Puppet Slam Network

Jen Lynn, photo: Doug Wong

In 2005 I co-founded The Puppet Slam Network with Heather Henson and her production company, Ibex Puppetry. As the network’s coordinator for over a decade, I cataloged, connected, supported, and generated awareness for adult evenings of short-form puppetry.  

The Puppet Slam Network fostered connections in the growing community of independently produced puppet cabarets, so that puppet artists could know where they could perform, venues could find puppet artists, and audiences could enjoy an intimate, tactile, and compelling form of entertainment. 

The Puppet Slam network began as a series of conversations with Henson in 2005 at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. We discussed the puppet slams that she was supporting and brainstormed on ways to interconnect these programs. We hoped to foster more of a national and international touring circuit for short-form puppetry artists.


In early 2006 I launched puppetslam.com as a searchable database of upwards of 80 slams in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Denmark, and Australia.


I created an evaluation process and distributed 237 grants totaling $475,000


Starting in 2010, I organized information on upcoming slams that sometimes included upwards of 100 upcoming events.


I ran a series of blog posts with practical information on organizing slams.


I published a series of 24 interviews with puppet slam artists and curators

  • "Some of the most memorable shows that we have presented were made by sculptors or visual artists who found their way to puppets as an extension of their art practice" - Vanessa Gilbert, Blood from a Turnip, Providence
  • "I think 'slam' is a great word to describe this: a puppet slam is a high-impact event." - Roxie Myhrum, Puppet Showplace Slam, Brookline
  • "Slams are 'breeding grounds' for further work. They give me a new chance to experiment with a new technique, mechanism, or personal challenge" - Deborah Hunt, Noches de Cabaret, San Juan


In The New American Vaudeville,  I contextualized world of contemporary short-form puppet and object theatre for adults.

The New American Vaudeville:
A History of Puppet Slams + The Puppet Slam Network


When was the very first puppet slam? Surely there must have been Paleolithic Slams or something like them with cave people projecting shadows onto their walls by torchlight to communicate the location of food… (More).



In addition to the Puppet Slam Network, while at Ibex, I worked on a number of related company projects, including the Orlando Puppet Festival, Handmade Puppet Dreams, Panther and Crane, and interactive film screenings.



Ibex  Puppetry is an entertainment company dedicated to promoting the fine art of puppetry in all of its mediums. Founded in 2000, Ibex supports puppet art in the mediums of film, stage, gallery exhibits, workshops and artist presentations. The Heather Henson Foundation has continued to support individual puppet slams beyond the run of the Puppet Slam Network and Ibex Puppetry.