On September 2nd, 2016, I finished my tenure at the Puppet Slam Network (PSN), which I co-founded in 2005 with Heather Henson and through support from her production company, Ibex Puppetry. As PSN coordinator for just over a decade, my work focused on cataloguing, connecting, supporting, and generating awareness for evenings of short-form puppetry for adults.
On September 2011 – I began a series of informational blog posts on the Puppet Slam Network website that addressed topics related to organizing evenings of short-form puppetry and object theatre for adults. Topics included: the significance of puppet slams, puppet slam history, the future of slams, sources of inspiration, working with a fiscal recipient, learning from fabulous failures, advice on hosting and performing in slams, self promotion, and how to get the most out of the Puppet Slam Network.
On April 2nd, 2011, I hosted a puppet cabaret at the Nafe Katter Theatre with long-time Blood from a Turnip collaborator, Vanessa Gilbert. The line up included short-form puppet acts from Great Small Works, Big Nazo, Michael Sommers, and Kate Brehm. The cabaret was part of Puppetry and Post Dramatic Performance: An International Conference on Performing Objects in the 21st Century at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.
On April 2nd, 2011, I presented The New American Vaudeville: The Puppet Slam Network, at Puppetry and Postdramatic Performance – an International Conference on Performing Objects in the 21st Century hosted by the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. In The New American Vaudeville I contextualized growing field of puppet slams – evenings of short-form puppet and object theater for adult audiences. The presentation was informed by my position as co-founder of the Puppet Slam Network which ran from 2005 to 2016.
On November 18th, 2010, I was a guest teacher for Susan Simpson’s History of American Puppet Theater course at CalArts through the Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts. For this class which included a mixture of graduate and undergraduate students, I presented my multi-media artist-talk, Object/Fetish: Staging the Suspension of Disbelief in Every Day Life.
On July 7th, 2010, Dan Walechuck appeared on CJOB (Winnipeg) to talk about The Puppet Slam Network and the Winnipeg Puppet Slam, (which I performed in). The Puppet Slam Network, which I co-founded with Heather Henson, fostered connections for independently produced puppet cabarets, so that puppet artists knew where they could perform, venues could find puppet artists, and audiences could enjoy an intimate, tactile, and compelling form of entertainment.