Meet the Eco-Puppetry Team!
Peter Court (Durban, South Africa) has worked in education, the creative arts and theatre for almost forty years, and in South Africa for over twenty-five years. Much of his current work focuses on strengthening school systems through the creative arts and life orientation programmes mainly through Puppetry and performance. He is passionate about Puppet and Set construction from recycled materials, especially carboard packaging and waste plastic. His goal in life is to find an eco-friendly alternative to Hot Glue!!! He is the Director of Creative Madness (Pty) Ltd, an award-winning company with international experience in theatre and education for the corporate, not-for-profit and education market.
Genna Beth Davidson (Annapolis, Maryland) is a professional puppeteer, designer, fabricator, and all-around theatre artist. She graduated from the UCONN Puppet Arts program in 2022. She lives and works in both NYC and the DC-region. She joined the Eco-puppetry Committee to collaboratively find new ways of building puppets that don't depend so heavily on materials made from fossil fuels. You can follow her on IG @thevagabondpuppetress.
Rachel A. Gates
Mary Hildebrand Nagler (Ruckersville, Maryland; Artist/Puppeteer, MFA Puppetry Arts, UCONN)
is a Designer, Fabricator, Performer and Adjunct Professor of Puppetry. Nagler comes from a varied career in Puppetry; from her hand puppet version of Punch and Judy to building Muppet characters: Beaker and the Swedish Chef (Puppet Heap in NJ)! Her work has been seen in films, videos, in stage productions, at puppet festivals and in hundreds of performances on both coasts. www.whorlsofwonder.com
Heidi Rugg (Richmond, Virginia) is a puppetry artist and founder of Barefoot Puppet Theatre, a company that has been performing throughout the country (and beyond!) since 1997. Heidi is passionate about puppet mechs, papier-mache, wool, big pockets, and sustainably sourced materials and practices in puppetmaking. Current works center on environmental themes. Heidi is currently on the teaching artists roster for the Virginia Commission for the Arts and is a teaching artist with Greater Richmond Wolf Trap. Heidi’s work has received support from The Henson Foundation, Puppeteers of America, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Arts. In 2005, she was awarded an UNIMA-Citation of Excellence for her original work, “Galapagos George.” Heidi lives with her family on the edge of a swamp in Richmond, Virginia.
Marina “heron” Tsaplina is an eco-puppetry artist and disability culture activist who forms participatory poetic enchantments through puppetry performance and site-specific installations. Her artistry connects people to the enchantment, memory and histories of the earth and each other. She trained with master teacher Kari Margolis, the Ernst Busch School of Puppetry Performance in Berlin (Germany), Sandglass Theater and Pochinko Clown. She is currently developing Soils and Spirit, a performance and installation within ancient, endangered and disappeared forests in the northeast. Follow her on IG: @bodypoemspuppetry and read about her current work, Soils and Spirit: To Remember amid Dismemberment.
Mobi Warren (Texas): An animist since childhood (Rocks Breathe! Insects Think! Plants Converse!), Mobi’s puppetry aims to connect humans with the wonder and beauty of the non-human world and in so doing, encourage living kindly and sustainably. As well as puppet artist, Mobi is a Texas Master Naturalist, poet and fiction writer. She performs for a Storytelling-in-Nature program at a wildlife conservancy, in a city-wide Early Arts program, and is co-founder of a writers and artists collective committed to environmental and climate justice.
We are dedicated to exploring & sharing the concepts and practices of Eco-puppetry to include environmentally friendly practices in building puppets as well as puppetry performance that addresses stories (and engages communities) related to environment/climate/biodiversity.