Puppets and Poetry

Puppet Arts

Designing, building, and performing with puppets is a natural fit with Jeanne’s background in both fitness and higher education. The field of Puppet Arts requires knowledge of the literature, music and poetry of world cultures, ability to write and memorize script, design and sewing of costumes, creation and making of the puppet and finally, the art of procession with giant puppets and/or performance with smaller performing objects. These multifaceted areas of Puppet Arts require a good deal of dexterity, agility, core strength and muscular endurance.
Jeanne is a natural performer. As a student development practitioner in higher education, she would share stories and poetry to make a point memorable and always enjoyed being on the stage teaching. She has performed in many one-woman shows, with her poet-puppets by acting out poems and biography of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare. She has found that this form of edutainment to be appropriate and approachable for audiences of all ages. In addition to these live performances, Jeanne specializes in teaching “Pilates for Performers”, an exercise class specifically designed to target deep core muscles needed for performance or procession. She also engages community by holding workshops for anyone who may wish to build puppets for parades, performance or other events.

Puppet Show Performances and Lectures

Puppet shows can be booked for any event with fees starting at $95 for a 20-minute performance that includes an activity and photo opportunity. Live performances are highly adaptable and catered to the age range of the audience. Her performances include both, Shakespeare and Hamlet, and Emily Dickinson at the Tucson Festival of Books, Emily Dickinson Speaks at the Community Performance and Arts Center (CPAC) Green Valley’s Got Talent, Emily Dickinson, at he Joel Valdez Tucson Public Library and a Puppet Arts presentation at the Arizona Senior Academy within the Academy Village in southeast Tucson. She has also created a giant spider processional puppet for the 2019 Fall Puppet Show at Tucson’s Valley of the Moon. Visit our Events page for a closer look at upcoming performances and venues.
Jeanne is also known for her lecture series entitled Puppet Theatre Around the World. These lectures showcase the incredible diversity in puppeteering styles around the world. However, they also highlight the amazing universal adaptation of this distinctive artform.

Pilates for Performers

 Jeanne has chosen specific Pilates exercises that are ideal for performance artists who need to develop and maintain vitality, stamina and staying power. When she started performing with puppets, she realized that Pilates exercises were ideal for developing this muscular endurance. Puppets, instruments or props of any kind can be large, heavy, and cumbersome. Additionally, live performances can place significant physical and mental demands on a performer. “Pilates for Performers” focuses on building the core strength and endurance needed to maintain a vibrant, dynamic performance on stage or in any other setting one might choose.
Here she demonstrates physical stamina and muscular endurance in order to operate both a hand and a foot puppet. Jeanne is performing below with two puppets, Emily Dickinson and her dog, Carlo.

Custom Puppet Construction

As her passion for puppeteering has grown, so too has Jeanne’s collection of puppets. She creates and builds both puppets for stage work, (Shakespeare, Granny Goodheart, Emily Dickinson & her dog Carlo, and Cowboy Blue) as well as large, processional style puppets (Ella the Tarantula and Fredo the Frog) for parades and outdoor performances.