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  • Writer's pictureAndrew G. Cooper

I'm Heading to the National Puppetry Conference

Well, I've officially been accepted into The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center for the 2022 National Puppetry Conference. Looks like I'm heading to the east coast this spring!

I'm also going to hit up New York (and Broadway!) for the first time.

I attended the Banff Puppet Intensive with the Old Trouts in 2016 and it completely changed my life. It set me on a path to pursue puppetry in my theatre practice and eventually led me to work on The Jim Henson Company’s Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock as a puppeteer. I'm really excited about this chance to continue this work and to expand my network of puppeteers and collaborators.

While I was working in the Animated Objects Festival in 2019, I met many international puppeteers who spoke about the conference and I’ve been wanting to attend ever since. I’m thrilled to have the chance to learn from other professionals and share my views on puppetry as a Canadian and an experienced theatre creator. I think it's going to be a joy-filled experience and I'm really looking forward to it.

Since I'm heading to the States' east coast for the first time, comment below with your New York City travel recommendations!

Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center National Puppetry Conference
Source: Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center

About the National Puppetry Conference

The mission of the National Puppetry Conference is to encourage puppet artists to create and communicate through the visual and kinetic form of the puppet, to push beyond their personal boundaries, and develop new works for puppet theater. Each June, participants gather from across the globe to create works that defy the bounds of contemporary theater and the imagination. Participants collaborate with renowned guest directors, puppet artists, and playwrights to develop innovative productions conceived by guest artists, as well as presentations initiated by the Conference participants.

Past conference participants have gone on to work in such venues as HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, La MaMa, Redmoon, The Puppet Showplace, The Sandglass Theatre, Trouble Puppet, The Center for Puppetry Arts, Zeum, Automata Theater. Their work has also been seen in commercials; in films such as Being John Malkovich, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and The Muppets; and on television, including Sesame Street, Between the Lions, Saturday Night Live, and Bear in the Big Blue House. On the global stage, our puppeteers have gone on to produce and perform in shows in Afghanistan, Iran, Australia, Scotland, India, Uganda, and China.

The O’Neill's National Puppetry Conference was established by key founding members Jane Henson, George Latshaw, Richard Termine, Bobbi Nidzgorski, Bart P. Roccoberton Jr., and Jim and Margo Rose and is dedicated to the legacies of Bill Baird, Jim Henson, Rufus and Margo Rose, Don Sahlin, Martin Stevens, Burr Tillstrom, Brad Williams, Nikki Tilroe, and George Latshaw in the spirit with which they shared their artistry and themselves.

Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center National Puppetry Conference
Source: Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center


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