Call for PhD Students!

Can the WP Puppet Theatre’s puppet-based workshop program VIEW from the Inside increase a senior participant’s quality of life?


WP Puppet Theatre invites Masters or PhD students to make this unique award – winning program their doctoral or masters project.

We know that as a sector, Seniors are vulnerable to health problems, mental health concerns, poverty, elder abuse, financial abuse and isolation. However, there is some research that shows that Art programs give seniors the opportunity to be actively creative, engage socially and share the very important and often lost stories and wisdom of their lives. In addition, that the art that they create can build self-esteem, enhance quality of life and create a meaningful legacy as a result of a lifetime of experiences.(1) We want to add to that body of research.


Why now? We believe that to respond to the rampant mental health challenges surfacing now, there is an imperative to provide programs that give a wide variety of access points for participants – even puppetry!

Therefore, we want to develop evaluation tools and measure VIEW’s efficacy as an intervention with therapeutic benefits, for seniors in a variety of settings, including those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Does the program have a short- or long-term impact on a participant’s quality of life? Does it reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, bring a sense of emotional and social wellbeing, support positive relationships, all factors in Quality of Life. This research is important to continue to improve the program, make funding and marketing cases, and seek endorsements for ongoing support for program delivery.

We suggest that research on our program will contribute to the larger body of knowledge in the areas of art therapy and applied psychology and add useful methodologies and exemplars. Finding alternatives to medication and providing a variety of interventions to treat quality of life issues is gaining interest in health practice now. However, we have found that there isn’t a lot of information about the impact of art therapies in general, and virtually no academic studies of the efficacy of applied puppetry.


We are prepared to be full partners, and contribute some limited funding, to the project. We will  provide students with full access and resources, i.e.; participant videos and contact information, training manual, course content, and the survey material we have done ourselves. VIEW was launched in 2015 and relaunched as an online program in 2020. To date over 100 seniors have participated. (see


Applicants should: 

  • Be self‐motivated and hard-working
  • Have a strong academic background.
  • Have proficiency in English.
  • Have excellent communication, written and interpersonal skills.
  • Function well in an online setting. 

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility
We are committed to policies and practices that support the purposeful inclusion of all people. We value the diversity of: racial and cultural identity and background, nationality, sexual and affectional orientation, gender identity and its expression, religious background and belief, marital status, family structure, age, mental and physical health and ability, political perspective, and educational status.


The next OPEN VIEW courses that can be observed:

Tues May 4 – June 22, 7- 8:15 pm MT

Wed May 5 – June 23, 5- 6:15 pm MT

Mon Oct 4 – Nov 22, 7- 8:15 pm MT

Tues Oct 5 – Nov 23, 5- 6:15 pm MT


Please direct Questions or Interest to
Wendy Passmore-Godfrey, Artistic Director 



Kaimal, G., Ayaz, H., Herres, J., Dieterich-Hartwell, R., Makwana, B., Kaiser, D. H., & Nasser, J. A. (2017).  Functional near-infrared spectroscopy assessment of reward perception based on visual self-expression: Coloring, doodling, and free drawing. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 55. 85-92.

Kaimal, G., Ray, K., & Muniz, J. (2016). Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making. Art Therapy, 33(2). 74-80.

Puetz, T. W., Morely, C. A., & Herring, M. P. (2013). Effects of Creative Arts Therapies on psychological symptoms and quality of life with Cancer. JAMA internal medicine, 173 (11), 960-969. 

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