Workshop: Flat Mechanics with Linda Wingerter

We have an exciting event planned for our November meeting, presenting a virtual workshop by renowned puppet artist Linda Wingerter on a special night, Friday November 19th, 6:30-8:30 PM. See all the details below! 

When: Nov 19th. 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Your workspace on Zoom, link has been sent to all guild members. (Not a member? Join here!)

What: Flat Mechanics: simple mechanisms for shadow puppets and toy theaterIn this workshop we’ll play with ideas for prototyping with cheap and abundant materials to get more movement from 2D puppets using linkages, stops, and returns. 

Who: Linda Wingerter is a third generation puppetry artist building, teaching and performing puppets as The Stringpullers Co. in Ithaca, NY. She has a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught puppetry at Quinnipiac University, Fairfield University, Cornell University, and the Yale School of Drama. Working primarily in shadow puppet films, she specializes in simple, practical, and cheap “flat mechanics”. Linda is a 2021 recipient of a Handmade Puppet Dreams Film Micro-Commission.

This will be a hands-on workshop, here is a list of materials suggested by Linda:  
– A pin board: This is just a couple sheets of around 10×15″ corrugated cardboard stacked and taped together to create a thick work surface that thumbtacks can be stuck into. Thick corkboard or 2 layers of foam board will work, too. 
– Flat thumb tacks and pushpins (both kinds needed)
– Cereal-type box board: bigger sheets without folds, such as from cereal boxes or frozen pizza, are best. Should be easy to cut with scissors.
– Cardstock (or file folders). Something that can be cut with scissors but somewhat sturdy.
– Wire, 22 or 24 gauge is best, but also paper clips or wire pulled out of twist ties can work in a pinch.
– Wire cutters, or whatever will cut your type of wire.
– Rubber bands, any type
– Scissors
– Tape: masking, and blue painters is great if you have it
– String: a kind that runs smoothly through straws but doesn’t break when pulled. Dental floss, fishing line, or other household stringy things can be used. 

EXTRAS, if you’d like, not required:
– Mini brads (also called paper fasteners or spilt pins): not the thick office brads, but the tiny ones you get in scrapbooking supply aisles in craft stores. The thinner the pins, the better. I use these for joints for fast prototyping rather than wire.
– Pliers: if you have thick wire and no brads, you might want these for coiling your wire for joints. 
– Paper straws – I use as guides for string pulls. Not necessary for this workshop but good to use. 
– Glue gun: if you have one around. I often use it to reinforce floppy parts, but it is not crucial for this workshop.

We hope to see you at this exciting workshop!  Even if you are unable to build along, it will be inspiring to hear from Linda and learn from her techniques, which can be adapted to many different kinds of puppets. 

This workshop is sponsored by the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry and free to all members. Afterwards, people are welcome to stay and share their projects, or share anything else they’ve been working on. Many thanks to our Vice President Honey Goodenough for organizing this amazing workshop. Watch for the guild newsletter coming out soon. 

September Meeting – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Puppetry Arts Community

Sunday Sept. 19th, 5-7 PM

Online via Zoom (Link has been sent to all Guild members)

Join Puppeteers of America Board Member and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Chair Edna Bland for an antidotal talk about diversity’s role in our puppetry community. Come with your questions and comments as we open the discussion of the differences between cultural appreciation vs. appropriateness, touch on personal pronouns, special needs awareness and how we can make a difference as artists.

If you aren’t a member of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry and want to learn more about our organization and meetings, contact guild president John Lechner – john (at)

Summer Outdoor Meeting

Peter Schaefer and Anne Schaefer of Tanglewood Marionettes

In case you missed our summer outdoor meeting on August 1st, here are a few photos. We gathered at the home of one of our members, Kurt Staven, in Ware, MA. He set up a tent in the backyard, and we had a great presentation by the Tanglewood Marionettes, as well as members of the Western Massachusetts Puppetry Guild. Hope we can do it again next year!

Eric Weiss shows puppets he made
Jacek Zuzanski shows his puppets
Alice Schaefer and Peter Schaefer

May Meeting – Remembering Gail Kearns

One of our longtime members, Gail Kearns, passed away unexpectedly in March. Gail was a member of our guild since 1989, and despite not being a full-time puppeteer (she was primarily an educator), she was one of our most active and supportive members. 

She served on our board for many years in different positions, including Vice President and Recording Secretary. She rarely missed a guild meeting, driving in from Concord, MA, usually with a homemade cake in hand. She also hosted many of our summer meetings on her big screened-in porch, and welcomed us all like family.

Gail was also a prolific writer for our newsletter, and took copious notes at workshops and festivals she attended. She also volunteered at countless guild events and Day of Puppetry activities. Back in 2009, she organized a puppet-making project to benefit Peace Through Puppets, an organization that collects puppets for American soldiers overseas to give to children in war-torn countries. Gail cut and sewed 35 cloth hand puppets that we could all decorate. In more recent years, she started a legacy lecture series at our meetings, where longtime puppeteers could share their life experiences with others.  

    Gail was a generous and caring presence in our guild, and she will be greatly missed. We will share more memories of Gail at our guild meeting on Sunday May 16th. Details have been sent to all our members. If you are interested in joining, contact John Lechner – john (at)

Virtual Day of Puppetry Gathering

Sunday March 21, 5:30 PM

The March meeting of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry will be on Sunday March 21st, which is also World Puppetry Day! Our featured activity will be a presentation of ScreenPLAY by Bonnie Duncan of The Gottabees.

ScreenPLAY is non-stop interactive FUN, where the whole family becomes part of the story over Zoom, exploring movement, puppetry, theater, and the irresistible power of being ridiculous. Come join the fun!

We will start our meeting at 5:30, and ScreenPLAY will begin promptly at 5:45. After the show, Bonnie will answer questions about how this unique show was created. After that, there will be time for Show and Tell — bring a puppet friend, or just share what you’ve been up to. 

A Zoom link will be sent to all members of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry. If you’re not a member, but are interested in puppetry and would like to attend our virtual meeting, contact our president John Lechner for details – JMLechner (at)

That same weekend, also check out the great events happening at Puppet Showplace Theater, like the Puppet Slam on Saturday March 20th, and Rock the Boat on Sunday March 21st at 3:00!

Our annual guild party goes online

Puppet Logo
Sunday Jan. 17, 2021, 5:00 PM

January is when we usually have a party and cabaret, and this year it will be online! We will play fun Puppet Trivia games (bring a trivia question!) We will have an extended Show and Tell, so bring your latest project to share. If anyone wants to do a 5-minute performance for the group, please contact John Lechner. It will be a time to catch up with friends and toast the new year. Bring a puppet friend, or a human one! 

The Zoom link will be sent to all members of the Boston Area Guild of Puppetry. Not a member yet? Our membership year starts in January, so this is the perfect time to join! Visit this page or contact John Lechner – john (at) – for more information.

Virtual Puppet Con: Northeast Edition

This fall the Northeast Region is hosting Virtual Puppet Con: Northeast Edition, October 2-11. Organized by our Regional Director Sharon Murphy Boski and a team of volunteers, the weeklong virtual conference will feature performances and workshops online, along with panel discussions, films, and more.

The Northeast Region of Puppeteers of America consists of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, upstate New York, and Eastern Canada. Virtual Puppet Con: Northeast Edition is a celebration of the Puppetry of the Region. The proceeds from this event will support the Northeast Region of Puppeteers of America, so we can continue to fund collective projects, like Regional Festivals and this virtual event.

There will be performances, workshops, panels, films, a special section for youth and families, historical documentaries, a puppet slam, shopping, an open mic night, and more unique content!

Registration is now open, check the website or Facebook page for updates! Official website:

September Guild Meeting

The Boston Area Guild of Puppetry will have a virtual meeting Sunday Sept. 13th, 4:30-6:30 PM. It’s earlier this time because we have a very special guest lined up, puppeteer Art Gruenberger of Puppet Art Theater Co.  Art will talk about how to jumpstart your entertainment business in the era of COVID. Art has spent the spring and summer shifting his live puppetry business online, and has become an expert in live-streaming puppetry. He’ll talk about some of the lessons he’s learned, and also answer your questions, so bring them!  

We’ll gather at 4:30, and have a bit of Show and Tell before the program starts at 5:00. Then we’ll have more Show and Tell after if anyone else has something else to share. 

The Zoom link has been sent out to all our members. If you didn’t receive the link and would like to join us, contact John Lechner, JMLechner (at)

Virtual Summer Guild Meeting

Our summer guild meeting will be virtual once again, on a special day this time, Monday July 27th, 5:30 PM. Our special guest will be none other than Steve Whitmire, veteran Muppet performer with over forty years of experience in puppetry for television and film.

The Zoom login information has been sent out to all guild members. If you didn’t receive it, or are interested in joining our guild, contact our president John Lechner through this website.

Our next virtual meeting will be in September, check back for details!

In other news, the Northeast Region of Puppeteers of America is currently planning a virtual festival in October. Check their Facebook page for the latest updates!

Next Guild Meeting May 3

Our next meeting will be online via Zoom, on Sunday May 3rd, 5:30 – 7:00 PM. All members have been sent the link. If you are a puppeteer interested in joining us, contact John Lechner for details: john at .

Special Program: “Puppetry Techniques for the Big and Small Screen” presented by Sarah Nolen, Harry LaCoste, and Jonathan Little

Tune in for a special online meeting and workshop! Sarah Nolen, Harry LaCoste and Jonathan Little all have extensive experience with puppets on video, and they host the monthly Gym Jam sessions at Puppet Showplace Theater. They will talk about doing puppets for video, something that many of us are learning by necessity these days. What works and what doesn’t? How do you make puppets engaging on screen? It should be a fun and informative session!

We will also have a short business meeting, guild elections, and Show and Tell, if you would like to bring something to share. Contact John Lechner if you need additional details.