Steven Swank 15 April 2016
Puppeteer, as is his wont,
begins anew each story told
in the mind of the audience
images warm enough to hold.
The idea here, he says to self,
is to tell a tale in simple lines,
find among the visual text
a way to linger in their minds.
Let the metaphor grow by nature;
small, particular, noble heart gives,
accumulates novelty, engenders trust,
so they believe the puppet lives.
Slowly at first, they stop seeing us,
we are just the movers to be fair,
that bring the inanimate to life,
they soon forget that we are there.


In 2013, I was a lead actor in the short puppetry film Retire for the Evening by Ed Hellman.

Current Activities and Interests

Currently I am a solo artist, doing one man performance for 4 hands.  I was one of three founding members of Das Puppenspiel and toured with them for almost 20 years.  During this time I  did thousands of performances for almost a million people.  Using folded paper in making puppets fascinates me.  I have made puppets of various sizes including life size marionette.  I am creating a performance piece with paper dragons, one of which will breathe fire.

 Puppetry Suite (a one man show for 4 hands)

  • El Sueno del la Abuela (shadow puppets)
  • Manhatpole (table top puppets)
  • Puppet Improv (marionette and ball and scarf)


Das Puppenspiel Production Titles (puppetry type)

  • Punch and Judy (hand)
  • Vasalisa (life size rod)
  • An Unusual Christmas Eve (marionette)
  • Rip Van Winkle (hand and rod)
  • Pied Piper of Hamelin (hand and rod)
  • Toy Maker and The Elves (hand and rod)
  • The Salt and the Siren (Bunraku)
  • The Story of Jumping Mouse (Bunraku)
  • The Christmas Carol (marionette)
  • Scarecrows (Bunraku)
  • Little Red Riding Hood (Bunraku)
  • Pictures at an Exhibition (mask,Bunraku)  - Unima Award Recipient
  • The Zampa Overture (Bunraku)
  • The Snow Queen (Bunraku)
  • Dolly Dobstick and the Bits of Sunshine (marionette)
  • Seneca Nation Project
  • Buffalo Zoo Project

*UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionette - International Puppetry Association)

Since 1975 UNIMA-USA has awarded Citations of Excellence (the "UNI") that recognize and reward the best of the puppetry arts in this country.  In addition to encouraging worthy puppeteers, the goal of the Citations program is to provide credible recognition that will aid puppeteers as they seek audiences in this country and abroad.  The Citations are awarded to shows that touch their audiences deeply; that totally engage, enchant and enthrall.  In meeting the criteria for excellent puppetry, Citation-worthy shows must also stand as prime examples of excellent theatre. -Wikipedia

The UNIMA AWARD link is: www.unima-usa.org/1975-1995/?rq=Das%20Puppenspiel