In June 2011, I was the recipient of the Connecticut Guild of Puppetry Scholarship to participate in the the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. While at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center I worked on Web of Mystery, in which a spider dances with it’s puppeteers before overtaking one of them, and as an assistant puppeteer on Leslie Cararra-Rudolph’s Wake Up Your Weird, in which a candy obsessed five year old must process her feelings after getting bullied out of a play date.
The Connecticut Guild of Puppetry’s mission is to provide a meeting place and forum where people with an interest and love of the art form may share knowledge, ideas, trends, and creative endeavors. It is the intent of the Guild to encourage the raising of standards of the art of puppetry; to foster an awareness in the general public of the magic, wonder, and power of the puppet; and to encourage the use of puppetry as an educational tool.
Funds went a long way. After the conference, I performed Web of Mystery at the Rachel Rosenthal Company in Los Angeles, and at Animal Cracker Conspiracy in San Diego. I also worked on Wake Up Your Weird again as an assistant puppeteer for in Los Angeles for performances at the Cavern Club and a workshop at the Geffen, and Walnutt Creek at the Lescher Center for the Arts.
The internationally-acclaimed Eugene O’Neill Theater Center is dedicated to encouraging and furthering the creative impulse which is at the heart of all theatrical expression – and the puppet arts are no exception. The mission of the National Puppetry Conference is to be a catalyst for the professional puppet artist’s growth and development through both the exploration of performance styles and skills, and the production of new works-in-progress for puppet theatre. The conference focuses on empowering puppet artists to create through the visual imagery and kinetic form of the puppet and enhancing their work through a collaborative dramaturgical process. The goal of the Conference is to encourage and create the highest quality of puppet art.