Professional Day 2018

Professional Day for the Teaching Artist and Therapist

Sept 21, 2018, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

YOU MUST SIGNUP BEFORE Wednesday morning Sept. 19 to get the light lunch provided. Otherwise, please bring your own lunch or snack.

The Professional Day will be held at The School for International Training,  1 Kipling Rd  Brattleboro, VT.  Near the hotel.  We will have carpools and ridesharing.

Tech: Bill Scott,

Assistant: Liz Freeman,

Curated by: Judith O’Hare. jaohare@gmail.comJudith OHare

Judith O’Hare is the Education Consultant for the Puppeteers of America and has been a touring puppeteer with the You and Me Puppets and teaching artist for over 30 years.  As the Chairperson for the Education committee, Judith hosted the first Professional Day for the Teaching Artist and Therapist (PDTAT) at the Tri Regional Festival in Ashville, NC, in 2006. It has been included in all Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Festivals and most National Festivals since then. The P of A Board has given its support for the inclusion of this full day of presentations and discussion on Puppetry in Education and Therapy at all future National Festivals.  Judith has passed the chair of the Puppetry in Education and Therapy committee on to Michael Vetere, but she will continue to curate the PDTAT. This Professional Day has proved to be an important part of Festivals for the past 12 years.

Felice AmatoFelice Amato
Using Crankies to Teach about Visual Liminality and the Power of Ambiguity

Crankies offer real benefits to any visual arts-related classroom because they give students unique ways to address the narrative component of art in a real time-based way, exploring how images transition and how those transitions are important. Crankies offer dynamism and the possibility to explore suspense, ambiguity, transformation, and more. In the presentation, I will give examples and techniques focusing on ways to work with students’ understanding of transition and how they effect the understanding of a story. I will illustrate this concept through variety of activities.

An artist and educator, Felice Amato has a passion for puppetry and all forms of object performance. She sees a seamless continuum between teaching and making and finds working in the arts with all ages meaningful, gratifying, and sustaining on an artistic and a human level. Felice has received numerous awards for her artistic work including a Jerome Foundation Grant and two Minnesota State Arts Board Grants. She has published in Puppetry International and presented at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Puppeteers of America, and other conferences. She has attended the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Puppetry Intensive. Amato has also performed work at Open Eye Figure Theater in Minneapolis and The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry in Storrs, Connecticut.

Daniel Gill and Elyse JacobsDaniel_Gill_Elyse_Jacobs

Using Puppets to Help Young Children Solve Problems

Anyone who spends time with young children strives to help them find peaceful ways of solving their problems. This can be challenging work! Puppets have the miraculous ability to reach young children’s hearts and minds. This fun, playful workshop explores using puppets to help children work through conflicts and ways that puppets can help children with challenging behavior. Specific techniques covered include puppet social plays and using puppets effectively in facilitated dramatic play.

After Elyse Jacobs obtained her Masters in Sculpture, she created and performed original sculptural puppet theater internationally. In 1986, Elyse created the Expressive Arts program at Pacific Primary School in San Francisco and has managed the program since its inception. This puppetry-based preschool program for young children centers around problem solving and social justice and is the only program of its kind in the nation. Her writings have appeared in HuffPost and blogs for educators. Her most recent writing project is STOP VIOLENCE: A Guide for Educators of Young Children. Elyse holds a Certificate in Art Therapy.

Daniel Gill works as an Expressive Arts Specialist at Pacific Primary School in San Francisco. Daniel found his way to puppetry through the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Los Angeles. He has trained at the O’Neill Puppetry Conference in Connecticut and the Puppets in Prague program in the Czech Republic. Daniel partners with Elyse to create and perform social learning puppet shows for young children with a focus on emotional intelligence and communication. He holds a Child Development Certificate and was recently admitted to the Early Childhood Special Education Masters and Credential program at San Francisco State University.

Cheryl CapezzutiCheryl Capezzuti
Puppetry and Art Education: Past, Present and Future

Puppetry and 21st Century Skills
The four C’s of 21st Century Skills, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity, feature prominently in many future-facing education initiatives such as STEAM and the Maker Movement. How can teaching artists and art teachers us puppetry in the classroom to authentically connect to these initiatives? This presentation will share examples from the Falk Lab School including a 5th grade animatronic project and a 7th grade stop-motion, animation project.

Cheryl Capezzuti is an Artist, Educator and Giant Puppet maker. She is currently a member of the Visual Arts Faculty at the Falk Laboratory School, an experimental K-8 school affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education where she runs the middle school studio and integrates puppetry into many areas of the curriculum. She is also the lead puppet maker and Creative Director of the First Night Pittsburgh parade in downtown Pittsburgh on New Year’s Eve.

Carol Sterling   www.carolsterling.netCarol Sterling

Making Animal Puppets and Head Masks for a Middle School Production of The Lion King Jr

I will share the motivation and techniques used to create and perform with animal puppets and head masks with a group of middle school students in a public school.   I will share photographs, charts, and specific strategies to create a variety of puppet styles, including full body, hand and rod puppets and wearable head masks.

Carol Sterling is a former President of UNIMA-USA and former Education Consultant for Puppeteers of America.   She is a Fulbright Program Specialist in Educational Puppetry and taught has taught workshops at P of A and Regional Festivals throughout the United States as well as in eight countries, including; Australia, China, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Spain, and Uganda,

Linda Zimmer,


Michael Lamason

Black Cherry Puppet Theater,   www.blackcherry.orgMichael Lamason

It’s All About Adjectives

Bloom’s Taxonomy, Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and 21st Century Skills are sources of a language we can use to understand how students learn and to set our objectives as puppetry-based teaching artists.

Michael Lamason is executive director and a co-founder in 1980 of Baltimore’s Black Cherry Puppet Theater. The troupe pursues three goals: to excel at the art of puppetry, to make its unique cultural tradition accessible to the widest audience possible, and to use it as an educational tool for young people. He has produced more than twenty-five puppet productions and presented thousands of performances throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. The theater is in two formally abandoned buildings in Baltimore’s Historic Hollins Market Neighborhood. It serves as an example of how small arts organizations serve as catalysts for change in the community. Michael chaired a group of artists, educators and engineers in the late 1990’s to develop Black Cherry’s signature arts integrated residency, The Engineering of a Puppet Show.

Sharon Peck and Tracy CretelleSharon Peck

Creating Safe Space for English Language Learning Through Puppetry

This presentation addresses a recent research study of using puppetry with English Language Learners. After the research was completed we developed guidelines for TESOL teachers to use puppetry to meet the Language expectations for all levels of English Language Learners. The assessment was WIDA Standards for English language Learning; how it relates to goals, educational styles, STEM and STEAM, State Standards.

 Sharon Peck, PhD. is a professor and professional puppeteer. By day she works with elementary students in language arts, and by evening she supports teachers seeking a master’s degree in literacy. A lover of books and puppets, Sharon also performs historical Punch and Judy shows with her sister, as, The Punch Bowl Sisters.

Tracy Cretelle, M.E. is an instructional coach for English Language Learners in a large urban school district. By day Tracy supports teachers in their language instruction, by evening she is a writer and horsewoman. A lover of all things magical, Tracy leads workshops for children in writing, building books, Divination Hogwart’s style and for adults on writing for spiritual growth.

Edna Bland

ednabland99@hotmail.comEdna Bland

Puppetry for Students With Special Needs

This presentation will illustrate how the art of puppetry worked with intellectually disabled children as part of an in-school teaching artistry residency over a course of a year. Students were introduced to the art of puppetry through storytelling with toy theatre, to learning how to manipulate professionally made puppets, to creating their own puppet and participating in an informal performance

Edna M. Bland, is a certified educator and teaching artist in theatre and puppetry arts who has honed her skills at The Kennedy Center’s VSA and CETA programs, Lincoln Center Education’s Teaching Artist Program held at The Juilliard School, and attended workshops at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, England. She has been a guest speaker at all three of her college alma  maters, and has conducted workshops around the country and also in Rome, Italy.

Prior to her career as an educator, Edna worked in the entertainment industry for years including The New York Emmy Awards as a talent coordinator and producer and Sony Music Entertainment’s children’s audio and video division, formerly known as Sony Wonder where she the Executive Assistant to the President, and Production Coordinator where her credits included contributing to The  35th anniversary Sesame Street musical box set.

As a puppeteer, Carroll Spinney, “Big Bird”, and Dr. Loretta Long “Susan” of Sesame Street mentored her. She was honored to be a puppeteer for Jane Henson’s Nativity. Miss Edna is the creator of the edutainment brands, Lovely Day Arts, and Sock n’ Sew Puppets.

In October of this year, Edna will be featured as part of the Baird Puppetry Museum at the University of Connecticut honoring African Americans in Puppetry.

Edna has a M.F.A. in Entertainment Creative Writing, M.S. in Entertainment Business, B.S. in Organizational Management and A.A.S. in Music Business. She is currently a national teaching and artist theatre instructor at a performing arts magnet school in Sanford, Florida.

Honey Goodenough


Puppet Lab: Advanced Puppet Building Course presented by Puppet Showplace Theater

Puppet Lab is a new after school program presented by Puppet Showplace Theater Puppet Lab and was supported by a Harris Grant from the Children’s Theater Foundation of America. Puppet Lab was developed for students age 9-12 with a focus on the materials, engineering, and design techniques used in the creation of puppetry arts. Each week we presented creative challenges in a hands-on, and supportive environment that encouraged experimentation. Puppet Lab presented projects that taught young students to use advanced tools, techniques, and topics in 3D design, flat pattern making, silicone arts, and molding and casting techniques. Students discovered new strategies for solving interdisciplinary problems, learned through hands on experimentation, and gained confidence in their abilities, while making original creations.

Honey Goodenough is an educator, puppeteer and children’s entertainer, who as has taught a broad range of populations for the past 15 years, including preschool students to medical professionals. As a teaching artist, she has worked with diverse student populations in greater Boston, New York City, and Texas. She has taught a wide variety of professional development courses for educators and aspiring puppeteers at Puppet Showplace Theater, Brooklyn College, the University of Utah, and City College CUNY. Her company, Good Hearted Entertainment, recently developed “Word Play,” a literacy-based puppet show. Honey has performed with several nationally-touring puppetry companies, and she studied puppetry at the Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference. She holds an MA in Educational Theater from New York University, and a BA in Theater with a focus in Costume Crafts and Technology from the University of Texas, Austin.