To educate and inspire through the art of puppetry.
Sharing the Puppet Arts in the greater National Capital Area through workshops, performances, and special events. We partner beginners with experts
in the spirit of collaboration, communication, and community.
The Puppet Arts hold a place in the human story that is unique. Puppets appear on stage, in movies, on television, and anywhere with a public street. They have carried epic tales and are represented today by the dynamic performers in the art.
Jeff Bragg- President
Jeff 's interest in puppetry was originally inspired by Shari Lewis, Burr Tillstrom, Chuck McCann and Bil Baird. As President of the National Capital Puppetry Guild, he believes that a robust, proactive and vital guild is essential to promoting the Puppet Arts. Jeff loves all forms of puppetry and is especially fascinated by toy theater. As a TV director with credits from Milton Bradley to Acura, he brings his organizational skills and vision to the NCPG. He is currently working on video programming for young children supporting inclusiveness and cultural diversity, utilizing puppets.
Sam Rugg - Vice President
Sam has been involved with puppetry since 1996 when he met puppeteer (and wife-to-be), Heidi Rugg. Originally from the Windy City, Sam is known for his work behind-the-scenes with sound systems, stage design, and set construction. He has also been performing with Barefoot Puppet Theatre since 2005. A professional auto mechanic of 18 years, Sam brings a knowledge and love of power tools to the puppetry scene along with a deep appreciation for all forms of performance.
Heidi Rugg - Secretary
Heidi grew up as a Navy brat and lived a nomadic existence throughout her childhood. She first began building puppets to fulfill the “visual aid” requirements for book reports in fifth grade. (If she could write a thank you note to Mrs. Norrington, her 5th-grade teacher, she would!) In 1997, Heidi founded Barefoot Puppet Theatre and now reverts to her nomadic ways, touring her works throughout the country with her family in tow. Working with a wide-variety of puppetry styles, she designs, builds, and writes for puppet theatre. She is passionate about puppet mechanisms, STEAM, playwriting for puppetry, and puppetry’s applications in education. When not on tour, she is pleased to call Richmond home and is working to establish a puppetry scene in the region with Puppets Off Broad Street, a nonprofit she helped found in 2014.
Pam McNaughton - Treasurer
Pam McNaughton remembers her father helping her make a kitten puppet from one of his pipe-tobacco bags, with pipecleaner whiskers of course! Her latent interest in puppetry was reawakened when she lived in Germany, where she built a puppet collection for an Army library on a small budget and expanded it by making puppets from upcycled materials. Volunteering with a German puppet troupe served as a “graduate seminar." She is deeply interested in the history of this art form and in the puppetry traditions of other cultures, especially shadow puppetry. Shari Lewis and Burr Tillstrom were responsible for Pam’s early forays in puppetry.
Tom Noll- At Large
Tom, an active member of the NCPG, is the author of "Trash to Treasure," an educational book series featuring,"The Bicycle Fence" and "Selling Eggs," centers around how reusing/re-purposing household items and reducing waste has a positive impact on our environment and everyday lives.
He is also a sculptor, landscape designer and advocate for "going green." He is known for his popular and imaginative, White Bicycle Fence Art Installation, a well-known tourist site, in Bloomingdale Park, Washington, DC.
Sandy Feulner - Mistress of Revels - At Large
Sandy originally comes from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. Her love affair with puppetry comes from her first exposure to Kermit the Frog on The Johnny Carson Show. While Jim Henson's work influenced her style as she worked with children, her personal favorite style of puppetry is Bunraku."I serve because I'm proud to be part of such a wonderfully inclusive community, the work we do and the pleasure we provide others."
Sandy is also our Mistress of Revels, hosting all of our official NCPG parties.
Honey Goodenough - At Large
Honey Goodenough (yes, that is her real name) is a puppeteer, producer, costume designer, educator, clown, and magician. Among her many, many accomplishments (look her up!), she is a four-time recipient of Heather Henson's Puppet Slam Network grant to produce PUPPET PANDEMIC, a showcase of puppetry works developed at the Eugene O'Neill National Puppetry Conference - this fundraiser supports a new Alumni Scholarship to attend the O'Neill National Puppetry Conference.
Although currently living in Boston, she has joined us to work on special projects.
Cori Leyden-Sussler - At Large
Cori has always been driven to make things and she loves nothing better than to find new an innovative ways of fabricating, and then finding a way to pass on and teach that knowledge.
She graduated with a BFA in Costume Tech/Technical Theater from University of Connecticut. After working for a few production houses, she returned to school to get her Masters degree in Puppetry, focusing on crafting skills and to further my interest in Cosplay. In addition to working in creative fields, she also worked her way through school as a teacher and ran workshops and panels for college-age students as well as working with lesson plans and child care for primary school children.
She works frequently as a panelist, teacher, and cosplay judge at several conventions on the east coast.
Sarah Olmsted Thomas - At Large
Bio coming soon.
Alex Vernon - At Large
Bio coming soon.
The NCPG's newsletter, Puppetimes, reports on puppet related items of interest and covers our membership region. It contains artist updates, expert columns, tips and tricks,
and event details. Puppetimes is distributed bi-monthly, through email attachments. A print edition is available to members only (associate members not eligible), for an extra $20 with their membership application renewal.
To the Newsletter?
Throughout the year, the NCPG offers public and members-only workshops. We also visit puppet artist's studios, from where we hold live broadcasts. Workshops cover different aspects of the puppet arts: fabrication, design, staging, production, and more.
The Judy Barry Brown College Scholarship provides a yearly $2000 scholarship for first-year college students to study puppetry at a degree-granting institution. Applications (associate members not eligible) open to all high school seniors that are members in good standing of the NCPG.
Applications are due April 15th of each calendar year.
The O'Neill Conference Grant is offered to guild members under the age of thirty who are accepted by the conference for first-time attendance. It is a need-based, partial scholarship designed to offset a participant's expenses while there. Application is open to all members (not associate members) in good standing of the NCPG.
Applications are due May 15 of each calendar year.
The Judy Barry Brown Festival Grant is awarded to ages 18-24 to participate in their first regional or national PofA sponsored puppetry festival. Application is open to all members (associates not eligible) in good standing of the NCPG.
Applications for the grant must be made one month prior to the festival.
Our high school programs offer support for local high schools doing work utilizing puppetry. The programs' intent is to develop and encourage students who are preparing to enter college theater programs that use puppetry.
(mostly) Monthly Puppet Shows
Chartered Guild of the Puppeteers of America
Nothing right now - Check back soon.