Siblings Ann and David Powell, national treasures and Co-Artistic Directors of Puppetmongers Theatre, have been creating puppet theatre together since their parents made the fateful mistake of giving a string puppet to Ann when they were little, which sparked their unshakeable love for the art form.
Since forming their company in 1974, Ann and David have created over a dozen original shows, featuring all sorts of different forms of puppetry. Passionate about innovating ground-breaking new ideas in puppetry, their techniques have been used all over the world. The Powells’ love of puppetry imbues everything they do: from their scintillating performances for audiences young and old, to their training, teaching and mentorship efforts through such initiatives as the Toronto School of Puppetry, their Summer Puppetry Intensive, and the Puppetry eXploratory Laboratory.
Though they are dearly missing performing for live audiences these days, Ann and David have been learning many lessons about sharing work and workshops online which will continue to prove useful as they look ahead to celebrating 50 years of Puppetmongering!
-Written by Victoria Laberge, Puppetmongers’ friend and Marketing Coordinator
Which ‘hood are you in?
Ann is in Little Italy and David is in The Beach. We’ve both been in our houses a long-long time.
What do you do?
We are Co-Artistic Directors of Puppetmongers Theatre and founders of the Toronto School of Puppetry. We create puppet theatre for all ages and offer training, mentorship and workshops to foster the development of the art of puppetry. Other than that, we’ll do whatever it takes, ha ha! We like designing, inventing, figuring out and making things, but there is always a load of accounting, filing and writing to do.
What are you currently working on?
We are gearing up to present an online run of The Miller & His Wife, Puppetmongers’ first-ever production followed by its sequel, from April 14-28. Tickets are free or by Pay What You Can donation! We are also making how-to puppetry videos for school children and families, cogitating on how to run some puppetry workshops for adult learners, along with how to run a virtual puppet festival.
Where can we find your work?
You can visit puppetmongers.com to find our video tutorials and to get your ticket to The Miller & His Wife this month! We also have a few videos up on Vimeo – just search for Puppetmongers.And hopefully soon enough, you’ll be able to find us back at the theatre again!