Formed in 1998, The Asheville Puppetry Alliance promotes the ancient art form of puppetry by educating the public about its origins, introducing the community to a wide range of puppet styles, uniting artists and community through the practice of puppetry in both classic and contemporary forms, nurturing local puppeteers, and working towards the establishment of a regional Puppetry Center.
Since its inception, APA has sponsored an annual Young Audiences Series at Diana Wortham Theatre, an annual National Day of Puppetry at the Folk Art Center, professional workshops and performances, local and regional puppetry festivals and financial support to individual puppeteers to develop, construct and perform new works. This past year APA sponsored the first regional “Puppet Slam,” and is currently seeking grant support to develop a series of bilingual children’s puppet productions with health and nutrition themes.
Says APA Board President Winnie Barrett, “APA developed as a way to share puppetry throughout Western North Carolina. It’s a wonderful art form with tremendous variety. It is such an entertaining way to tell a story and for both children and adults to get acquainted with different cultures!”
Upcoming Young Audience Series performances include: Hobey Ford’s Golden Rod Puppets present Animalia on Nov. 24 and Lisa Sturz’s Red Herring Puppets present The Big Dipper: Calendar, Compass and Clock on April 12. Tickets available through Diana Wortham Theatre. Info: www.ashevillepuppetry.org.