Members

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Joann Kielar performing at Brillobox. Photo by Larry Rippel.

Joann Kielar has been presenting delightful and enlightening puppetry in Pittsburgh for over thirty years. Presenting her one-person shows and story times as “the Puppetmaker,” Kielar’s shows feature rich narrative, lively song and artfully crafted hand puppets, stages and props. A seasoned educator, Kielar specialized in orchestrating magical pageants, plays and puppetry experiences for young children and families. For Kielar, puppetry is the ideal intersection of her two loves, stories and the visual arts, and a way for her to connect with people of all ages. Her stage and gallery highlights include appearances at The Carnegie International, The Black Sheep Puppet Festival and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Galleries.

Email: joannkielar@gmail.com

 

 

Dance Club with cheryl

Cheryl Capezzuti and puppets. Photo by Larry Rippel.

Cheryl Capezzuti is an Artist, Educator and Giant Puppetmaker whose work is inseparable from the communities in which she creates. She has been working in the greater Pittsburgh community for over 20 years and continues to deepen her connections to this community every day. She is best known for the artist-made, people-powered First Night Pittsburgh Parade on New Year’s Eve in downtown Pittsburgh. This annual community celebration invites people of all ages to make puppets together in workshops all over the region and then puppeteer in the parade. Between parades many of her giant puppets are housed at the Braddock Carnegie Library and can be checked out with a library card for any type of event or celebration through her giant puppet lending project, Puppets for Pittsburgh.  She is also a maker of short theatrical work with long-time collaborator Kellee Van Aken and a member of the Visual Arts Faculty at the Falk Lab School at the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information: WEBSITE

Email: cheryl@studiocapezzuti.com

 

 

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Tom Sarver with iron worker puppet. Photo by Larry Rippel.

Tom Sarver is a multidisciplinary artist and educator. He has been incorporating puppetry into his work since 1997. He specializes in creating toy theater shows exploring historical, mythological, social and environmental topics. He has created educational shows for performance at The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Mattress Factory Museum of Art and The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Sarver’s experience includes organizing puppetry events, school residencies, lectures, puppet making workshops and curatorial work. He often collaborates with puppeteer and writer Michael Cuccaro.

For more information: WEBSITE

Email: tomsarver@gmail.com

 

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Darlene Fedele Thompson on stage. Photo by Larry Rippel.

Darlene Fedele Thompson has 20 years’ experience in puppetry. She is the director of Puppets in Performance, a puppet troupe which has performed in various venues in the Pittsburgh area and beyond since 2014. Thompson has a BA in Drama, and an MFA in Playwriting from Hollins University. She writes original scripts and songs, builds puppets, and directs her own productions. She and her puppets have performed hundreds of times in 15 states. Ten of her puppet plays have been published, and two have won awards at the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival.

For more information: WEBSITE

Email: dfthompson70puppets@gmail.com