Puppet Power 2022 Presenters: Festival of Ideas
Here’s the place to find out all about our amazing Puppet Power 2022 Presenters for our Festival of Ideas.
In 2022 we provided The All Access Pass which gave gives access to every session – online performances, artist Q&A, post conference recordings and much more! It was only CA$111
ALBERT GARCIA & AITANA GIRALT
After working together on different theater shows, Albert and Aitana decided to start a process of creating together to explore the world of puppets and tell a story from the point of view of emotions and sensations, with loneliness as a starting point. At the end of 2017, they started working together with other colleagues to present a first creation of the show “Loïc” at the “Fira de titelles de Lleida” in May 2018. The creation and research continues until 2021, after collaborating with the “Cia Zero en coducta”. And they premiere the final version of the show “Loïc” at the “Festival OFF des marionnettes de Charleville”.
Alexandra Gorlin-Crenshaw is a musician and multidisciplinary artist. She pursued degrees in piano performance, while also honing skills in singing, arranging, composing, visual and puppetry arts, and teaching. Her performance pieces weave together classical piano works and folk songs, self-accompanied lieder and opera arias, original compositions, projections, shadows, recorded sounds and texts, hand-made puppets, theatre books, and crankies.
Alexandra lives in Montreal. When she is not practicing, creating, or teaching, you may currently find her taking long walks in the city, reading graphic novels, or coaxing her quarantine windowsill of plants to stay alive, just a little bit longer.
AMIHAN BONIFACIO – RAMOLETE
Aina Ramolete and Amihan Bonifacio-Ramolete serve as Associate Artistic Director and Artistic Director, respectively, of Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas (a children’s theater and puppet theater company founded by their (grand)mother, the late National Artist Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio). Aina conceptualized and directed “Prinsipe Bahaghari” for her undergraduate thesis while Amihan served as puppeteer and assistant director. Since 2003, the mother and daughter team have been working together in puppet productions (such as Sita & Rama: Puppet Ramayana, The Passion of Christ in Puppetry, the Song of Baylan, and Creation Stories). They also had the opportunity to train with the Naoshima Onna Bunraku Group (an all-women bunraku puppet group in Japan) as well as perform with the Bunrakuza (the National Bunraku Theater of Japan).
Both are proud alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman. Aina has a bachelor’s degree in Art Studies while Amihan has a PhD in Psychology. Aina is a freelance artist while Amihan is a professor at UP Diliman.
ANDREW G. COOPER
Andrew G. Cooper (he/they) is a Canadian puppeteer, theatre creator, and filmmaker. They hold their Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from Thompson Rivers University and are the recipient of the Kamloops Mayor’s Emerging Artist Award. As a puppeteer, Andrew has appeared on stages across Canada and has worked extensively as a puppet director, designer, and builder. Andrew made their television debut as a puppeteer on The Jim Henson Company’s Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock on Apple TV+. They have been fortunate to work at other incredible companies such as Citadel Theatre, Theatre: Calgary, Western Canada Theatre, Catalyst Theatre, Cirque Nuit, Ghost River Theatre, and the Festival of Animated Objects. Their work has won multiple awards and has been seen across the country from British Columbia to Ontario and around the world in Sydney, Chicago, and Dubai. Andrew has had the honour of training with Fight Directors Canada, Green Fools Theatre, Loose Moose Theatre, and the Banff Puppet Theatre Intensive. As an artist, Andrew focuses on the creation of new works with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary art and storytelling through physical media such as dance, puppetry, and mask. Andrew is the president of the Canadian Academy of Masks and Puppetry (CAMP) and a lover of animals and outer space.
BONNIE DUNCAN BONNIE
Bonnie Duncan has blended puppetry, dance, and physical theatre in surprising and delightful ways for the past 20 years, first as a dancer with Snappy Dance Theater and then as a performer and designer in a variety of theatrical, acrobatic, puppetry projects and companies. She heads up The Gottabees whose mission is to inspire community, connection, and autonomy by providing an outlet for families to giggle, gasp, sigh, and cheer in forty-five minutes or less. Their stories reflect children’s everyday aspirations, concerns, and emotional experiences. The Gottabees’ work has been performed in 18 states, 5 countries, for over 36,000 people and was awarded an UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence, the highest award in puppetry in North America.
CANADIAN PUPPETRY PANEL
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Saralee Lewis studied at McGill University and worked in journalism and arts promotion prior to moving to Nova Scotia. Lewis is co-founder of Mermaid Theatre, one of North America’s most respected family audience theatres, and busiest – having played for more than six and a half million spectators in nineteen countries on four continents!
Lewis was named a Member of the Order of Canada in April 2000, received a D.Litt. (honoris causa) from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax in 2001, Nova Scotia’s Merritt Legacy Award in 2009, and was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Windsor, NS.
Tom Miller was born and educated in the United States, while his working life has been in Canada. Playing with puppets and making pictures was an important part of his childhood.
Tom holds a BA in Art and MFA in painting. He co-founded Mermaid Theatre and was their Resident Designer. In 1981 Tom took up painting again, filling his studio with colour infused paintings of a variety of subjects; he regularly contributes to commercial and public art galleries.
Peter Balkwill is a founding co-Artistic Director at the Old Trout Puppet Workshop and Co-Artistic Curator for the International Festival of Animated Objects in Calgary, Alberta.
He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a BFA in Theatre from University of Victoria. His studies focused on the physical application of theatre in creation, acting and directing.
Peter has served as Artist in Residence at the University of Lethbridge and University of Calgary; he was head of movement at the University of Victoria, and he has facilitated workshops with companies across North America, Denmark and France.
Joining the Canadian Puppetry Panel is Apple TV+’s Fraggle Rock puppeteer Jen Bain Terri Grant and Leo Weiser Helping to put Calgary on the puppet map in Canada!
Chad Williams (BFA, Media Arts – magna cum laude – State University New York, Fredonia) is a recognized leader in his field, one of a few professional puppeteers in the USA who specializes in hand puppets. Taught by Bu Dai Xi by Chinese Theatre Works in 2011, European style from Jim Rose in 2012, and continued his professional education under legendary Hua Hua Zhang (Visual Expressions) 2016-17.
Chad toured and taught puppetry internationally and is a current Fulbright Specialist. He has written, directed, and performed over 15 puppet plays for family audiences with hundreds of shows every year. He is a current board member of UNIMA-USA.
His original solo hand puppet show, Fox Fables, was selected for the 1st International Puppet Fringe Festival NYC and Siam Paragon Asean Fascinating Puppets Festival in Thailand. He performed his solo tabletop puppet play Three Little Pigs in Taiwan at the 1st Lize International Puppet Festival.
A 12 year member of the improv troupe, These Guy Are Sick, Chad hosted puppet game shows for families at Mount Sinai Children’s Hospital for 10 years. From 2013-17 Chad produced and was the artistic director for the biggest video game film festival in the world, Games on Film.
He leads WonderSpark Puppets, a New York City based puppet theater company together with Z Briggs
As a child, Graham Soul had many passions: puppetry, music, magic, cinema (film, animation, special effects) and gymnastics. At college he studied theatre, music and film and then at university, he focused primarily on theatre performance. A few years later, he trained in acrobatics at Montreal’s National Circus School.
After graduation, he toured in North America and Europe for two years as an actor-acrobat with DynamO Théâtre. And then he returned to another childhood passion, puppetry!
After performing giant-puppet shows internationally with Théâtre Sans Fil or later in Québec with Théâtre de la Dame de Cœur, he joined Théâtre de l’Œil in 1995 with whom he has toured for more than 25 years.
But like Cuckoo, Graham also had a desire to spread his own wings and fly. Because puppetry can incorporate many artistic fields that he loved as child such as acting, sculpture and painting, music, even 2D animation, ten years ago he decided to wear all of these “hats” while creating a first ambitious puppet production “Cuckoo”. After a rather long gestation period, the show officially premiered on March 6th at the Casteliers festival in Montreal.
Enfant, Graham Soul avait plusieurs passions: la marionnette, la musique, la magie, le cinéma (et l’animation et les effets spéciaux) et la gymnastique. Au collège, il étudie le théâtre, la musique et le cinéma et plus tard en théâtre à l’université, il se concentre sur le jeu d’acteur. Quelques années plus tard, il s’entraîne comme acrobate à l’École Nationale du Cirque de Montréal.
Pendant deux ans, il voyage en Amérique du Nord et en Europe comme comédien-acrobate avec DynamO Théâtre. Ensuite, il replonge dans une autre passion de son enfance, la marionnette!
Il manipule les marionnettes géantes du Théâtre Sans Fil à l’international et plus tard au Québec avec le Théâtre de la Dame de Cœur. En 1995, il se joint au Théâtre de l’Œil avec qui il joue depuis plus de 25 ans.
Mais, comme Coucou, Graham avait aussi envie de voler de ses propres ailes. Puisque la marionnette peut incorporer plusieurs passions de son enfance comme le jeu, la sculpture et la peinture, la musique et même l’animation 2D, il y a 10 ans, il décide de porter tous ces “chapeaux” en créant une première production ambitieuse en théâtre de marionnettes, “Coucou”. Après une longue période de gestation, le spectacle a rencontré son premier public familial le 6 mars au festival de Casteliers à Montréal.
S.E. Grummett is a transgender performing artist from Treaty 6 Territory/Saskatoon. After graduating from acting school and becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of opportunities for queer and trans folks, Grumms began Scantily Glad Theatre. Grumms has created and toured 8 original shows to festivals and stages around the world including Adelaide Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe, Twin Cities Horror Festival, and Undercurrents Festival. They are the co-creator of “Pack Animals”, “SCUM: a manifesto”, “Girl in the Box” and “Creepy Boys”. Their solo-show, “Something in the Water”, toured to the Adelaide Fringe earlier this year where it won “Best Theatre” overall in the festival. Outside of self-creation, Grumms also works as a performer, puppeteer & video artist. She runs Scantily Glad Theatre
Intermissions! an online networking and idea exchange hosted by these special Puppet Power 2022 presenters. Spend an hour of informal conversation, exploring ideas around puppetry and “celebration events” – everything from birthday parties to end of life celebrations… from social rituals to social justice.
Intermissions! begin with a 10-minute presentation designed to spark ideas, followed by 2-3 breakout rooms, ending in a quick summary and call to action, door prizes and a toast!
INTERMISSIONS! SHUFFLING OFF THE MORTAL COIL
Emceed by: Kaja Irwin and Luis Fernando Gurrola
Joined by: Brian Pickering & Peter Balkwill
INTERMISSIONS! BABY WELCOMINGS
Emceed by: Dr. Matt Smith
Joined by: Caroline Bernier Dionne, Gabi Hartmann
INTERMISSIONS! HAPPY HOUR
Emceed by: Ann and David Powell – Puppetmongers
Joined by: Tim Gosley, Jessica Belbin, Carolyn Bjartveit
INTERMISSIONS! CELEBRATING LOVE
Emceed by: Andrew Cooper
Joined by: Sara Neill, Steve Abrams,
And featuring special guest Shane onYou, drag superstar reading Worm Loves Worm. From: Calgary Pride – Reading with Royalty
Jeremiah Bartram is an Ottawa-based artist and critic who was swept away by the insurrectionary delight of puppet theatre six years ago and has never recovered. More writer than performer, he has attended intensives, festivals and workshops in North America and Europe, fashioned a collection of imaginary beings and provided them with scripts, and is working on a book about puppet theatre. But his main preoccupation is the “why” of puppets: what is the primal source of their power? He holds four degrees, a doctorate in literature from the University of London among them.
Opening Panel: Puppets in Celebration & Social Justice
Jeremiah is joined by:
– Gary Friedman, Gary Friedman Productions
– Chamindika Wanduragala, Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop
– South Miller, Les Sages Fous
– Nathan Millar
Closing Panel: Puppets. Ritual. Celebration
Jeremiah is joined by:
– Sandy Spieler, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater
– Kathy Foley,
– Nicola Levell,
– Kati Qui
Juanita’s journey into puppetry first began in the early 2000’s and continues to evolve and develop with each project. Juanita was first a sculptor and now is a puppeteer and full time puppet and mask builder. Her creations embody a whimsical and playful quality – ensuring that each puppet and mask she makes has their own personality.
Quality and durability are key components included in every project. The demand of today’s puppets requires multiple mediums and construction techniques. These include design work and consulting, prototyping, casting, wood working, jointing, sewing and needle felting, just to name a few. Juanita and Pat also run Long Grass Studio.
NAZANIN MEHRAEIN, SABA SAADAT, SHIVE MASSOUDI
Nazanin Mehraein: Theater performer/director, and multimedia artist born in Tehran, Iran where she finished her degree in Performance arts major in Puppetry. She is currently based in Vienna Austria and is working on her Master’s Degree in Transdisciplinary Arts at the University of Applied Arts. Her main interest is storytelling with autobiographical stories.
Nafiseh Saadat (Saba): Director, Illustrator, Puppet Maker and Lecturer holding both a BA and Masters’ degree in Puppetry. She is a lecturer within the faculty of performing art at both Tehran and Shiraz University in Iran. She authored the book “Robotic Theater, an Introduction to Actor’s Death ” and several essays.
Shiva Massoudi: Director, Lecturer, and Writer with a BA in Puppet Theatre, Master’s degree in Animation and PhD in Theatre. She has written several essays on puppetry and theatre as well as presenting about Iranian Puppetry.
Cathy Stubington is a multi-disciplinary artist who weaves together puppetry, folk lore, site-specific theatrical ceremony-like events, community art projects and community spectacles to create connections: in the community, to the land, and to social issues through wonder and the creation of alternate worlds.
The founding Artistic Director of Runaway Moon Theatre, Cathy has spent the last 20 years working in Enderby/Grindrod, in Secwepemc Traditional Territory of the Splats’in First Nation to better understand what it is to live in this place at this time, exploring her relationship with the land through where food comes from, where the water goes, and developing a sense of time based on natural indicators specific to this place.
Cathy’s work has included large community based projects, community plays, educational outreach, workshops and artist residencies in schools; she is a trained Artstarts Infusion Teaching Artist. She coordinated the Akonjo/Shuswap partnership with Akonjo Community Enhancement Society (Kenya) from 2006 – 2016, and directed Popoleko Balkan Choir from 1997 – 2015.
She has been awarded British Columbia Arts Champion (2006), and an Okanagan Arts Award from the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan (2012). She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Performance, UBC Okanagan and a BA in History, McGill University.
Sandra Lamouche is a Nehiyaw Iskwew (Cree Woman) from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Northern Alberta and married into the Piikani Nation in Southern Alberta and mother to two boys with braids. She completed her B.A. in Native American Studies from the University of Lethbridge in 2007. In 2021 she successfully defended her M.A. Thesis at Trent University, titled “Nitona Miyo Pimadisiwin (Seeking a Good Life) Through Indigenous Dance” which examines Indigenous Dance as a Social Determinant of Health and Well Being. Sandra is a multidisciplinary creator and storyteller, she is a Champion Hoop Dancer, award winning Indigenous Educational Leader, two-time TEDx Speaker, artist, and writer. Sandra’s Hoop Dance performance is part of our Family Festival Day and is FREE.
Puppeteer, musician, actor, educator, and designer.Tangle is one half of the whimsical musical puppetry duo Entangled Puppetry. With her husband, they perform eclectic and imaginative shows to enchant all ages both live and, more recently, online. She has puppeteered in beautiful theatres and out of humble suitcases on street corners. Her creative adventures have found Tangle playing accordion in music videos about wildlife, dancing across countless stages and school gym floors dressed in a bear costume and roaming special events and marching in parades while towering on stilts.
Tangle’s passion for theatre has taken her from childhood community theatre stages thru a diploma in Musical Theatre to the fields of Bread and Puppet Theatre and back to the mountains and stages of Alberta where she makes her home with her sweet family in Canmore.
TREVOR DUFFY AND TEAM
The Imaginarium Puppet Company was created in 2016 by longtime friends Trevor Duffy and Danny Jaycock. Trevor and Danny take an idea/story from conception and transform it into a live production. Everything from the storyline, to the puppets, to the sets, to the musical numbers are all original. With the addition of their 3rd puppeteer, Simon Gushulak, their character’s come alive on stage. The Imaginarium Puppet Company is forever expanding their portfolio for entertainment value. Imaginarium is part of our Family Festival Day and is FREE.