2018 National Puppet Slam: Meet the Artists

For one weekend only, experience the beauty, ingenuity, and hilarity of original short-form puppetry by talented artists from across the United States during the National Puppet Slam! These contemporary pieces for adult audiences have been nominated by their respective slams and curated for an evening of short works that aspire to be as varied as the vast national network of independently produced puppetry slams it celebrates.

The National Puppet Slam is on at the Center for Puppetry Arts Aug. 31-Sept. 2! We want you to meet the artists whose pieces you’ll see on stage. Today, get to know Lyon Hill, who will be performing his piece “Annabel Lee by E. A. Poe,” adapted from the famous Edgar Allen Poe poem.

Lyon Forrest Hill has been a practicing puppet maker and puppeteer for 20 years. He is the Artistic Director for the Columbia Marionette Theatre in South Carolina. In addition to family-friendly entertainment, Lyon has enjoyed recognition for his work in puppetry for adults. He has performed at the Puppeteers of America’s Regional and National festivals, as well as a number of National Puppet Slams at the Center for Puppetry Arts. He has also attended the O’Neill Puppetry Conference in Waterford, CT, and the Puppets in Prague workshop in the Czech Republic.

Lyon also creates puppet short films and music videos using a signature paper puppetry style. Three of his films are part of the Handmade Puppet Dreams film series curated by Heather Henson. His film Junk Palace, which recounts the true story of infamous hoarders the Collyer brothers, garnered him an UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence, a respected award in the world of puppetry.

Most recently, Lyon has been co-curating puppet slams (evenings of adult oriented short form puppetry) in his home town of Columbia and developing adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories. He lives with his wife and fellow artist, Jenny Mae, and their two sons, Oliver and Huxley, in a house filled with puppets, books, and toys. 


Synopsis: The last poem written by Edgar Allen Poe before his untimely death, Annabel Lee is a meditation on love and loss. Over a dozen elaborate wire sculptures come to life as dynamic, shifting shadow puppets in Lyon Hill’s interpretation of this celebrated ballad.


The 2018 National Puppet Slam runs Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2018, at the Center for Puppetry Arts for ages 18+. Tickets include admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum. Beer and wine will be for sale at the bar. Tickets are available here.