Aug 31–Sept 2, 2018

2018 National Puppet Slam


Illustration by Valerie Meiss

By Various Artists 




Aug 31–Sept 2, 2018

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

Ages 18+

Tickets include free admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum.

-Museum & Beer and Wine Bar open one hour before show time.

Downstairs Theater

Nonmember tickets $20 | Member Tickets $15

In association with Dragon Con and the HBH Fund








Special thanks to DaVinci’s Pizza for their in-kind support!



Bonnie Duncan (creator/performer) has blended puppetry, dance, and physical theatre in surprising and delightful ways for the past 16 years. Her work has been described as “an artful world of silent dreams, mime, and dance” (Austin Live Theatre). She worked as one half of They Gotta Be Secret Agents with Tim Gallagher touring worldwide and winning accolades along the way. Prior to her work as a Secret Agent, Bonnie was a company member of Snappy Dance Theater for 8 years, collaboratively creating and performing sculptural, acrobatic dances internationally. Her movement was called both “breathtakingly simple” and “delightfully crafty” by the Boston Globe.


Honey Goodenough is a puppeteer, educator, and party entertainer. She is very pleased to be returning to the Center for Puppetry Arts for her 4th National Puppet Slam appearance. Honey is currently based in Boston where she is the Resident Teaching Artist at Puppet Showplace Theater. She is a regular Puppet Showplace Slam performer, and tours original puppet shows as, Good Hearted Entertainment. 

Honey has performed marionettes across the country, including with PuppetWorks, The Puppet Company, the National Marionette Theatre, and the Frisch Marionettes. "Sock Monkey Circus" is her newest solo show, a full circus in miniature with monkeys, magic and more! After developing the original piece with mentor Phillip Huber, it debuted in China in 2017 with the International Clown Comedy Tour. Honey holds an MA in Educational Theater from New York University, and a BA in Theater Crafts and Technology from the University of Texas, Austin. Yes, that really is her name. Email:


Lyon Forrest Hill has been Artistic Director for the Columbia Marionette Theatre since 2000. His puppet shows have been performed at regional and national puppet festivals, as well as abroad. Three of his short films are part of Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams film series. His film Junk Palace received an UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence. Lyon lives with his wife, Jenny Mae, and their sons, Oliver and Huxley, in Columbia, SC.


Kate Katz is a Los Angeles based puppeteer and special effects artist. Her puppetry training includes UCONN’s puppetry graduate program, The O’Neil Puppetry Conference and The Sandglass Institute. Kate’s professional puppetry credits include puppeteer for Ed Sheeran on Sing and Happier, Denny’s “The Grand Slams” Campaign, “The narrative of Victor Karloch”, “The Mill at Calder’s End” and puppet builder on Disney’s “Crash and Bernstein.” Kate’s special effects credits include: “Interstellar”, “Mindhunter”, “Welcome to Marwen”, “Robot Chicken”, “Tumble Leaf”.  Fabrication credits include: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”,“Pacific Rim”, “Westworld”, “Aquaman” Kate is honored and humbled to be a part of this year’s national slam and wants to acknowledge a deep gratitude to the Los Angeles guild of puppetry for their confidence as well the national slam selection committee and Dragon Con for their support and hospitality.


Nancy Aldrich, Kris Bluett-Woolen, Cherie Panek, Deb Scott
This group of puppeteers’ paths converged through Tears of Joy Theater, in Portland Oregon. Senior Moment was the first piece they performed together. They are honored to be performing at this year’s National Puppet Slam.

Nancy- performer, director, builder of puppets. She also adapts stories into scripts for the puppet stage. A puppeteer for over 35 years, 15 years as the artistic director of Tears of Joy Theatre.

Kris- over 30 years of experience performing. Recognized for her movement and vocal skills. Puppet shows have taken her to Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Cherie- Puppeteer, actor, director and creator of the piece Senior Moment. Performing for over 20 years she is inspired by the nuanced intricacy of puppetry.

Deb- Actor, writer, director. She had the honor of touring the show Tymoteusz Rymcimci, directed by the internationally renowned puppet master, Jan Wilkowski.


Pam Severns is an accidental vaudevillian and zero-time Academy Award-winning performer, taking her silent puppetry acts to comedy and variety festivals around the country. She was a producer on the PBS documentary, In Their Own Words, on the life and work of Jim Henson, and has performed on projects with IFC, MTV and Amazon. She was a guest performer on the 2018 Puppets for Puppetry benefit for the Center for Puppetry Arts in honor of Caroll Spinney. She resides in Los Angeles and in her spare time enjoys writing short autobiographies in the third person.


Myra Su is a Chicago-based narrative artist specializing in storytelling through puppetry and theater. Her primary medium is shadow puppetry, but her work also includes experimentations with crankies, bunraku, paper craft, video, and even taxidermy. Her work has been featured at the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, Baltimore Crankie Festival, and the National Puppet Slam / DragonCon in Atlanta, GA.

Growing up in between the United States, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, she is interested in using puppetry to convey stories that are culturally mobile and emotionally universal. Her work is usually driven by a simple concept or motif, which is then interpreted through a self-reflexive application of puppetry.

In addition to her independent projects, she is a touring puppeteer with Manual Cinema, a shadow puppet theater company in Chicago. With the company, she has performed across the US and also internationally in Europe and Asia.


Vanessa S. Valliere performs and tours with Manual Cinema, an internationally touring cinematic shadow, and live action company. Vanessa was also a member of an ensemble of clowns/performers for Tour De Fat, a touring festival sponsored by New Belgium Brewery (2011-2016). She has performed with the puppet company Big Nazo in Rhode Island and with the Neo-Futurists in Chicago.

She is a co-devisor and performer with Theater Unspeakable, a company that tours nationally and has been presented by Lincoln Center Education. Vanessa has performed her devised solo puppetry/clown work all over the country and her work was featured in Chicago at the International Puppetry Festival in 2015 and 2017. Vanessa is the recipient of 2017 Make a Wave grant through 3Arts. She is also a proud nerd-cheerleader for Mucca Pazza, a thirty-piece circus punk marching band that has been featured on the Conan O’Brien show and Tiny Desk concerts. 


Zeb L. West is a puppeteer, writer, and performer living in Berkeley, CA. He is a longtime collaborator with of Austin’s Trouble Puppet and Brooklyn’s Alphabet Arts. He graduated from The Dell’Arte School of Physical Theater, where he studied Commedia Dell’Arte, Clown, Mask­making, Tango, and Corporeal Mime. He recently toured all across Canada with his one-man show Innocent When You Dream, about a man trapped in a whale.