O'Neil Puppetry Conference - Recap

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Creventive blog! This year has been filled with so many new adventures, opportunities, performances, and networking - and it's ONLY JUNE!!!! Anyways, let's get straight into it!

I was accepted to into the annual Eugene O'Neill Theatre's National Puppetry Conference in Connecticut. The conference is organized by Pam Arciero as a way to gather puppeteers from all over the world for a week-long intensive of learning from the best in the business, networking with fellow puppeteers, along with many opportunities to create new work. Ever since I heard about the conference - I made it a goal to attend and finally had the chance this year. The O'Neil has both a pre-conference and main conference, each with a variety of different classes. I was fortunate to have a few days off to attend the pre-conference only before my summer schedule began.


I applied and was accepted into Jim Kroupa's puppet mechanism class. I took this class in particular because I wanted to further my learning in mechanisms and construction because it was one of my weaker skillsets. And who better to learn mechanisms from than Jim Kroupa. Kroupa is well-known for his famous mechanisms. He began creating mechanisms because he felt many of the original Henson puppet's mechs were difficult to operate because they were built by engineers with technical aspects in mind instead of performance and wanted to creating something that performers could operate much easier to focus on the performance. Each year, Kroupa brings a new mechanism for students to build. This year Kroupa brought a clown puppet with an opening jaw and pop-out teeth that each student built. Besides the vast amount of information, some of the highlights of the class were working alongside the fellow participants and hearing some of Kroupa's stories about his work over the years.

After 3-intense days and many stories, we all ended up with a functional 

I’m so grateful to have met so many new faces, and catch up with others I haven’t seen in forever. Learned so much and made friendships that will last a lifetime. 
Already miss it so much, hope to attend next year. The conference and experience was unforgettable and one I will miss deeply.