The Rumpelstiltskin Society

PuppetFest MidWest
July 5-10, 2011

North Central Missouri College &
Grundy County Jewett Norris Library
Trenton, Missouri





In this workshop, participants will become cast members in a performance they create and rehearse in class that will be performed at the end of the week. (visit perspectives.htm to see video clips of a table-top performance by Puppet Art Theater) The rehearsal process will allow participants to experience and execute the principles of excellent table-top puppetry through a series of enjoyable exercises and rehearsal techniques. Participants should be prepared to participate and play in a sometimes physically demanding rehearsal process.

Few forms of puppetry require multiple puppeteers to manipulate a single puppet character like table-top puppetry (a hybrid of the traditional Bunraku style). The table-top advantage of multiple puppeteers, when expertly performed, can break through confines of other more traditional forms of puppetry. While many traditional concepts of quality hand, rod and string puppetry can be applied to table top puppetry, a unique set of considerations must be taken into account when casting, directing, manipulating and building table-top puppets.
Other topics to be covered include:
·        Techniques in casting a table-top show
·        Directing Methods for multi-performer puppets
·        How to build table-top puppets that really work
·        Staging for multi-performer puppets beyond the table-top


Number of participants: Minimum of 3 and a maximum of 12

Note: workshops are not open to the public. You must be registered for the entire festival to attend.

Art Grueneberger
Puppet Art Theater Co.

Art Grueneberger’s first puppet performance was as lead puppeteer in the UNIMA Award winning production “A Thousand Cranes” seen at the 1993 National Puppetry Festival in San Francisco. This multi-performer puppet experience has inspired him as a performer and a director for most of his puppetry career. Examples of Grueneberger’s multi-performer puppet work include “Perspectives,” seen in different forms at the International Puppetry Festival in South Korea, the Southwest Regional Festival in San Diego and at New York City’s Here Theater.  Last Spring, Grueneberger was featured as Guest Director at University of California, Davis where he directed “Man of La Mancha,” a re-imagined production utilizing life-sized multi-performer puppets to recreate Cervantes' fantasy world inhabited by knight errant, Don Quixote de La Mancha. The production featured a cast of over a dozen life-size puppets and over 2 dozen puppeteers. He has been puppetry consultant on many theater projects including productions of “Macbeth,” “The Magic Compass,” and Mark Ravenhill’s “Nursury/School.” Grueneberger has taught puppetry workshops for children and adults and recently traveled to China where he taught Table-top puppetry to students at Shanghai Theater Academy. In addition to his puppetry work Grueneberger also teaches actors and has co-authored the book Actor's Lab Book: A Practical Supplement for the Beginning Actor .

Visit The Puppet Art Theater Co. website:

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