performed before tens of thousands across the Mid-Atlantic Region. In addition to overseeing the development of new shows and running day-to-day operations, Michael coordinates Black Cherry’s education and community arts program, exposing students and educators across Maryland to classical and contemporary puppetry while integrating making and performing a show with the common core curriculum.
Designing Animatronic Puppets for STEAM Education
• Initial design considerations – what are the challenges
of designing puppets to illustrate STEAM concepts
rather than for performance?
• Developing instructional materials
• Review of six sample puppets that use pulley, cam, and crank mechanisms in addition to paper
circuits and Arduino code.
• Pedagogical observations drawn from teaching in informal skills transfer settings where success means the participants are able to leave the workshop with a functioning puppet.
Bio: Paulette Richards is an independent scholar and co-curator of the Living Objects: African American Puppetry exhibit with Dr. John Bell. She serves as a docent at the Center for Puppetry Arts’ Worlds of Puppetry Museum and has been teaching animatronic puppetry workshops in the Atlanta metro area since 2016. Her work includes:
“Karakuri Cavalcade” documents the “STEAM Punks” workshop taught at the PofA 2017 National Festival (https://youtu.be/ApRnvi303DM Assembly instructions for the Animatronic Rowing Puppet: https://youtu.be/__Of8CZ7c3E)
“But a Dream” — shows the Animatronic Rowing Puppet in action (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_logm6yaIMeWWhNc3Fabzd3SDQ)
“My Animatronic Angel” — shows the pulley puppet in action
The Right Shade of Brown
Earthen Pot Theatre
St. Paul, Minnesota
“I need the right shade of brown,” she implored while going through all the markers until she found a light brown one, the shade of this African American girl. We can give students opportunities to create images that look like them, not just from the right artistic supplies, but chances to celebrate their own culture and traditions. I’ll describe how African American Sunday School students created a Christmas rod puppet play, and how I, as a white woman, continue to grow in my understanding of race, bias, and the wonders of multicultural communication and arts.
Bio: Rev. Dr. Theresa Mason is an ordained United Methodist Minister who brought theater and puppetry to churches she served in California and Nebraska, and as a guest artist in other places. She performed and directed children, youth, and adults for religious education, worship, conferences, and community outreach. She served as chaplain and associate professor of religion at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, where she established and directed the Spirit Bound Players, a group of college students who created and performed with music, puppetry, and theatre in churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Rev. Mason retired from pastoral ministry in 2016. She is the director of Earthen Pot Theatre, a ministry of consulting, writing, and directing in puppetry, worship, preaching, and other arts. She has been blessed with many opportunities in ministry and teaching to work cross culturally, to collaborate with others, and to learn from persons from different nations, races, cultures, ages, and backgrounds.
Center for Puppetry Arts
This interactive presentation will introduce a handful of activities/exercises that the Center for Puppetry Arts features in its popular all-ages educational puppetry programming. This programming includes Preschool Puppetry Playshops, Create-A-Puppet Workshops for elementary-school aged students, Puppetry as a Theatre Art workshops for teens, the Explore Puppetry professional development series for adults, and Team-and-Puppet Building sessions for corporate/professional groups. Participants will learn about these programs and experience them first-hand as they enjoy some of the engaging activities that are a highlight of the sessions.
Bio: Aretta is a performer/teaching artist specializing in puppetry, mask and movement. She’s been a professional puppeteer since 1992 and is proud to be the Education Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta—the largest non-profit organization dedicated to the art of puppetry in the U.S. (www.puppet.org). Favorite puppet experiences include The Lord of the Rings trilogy with Ovation and Clear Stage theaters (for which she performed the award-winning role of Gollum/Smeagol and served as puppetry/movement director), The Body Speaks: Scripted at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Gilgamesh in Uruk: G.I. in Iraq with Performance Gallery, The Rocky Horror Puppet Show with The Basement Theatre, Carnival of the Animals with Madcap Puppets, and Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT) at the Center for Puppetry Arts (2012-2018; for which she created a brand-new puppet theatre pieced inspired by Acrobats by Israel Horovitz). learning to fly, a production for which she serves as puppet director/puppeteer, was selected for inclusion in the Les Sages Fous Micro-Festival of Unfinished Puppetry and for residency at Celebration Barn Theater. She’s worked as special projects puppeteer with The Puppet People, The Object Theatre and Ninja Puppet Productions, and toured extensively with Madcap Puppets and Voyageur Puppets (as well as with her own company, ImagineNation). She’s puppeteered in numerous productions of Little Shop of Horrors, and puppetcoached/directed many versions of Avenue Q and The Long Christmas Ride Home. Aretta has performed and taught all over the U.S. and in Australia, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Canada and Honduras. Along with her teaching and performing career, Baumgartner has served as the Great Lakes Regional Director and on numerous committees for the Puppeteers of America, currently serving on PofA’s Board as Vice President. When not puppeteering, Aretta spends time singing with a couple of bands and acting in productions in the Atlanta area.
Desistance Theatre Project: Expressive Arts & Puppetry with Ex-offenders
Associate Professor, Eastern Virginia Medical School
DESISTANCE THEATRE PROJECT supports the lived experiences of non-violent, adult, male, ex-offenders who are committing to desistance from criminal activity and re-incarceration, in part through their participation in a weekly, collaborative, peer support, expressive arts and puppetry project. Participants are encouraged to use visual arts, puppetry, theatre arts, and the collaborative experience to express their life stories and challenges, and to envision a successful future as they to commit to desistance.
Bio: Matthew G. Bernier, MCAT, ATR-BC is a registered and board-certified art therapist with 35 years of experience. He is an artist, puppeteer, and Associate Professor in the Graduate Art Therapy and Counseling Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School since 1990. His expertise includes therapeutic art processes, creativity, symbolism, expressive arts, art psychotherapy theoretical approaches, and therapeutic puppetry. He is the 2009 recipient of the Puppeteers of America Mc Pharlin Award for Excellence in Puppetry in Education and Therapy. He has lectured and led workshops and courses on therapeutic puppetry internationally. He co-edited Puppetry in Education and Therapy: Unlocking Doors to the Mind and Heart (2005). He has a master’s degree in creative arts in therapy and is pursuing a PhD in expressive arts therapy and social change at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. He has lots of college and community theatre experience including: acting, directing, children’s theatre, puppetry, and participation theatre.
Intergenerational Storytelling Through Puppetry
Co-creating a puppet show, from story discovery to performance, is an incredibly effective way for multiple generations to build meaningful relationships and learn each other’s stories. Shelley King will share the lessons learned and powerful impact of the projects she has coordinated & facilitated for seniors living in long term care and their elementary or secondary school student partners. Video clips and photos will supplement your learning along with electronic links to intergenerational project outlines and resources to support the process of creating your own magical and powerful intergenerational programming.
Bio: Shelley King is the owner of Puppeteria. She uses the magic and power of puppets as a workshop facilitator, entertainer, artist, social change agent, and arts educator. Over the past two decades, Shelley has used her playful and interactive approach to teach and entertain thousands of people of all ages and abilities.
Shelley brings together her training in expressive arts, puppetry, clowning, social work, family supports, and developmental services, to create a unique blend of workshop experiences custom-designed for each group. Her creative presentations have been enjoyed at conferences, children’s camps, women’s retreats, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, not-for-profit organizations, hospices, seniors’ residences and long-term care homes.
In 2018, Shelley launched her first online workshops and courses for care-givers, social workers, educators, expressive arts facilitators and community builders to tap into puppetry as a way to better serve the people they work with! Shelley has taught puppetry and clowning workshops and courses since 1998, for children, youth and adults at Fleming College / Haliburton School of the Arts, Loyalist College, and Sheridan College. She facilitates workshops for social service agencies to teach staff how to make and use puppets as a tool in the work they do with others.
For 17 years, Shelley used puppetry with children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges, to teach life skills, self-advocacy, abuse prevention, and to encourage creative community involvement. Since 2005, she has facilitated 12 intergenerational, community-based programs, with the focus being on storytelling, puppetry, performance, and co-creation.
Shelley is the recipient of 5 Ontario Arts Council grants, through the “Artists in Education and Community” program and was a participating artist in the Artists in the Schools program through the Haliburton Highlands Arts Council from 2006 to 2014.
How to Teach the Science of Shadow Puppets to Elementary School Students
This presentation will present techniques to teach elementary school students about the physics of shadows by making and performing with shadow puppets. This technique was used with the students at School District 159 and 162, Matteson, Illinois for the past three years.
Bio: Susan Fulcher is a School Liaison/Puppeteer for the Matteson, Ill. Public Library District. She began using puppets during library story time and making puppets to sell at craft fairs. Three years ago, she partnered with Puppeteer Dave Herzog and has been working with him on a program called Junior Puppeteers. This program is for children in third grade who learn how to build and perform with a variety of different types of puppets. After the Junior Puppeteers first year of success, she started Puppet Pals, a program for K-2 children. These younger students focus on constructing puppets and learning how to manipulate them.“I’m proud to say that three of my student’s puppets were displayed at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut.” This year, she partnered with the art teacher at Illinois Elementary School to teach her students how to build and perform with puppets.
Building Community by Building Puppets
In this inspirational session, Cheryl will share her experiences activating large-scale community workshops, making community-powered parades with giant puppets, starting a free puppet-lending library and working in school communities to bring people from diverse disciplines together through the art of puppetry.
Bio: Cheryl Capezzuti is an artist, educator, and giant puppetmaker that lives and works in Pittsburgh, PA. Her most highly regarded and long-standing work is an artist-made, people-powered parade on New Year’s Eve in Downtown Pittsburgh. This event features hundreds of giant puppets, art cars, decorated pedicabs and live music and has become a Pittsburgh holiday tradition seen and loved by more than 20,000 people every year. This year marks her twentieth year of involvement with this event.
Since 1996 she has completed commissioned puppets or designed puppetry workshops for almost every cultural institution in Pittsburgh including the Carnegie Museum of Art, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Three Rivers Arts Festival, The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and The Mattress Factory Museum. Most recently she was commissioned by the City of Pittsburgh to tell the history of the city using giant puppets for their Bicentennial Parade.
She has also shared her skills as a master puppetmaker with university students at Illinois State University, Edinboro University, and Seton Hill University. In 2009 she joined the faculty at the Falk Lab School, a progressive K-8 school, at the University of Pittsburgh where she is a Master Teacher and art integration specialist; she also teaches future teachers in Pitt’s School of Education and mentors Penn State student teachers in her classroom. Prior to that she was a rostered artist through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and completed over 50 residencies in school and community settings.
She is the recipient of numerous grants, awards, and fellowships for both her artistry and her teaching. Most recently she was awarded an Awesome Pittsburgh grant for her project Giant Puppet Dance Club, a recent experiment in community connection, laughter, and delight.