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Education Puppetry Workshops with WonderSpark Puppets

Two women smile and hold purple puppets up to each other

Join us summer 2022 at MoMI for a series of puppetry workshops presented by WonderSpark Puppets.

Puppetry for Parents and Professionals

July 9, 2022, 2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Join us this summer at MoMI for Puppetry for Parents and Professionals presented by WonderSpark Puppets. Puppetry can be used as an effective tool for interaction, pretend play, communication, motivation, de-escalation, and more. Led by professional puppeteer and Jim Henson Foundation Manager Lindsey “Z.” Briggs, participants will learn the basics of performance and technique as well as discuss ways to utilize puppets within the home, school, or other settings to build emotional connections. Puppets can be especially effective with children of various abilities, including those on the autism spectrum and those with developmental delays. All participants will receive their own puppet kit to take home, which includes a unique customized puppet and a finger puppet. The workshop is intended for parents and any professionals working with young people.

Learn more and get tickets.


Making Connections Through Puppetry: Educators, Counselors, and Therapists

July 29 & August 12, 2022, 4:00 p.m.—6:30 p.m.

Join us this summer at MoMI for Making Connections through Puppetry: Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, presented by WonderSpark Puppets. Making Connections Through Puppetry is a two-part professional development workshop series that teaches educators, therapists, counselors, and parents how to use puppets when working with neurodiverse children, including those on the autism spectrum. Puppetry can be used as an effective learning tool and bridge for communication and motivation. Participants who have taken these workshops have gone on to use the skills that they learn to support child development and student IEPs, including joint attention, functional pretend play, social/emotional learning, empathy, de-escalation, impulse control, emotional regulation, language learning, and more.

Led by professional puppeteer and Jim Henson Foundation Manager Lindsey “Z.” Briggs, participants will learn the basics of puppetry performance and technique as well as discuss ways to utilize puppets to make connections with children, especially those who can be hard to reach, and build bridges of trust, kindness, and joy. Each participant will receive a unique customized puppet to use throughout the workshop along with a finger puppet. Participants will be eligible to receive 5 CTLE hours for attending both 2 ½–hour sessions.

Sessions for this workshop will run Friday, July 29 and Friday, August 12, from 4:00 p.m. –6:30 p.m.

Learn more and get tickets.


Puppet Theater Play!

August 13, 2022, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us at MoMI this summer for Puppet Theater Play! WonderSpark Puppets will transform students into confident puppeteers and empower young learners to tell their own stories with simple materials. In this 60-minute class, students will build puppets, learn about theater and perform their own original stories. Students will also learn about the traditional performing arts of other cultures and master simple scriptwriting.

Learn more and get tickets.


Lindsey “Z.” Briggs is the voice of Foley, the host of The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends, nominated for a 2021 Audie Young Listeners Award and now in its second season on Audible.  Her work with Sesame Street also includes the role of foster monster mom Dalia in Season 51 Karli’s Life Box and in Sesame Street in Communities Foster Care Initiative.  Z. recently performed background character work and right hand and props assisting in the second season of the Apple TV+ show Helpsters.  She  has performed as the puppet version of Cardi B for Atlantic Records, Lottie Lamb in three seasons of Seemore’s Playhouse (PBS Kids), and a dance-loving octopus for Moby’s music video I Like to Move in Here.  Z. was invited to participate in two Sesame Street Performer Workshops in 2018 and 2006.  

Z.’s innovative professional development course for educators, counselors and therapists working with students of all abilities with a special emphasis on neurodivergence, Making Connections Through Puppetry, has empowered hundreds of professionals and parents to learn how to use puppets when working with these populations. This innovative program originated through the Jim Henson Foundation and is supported by the Museum of the Moving Image.  Making Connections Through Puppetry has received funding from The Kennedy Center VSA Program Sites and Next for Autism.

Z. is co-artistic director of WonderSpark Puppets performing puppet theater shows throughout New York City and beyond for children and families.  She attended the MFA Puppet Arts program at the University of Connecticut and has been a guest lecturer and educator at Carnegie-Mellon and Yale University.

 

Chad Williams has 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 performances every year. He is a two-term board member of UNIMA-USA.

His original solo puppet shows were official selections at the International Puppet Fringe Festival NYC, La MaMa Etc Puppet Festival, the Siam Paragon Asean Fascinating Puppets Festival in Thailand, and at the 1st Lize International Puppet Festival in Taiwan. His works have been performed at the 14th Street Y Theater, Puppet Showplace Theater, Symphony Space, and at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.

Chad has shot and edited four feature-length documentaries about American puppetry and was a constant videographer of puppet shows in the New England region from 2005-10 before he began performing his own shows alongside his wife Z. 

He is a 12-year member of the improv troupe These Guy Are Sick and has hosted puppet game shows for families at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital every month for 10 years. From 2013-17 he produced and was the artistic director for the biggest video game film festival in the world, Games on Film. He earned a BFA in Media Arts (magna cum laude) from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Chad is a recognized expert in hand puppetry, authoring the manual 50 Hand Puppet Techniques: Hidden Secrets and Tricks Revealed. He has trained new puppeteers, teachers, actors, special needs therapists and others using his unique Two-Finger Style.

 

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