Our Associate Artists are part of our wider community who use puppetry and animation as part of their practice. They work in a variety of settings from community arts to the film industry.

Want to become an Associate Artist?

Our Associate Artists benefit from (click to reveal):

  • Discounted hire rates for our Rehearsal Studio (also great for running workshops and talks in) and Fabrication Bay (where you can make and fix puppets and sets) – visit for more details about these spaces.
  • Invitation to join our NEW private Puppet Place Peer Support for Resident & Associate Artists Facebook Group, where we share general puppetry and animation news and the latest opportunities and also where you can ask for (and provide) support and advice for anything puppetry or animation related.
  • Two exclusive networking events at Puppet Place where you can meet Resident Artists and other Associate Artists to discuss the work you are currently involved in.
  • Priority access to Puppet Place events and workshops.
  • A listing on our website – see below.

To become a Puppet Place Associate Artist costs just £25 per year. Membership applications are processed via this online application form and we aim to notify all applicants of our decision within two weeks. Please contact if you don’t hear back within two weeks of applying.

Associate Artists

Back To Front Studios |

Back To Front Studios is a Bristol based, independent animation studio and specialist fabrication workshop. With a focus on handcrafted work, the studio offers a range of creative production services including stop motion animation, puppet design and fabrication, model making, practical illustration and product animation.     


Founded by Emma Windsor and Aiden Whittam, Back To Front Studios is dedicated to exploring new ways of working that support their traditional craft but harness new technologies and tools for amazing creative results.  


Pins and Needles Productions |

Pins and Needles Productions is a female-led theatre company based in Bristol, with over a decade’s experience in making award-winning work for audiences across the UK and internationally.  We are passionate about finding innovative ways to tell stories in theatre, film, events and with digital technology.

Over 12 years, we have created 22 productions and taken our work from Norwich to New York, Manchester to Malaysia, Harrogate to Hong Kong.

Our work is ever-changing and can live in a range of different spaces.  We’ve created interactive adventures online, pop-up installations, outdoor work for festivals, immersive events, West End shows, and workshops for schools. 

The Original Spinners |

The Original Spinners is an inclusive community dance company. They bring people across all ages and communities together to give them opportunities to participate in dance and play. Through the shared experience of movement and expression to music they help create moments of magic that transcend our differences.

They create performance and workshops for festivals, community events, celebrations and other gatherings.

Tea Poldervaart  |

Tea trained at East 15 on the BA Acting course and since graduating has enjoyed working in a devised and collaborative way with various companies.

Credits include: Dinosaur World Live (UK Tour), The Lips – Puppets with Guts (UK Tour) Gnomus (Site specific) Rudolf (Birmingham Mac), Blood and Bone (Vault Festival), Alice’s Adventures Underground (R&D for Chinese Transfer), The Looker (R&D Sabotage theatre), Owlers (UK Tour).

TV: Tiny the elephant (Channel 4) and has recently finished puppeteering on a television series set to air late 2023.

Now based in Bristol, he can be found floating around the British canals on his boat, making friends with the animals that swim by his window.

Christopher Harrisson |

Christopher is a multi-disciplinary storyteller based in Bristol, UK. He works mainly in animation and projection design for theatre, but his practice also spans writing, comics and performance. Driven by playfulness, all his work has been unified by a desire to tell accessible narratives, in whatever form is most appropriate. His projects frequently touch on themes of myth, memory and radical reinterpretations of the past.

He has created illustrations and animations across multiple platforms, with commissions from organisations such as Sony and Selfridges. Animation and projection design for theatre includes Bristol Old Vic show Outlier, his solo show The North! The North! and the Viking adventure Vinland by Jack Dean. Recent animation projects include the computer games Great North Road (Jack Dean & Company) and Truth Sleuth: Thrills, Chills and Chemical Spills (Modest Genius Theatre Company).


Scarlet Oak Theatre |

Scarlet Oak Theatre is a Bristol based theatre company that creates conversation sparking theatre for young people and their grownups. 

We take inspiration from the natural world and draw on our years of working in a variety of educational settings. Influenced from a background in clowning, physical theatre and puppetry, we create theatre that is playful, visually exciting and full of of surprises. You can find us performing in theatres, schools, village halls, libraries and museums. Though we are a small company, we are so excited that with each new production we are able to expand and work with more artists in and around Bristol to bring our productions to life.

Flibbertigibbet Theatre |

Flibbertigibbet aims to produce visual and physical theatre that will delight, entertain and provoke audiences.

The company believes wholly in the concept of “Play” to put on a play. Each project will be given a unique flavour, shaped by the collaboration of exciting performer/creators cross art forms.  We will explore different theatre forms to find new ways to tell old stories or old ways to tell new stories… but all distinctly “Flibbertigibbet”.

Flibbertigibbet’s work will not shy away from darker themes and will play with light and shade. The company’s work is influenced by comedy, clown and a disarming lightness of touch.

Adam Boyle | @acting.adventure.Adam  

Adam is a performer and puppet builder based in Bristol. After falling into puppetry through an acting job in 2014, Adam has been fully addicted to its form since. As a performer he has worked with puppets in theatre both nationally and internationally with critical acclaim.

Adam’s puppet building practice is very focussed on sustainability, and where he can he relies on using reclaimed, recycled and sustainable materials, and can often be found jumping in skips and rummaging through recycling bins looking for puppet gold.

Samuel Wilde |

Samuel is a theatre and puppetry designer based in Bristol. He is also the founder of the wonderful In 2016/17 he was the Laboratory Set and Costume Designer at Nuffield Theatres and trained in Theatre Design at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School graduating with an MA in 2015. Prior to this he studied at University of Winchester and Derby University.

Selected design credits include: The Hat Trilogy (Little Angel Theatre), Lifespan Of A Fact(Singapore Rep Theatre), Polly: A Heartbreak Opera (Bristol Old Vic), Hamlet (The Egg, Bath), Influence (Royal and Derngate), Humbug (Nuffield City), The Edit (Salisbury Playhouse), A Thing Mislaid (Maison Foo), Electra (Bunker theatre).



Tessa Bide Productions |

Tessa Bide Productions creates theatre with – and for – children which unites families, offering an engaging and stimulating theatrical experience for both adults and children. You might meet them in a traditional theatre setting or in the middle of a field. They aim to inspire communities who may not have access to theatre with topical stories, a bold physical language and a few puppets along the way. TBP put children at the heart of our work, from devising through to presentation. They encourage creativity, inclusive play and a sense of adventure.

TBP tour their productions all over the world as well as leading outreach work to all ages, from early years to degree students and professional practitioners.

Emma Byron

Emma is an artist and theatre maker working in puppetry and parade art: from large scale spectacle to smaller scale visual storytelling. She is an experienced leader of community projects and workshops. She has worked and trained with companies including Welfare State International, In the Heart of the Beast (Minneapolis), Bread and Puppet (Vermont); and trained at Curious School of Puppetry in 2016.

She is a founding member of Otherstory. They conceive, produce and perform puppet theatre – often with a focus on radical histories – and run participatory workshops and projects. They have designed and made puppets and installations for theatre companies, campaigns, festivals and others. They are a not-for-profit collective of independent artists based atMivart Studios in Bristol.

Josh Elwell |

Josh is a Bristol based Puppeteer and maker who works extensively in theatre, TV and film. He has worked for companies including, The National Theatre of Scotland, The Tricycle Theatre, Norwich Puppet Theatre and in The West End. As a Puppeteer his work can be seen on CBBC, Netflix and Disney in productions like; ‘Dark Crystal’, ‘Strange Hill High’, and ‘Dr Who’. He was lead puppeteer on the C4 BAFTA winning cult show – ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared’.

Samuel Watterson |

I like to make puppets, animation, art and teach.


I’m currently working on my first bird puppet, Joey the Puffin, which is for the Pembrokeshire Coast Charitable Trust.

Kieran R. Leonard |

The main focus of my puppetry work is to build and perform walkabout acts that will be shown around festivals and carnivals throughout Europe and the UK. I am fairly new to the craft with a background in immersive theatre and music performance. It wasn’t until I discovered the “Puppet Parlour” at Shambala Festival that I became hooked and totally obsessed with the world of puppet theatre!

Emma Powell |

Emma is an artist and director from Bristol, UK, who creates exciting, inspiring and accessible work in theatre, film and events.

Much of Emma’s work involves puppet design and fabrication and she has produced puppets for stage and screen and her work has toured internationally, from Holland to Hong Kong. Recent projects include Yana and the Yeti (Pickled Image), Outpost (Green Ginger) and Much Ado About Puffin (Open Attic).

Emma’s practice also extends into robotics, animatronics and science communication. This year, Emma has produced work for exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, animatronics for a dinosaur at Bristol City Museum and a science communication project with Einstein’s Garden and the University of Bristol.

Duncan Taylor |

Duncan has a huge amount of experience puppeteering the very large.  Puppetry credits include: The Hatchling (Trigger, Mervyn Millar), Gnomus (Puppets with Guts, Rob Tygner), Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony (Iqbal Khan, puppets by Carros de Foq), Creature Encounters. Theatre puppetry credits include Mr G Breadman in “The Gingerbread Man” (Stuff and Nonsense, Niki McCretton), Kipper in “Kipper’s Snowy Day” (Slot Machine Theatre).

Duncan has also built puppets for two short films, and produced films including “DiscoverEye” which won the 2022 Bristol 48hr Puppet film Challenge.


Araceli Cabrera |

Araceli Cabrera is a Chilean performer, dancer, puppeteer and fabricator based in Bristol. She has previously worked as Artistic Director for Distillers Dreams Shadow Theatre in Spain and Producer and Director for Art Post Dance Theatre in Chile. She has several years experience of leading performing arts workshops in educational settings. She is an art facilitator with Invisible Circus in their social circus project Invisible Youth.

Roustabout Theatre |

Roustabout Theatre is an award-winning team of theatre makers based in Bristol, born out of over ten years of collaboration and nonsense.

They seek out extraordinary tales, both true and imagined, and tell them with clarity, simplicity, humour and a wild imagination. Performed in theatres, schools, libraries & community venues, their work is for audiences of all ages, for anyone who loves play, and for anyone who delights in the communal act of sharing a story. 


Isabel Lyster |

Isabel is a performance maker, puppetry specialist and visual artist. She works in collaboration with theatre companies and a network of individual practitioners combining performance and puppetry. Isabel is passionate about working in education, running workshops that develop practical skills and encourage creative thought. She believes that creative work can have an incredible transformative effect on both the participant and audience.


Trevor Houghton |

Trevor is a puppeteer and puppet maker.  He trained at the Curious School of Puppetry (2016) He has experience of creating and performing in various puppetry media including live animation, shadow puppetry, paper theatre and large street puppetry.  In recent times he has focussed on making puppetry based films.   

He is a founder member of Otherstory. This not-for-profit collective of independent artists and musicians runs projects involving community and campaign groups, radical and local history groups, youth organisations and schools as well as the general public. They are a based in the Mivart Studios in Easton.


Sylvia Hunt Presents |

Cabaret artisté, producer, clown, puppeteer. Sylvia Hunt is a fabulously fun and unique theatre, cabaret and street theatre producer and performer.

She is a solo comic performer and uses puppetry as part of her shows.  She has produced and performed full length solo theatre shows, as well as outdoor and site specific walkabout pieces for family audiences, and more recently cabaret and burlesque for adults.

Sylvia also create larger than life clown characters normally with an animal companion, with her shows she aims to excite, and amuse with an additional after thought, and generally her animal companions are charming and very naughty!



Double Jinx |

Double Jinx is a Story-led physical theatre company based in Bristol. They create Fantasy & Sci-Fi adaptations of traditional stories and myths, exploring magic through movement, sound and silliness.

They use their skills in devised physical theatre, mime, puppetry and stage combat to breathe new life into classic stories, adding a queer and nerdy twist.

Double Jinx captures the feeling of playing ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ with your best friends and engages audiences with that unique blend of spellbinding storytelling, lightness of touch and relentless humour.


Anna Haydock-Wilson |

Anna develops and produces arts activities and events within diverse communities in order to bring people together, explore social and environmental realities, enjoy creative processes and help to amplify under represented voices. Most of my projects and commissions are collaborative and cross many media.

She has an MA in Independent Film & Video from the London School of Media, and BA in Fine Art (Sculpture & Media) from Slade School of Art, UCL, as well as ILM Management for Creative Practitioners and a Community Organisers Certificate.


Richard Bland |

Richard Bland is a versatile director, dramaturg, theatre maker, facilitator, and puppeteer based in the Southwest and Southeast.  His work features an undercurrent of myth, history, and magic and an emphasis on style earned through substance. With six years of acting and theatre making experience, he trained as a Director at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  

Recent credits include ‘Wasted’ by Kae Tempest at the Wardrobe Theatre and ‘Ben Hur’ by Patrick Barlow at Castle Park Theatre. He will be directing ‘Dirty’ by Han Morgan at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester — a compelling piece exploring forced labour and modern-day slavery, incorporating music, puppetry, and movement. Richard also leads workshops for various age groups. He is a collaborative director and is excited to seek out new connections and to contribute to the artistic landscape of the Southwest. 

Emma Williams |

Emma is a Director, facilitator, dramaturge and writer with over twenty-five years’ experience creating international puppetry productions. She has directed shows for: Opposable Thumb – Big Boys Don’t Cry; Pickled Image – Wolf Tales & Shop of Little Horrors, Green Ginger – Intronauts, and Wardrobe Theatre – MDH Puppets Do A Movie. She has directed in house productions for The Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bath Theatre Royal, and The Bristol Old Vic. She has developed outdoor performances for Activate, Strike A Light, Cheltenham Literary Festival, Dorset Wildlife Trust and National Theatre of Wales. She has taught at Bath Spa, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, UWE, and has run a range of puppetry workshops and master classes for Puppet Place.

Lee Thompson |

Lee is an award winning Puppeteer who is based in the U.K. working in TV style puppetry. Lee has worked with clients in India, Iran, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand and right across the US. 

Lee’s puppet characters are very popular on the online personalised message sites, offering birthday greetings or corporate endorsements. Lee also regularly takes part in Puppet Slams around the world, has performed puppetry on Prime Time TV and is on the Council of the British Puppet Guild.

Emily LeQuesne |

Emily is a theatre maker, dramaturg, author & facilitator. With a PhD in script writing for puppetry, her specialism is dramaturgy for puppet theatre. As co-founder & artistic director of Croon Productions Puppet Theatre Company, she writes, performs and dramaturgs. 

Their work has been seen on tour across the UK, Berlin, Prague and Minneapolis. 

For over 20 years Emily has written, directed and dramaturged multiple projects in mainstream theatre, puppetry, and applied theatre.

She has taught at University of Derby, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Bath Spa University. She also facilitates puppetry and devising masterclasses.

She currently teaches her dramaturgy system The Mosaic Scale online. Her book: The Mosaic Scale; An Introduction to Dramaturgical Thinking is forthcoming in 2024 from Routledge.

Amy Rose |

Amy is an interdisciplinary artist and performance director. She draws from a toolkit of popular theatre and art forms (clown, improvisation, puppetry, street theatre, storytelling, folk crafts, community celebration) alongside research, collaboration and facilitation skills.  Her work is often concerned with activating everyday creativity and civic participation, often merging the two in the public realm. She is the co-founder Playing Out, an award-winning, national support organisation and grass-roots movement to restore playable streets and friendly communities. 

Em Spoor |

Em Spoor (they/them) is a puppet maker, scenic and model maker based in South Wales and Bristol.

Currently specialising in puppet design and fabrication for Theatre and TV. Their most recent work includes wing mechanisms for Whole Hog Theatre’s ‘Garden of Words,’ community puppet workshops for Historical England’s ‘HiStreet Festival’ and foam and fur fabrication for ‘Dinosaur World Live.’

UTA Arts CIC |

We are a Community Interest Company from South West England making multi-disciplinary performance. Compelled to do things differently, we create playful and refreshing work using collaborative approaches. 

We offer workshops & participation opportunities, we nurture our creative community and we open doors for everyone to participate in the arts.

We’re also home to performance project Up The Ante.

​We explore styles & art-forms as a group, with everyone contributing creative ideas. We test ideas and discuss the outcomes. We play, we sweat, we laugh, and we constantly challenge ourselves.

Brave Bold Drama |

Brave Bold Drama is led by two freelance artists who are working class and LGBTQI+. We make award-winning theatre for families and for those living with dementia, and run a broad portfolio of community art projects made with and for working class communities.

Our family theatre is non-didactic and never patronises. We are not simplistic, saccharine or superficial. We believe children deserve the richness of their humanity to be reflected in their art. When devising new shows, we draw on playful audience participation, original music and song, quirky humour and bold characterisation to create multi-faceted, layered worlds that appeal just as much to the adults as to the children. 

Our community art projects emerge organically and in response to demonstrable community need. We work with all ages within working class communities. Our portfolio includes early years play sessions in libraries, sensory story kits for carers and residents in care-homes, sound walks creatively written by community members and arts award courses within schools. 

Bristol 48h Puppet Film Challenge 2023 – Winners & Nominees

Kazbah Theatre |

Kazbah Theatre has been created by playwright and theatre maker, Andy Evans. After thirty years as a teacher, Andy decided to take on a new challenge. He left teaching and returned to university to take an MA in Theatre at the University of Lincoln, graduating with a Distinction in 2020. He has since gone on to develop his research and is currently undertaking a PhD in Drama at the University.

As a playwright, Andy has worked professionally with numerous companies including Hull Truck Theatre Company, Dirty Protest, Slung Low, Middle Child and National Theatre Wales. His first published play was entitled “Rodge!” and he went on to greater success when in 2000, he became the first British writer published by Playscripts Incorporated in the USA with his play “Moonlight Marionettes”. This play has gone on to have almost 30 different productions internationally. He is currently working on  a new production set at a circus involving some amazing puppets that is hoped to premiere in Cleethorpes in early 2024.

Kazbah Theatre won the The Puppetry Award for their entry in to the 2023 Bristol 48h Puppet Film Challenge.

Isabella Josephine Leon | @isabellajosephineleon

Isabella Josephine Leon is a 23 year old filmmaker and Animator in both stop motion and 2d, originally from St.Louis Missouri USA, but currently studying at Central Saint Martins in London.

Isabella’s entry to the 2023 Bristol 48h Puppet Film Challenge was placed in the top ten.

You can view her portfolio here.

Hannah Hewer | hannah.hewer

Hannah is a writer and dramaturg from Caerphilly, South Wales and a member of new puppetry duo ‘Double Dungarees’. Having recently completed her MA in drama writing at BOVTS, she is practised in a variety of media including songs, stage, screen, and radio. Her particular interests lie in creating work for animation; from short films, to music videos. A lover of magical realism, she believes that puppetry is a wonderful way to bridge the gap between fantasy and reality. 

Hannah’s entry to the 2023 Bristol 48h Puppet Film Challenge via ‘Double Dungarees’ was awarded first place.


Jess Blakemore |

Jess Blakemore is a model maker, puppet maker and Illustrator from Bristol, UK. 

Currently in her final year studying Illustration at UWE, Jess creates characters with a dark side. 

Jess’ entry to the 2023 Bristol 48h Puppet Film Challenge follows a lonely dog, who after seeing an advert on the telly, sets off to buy a baby from a local baby dealership. Named ‘Lulla-buy-a-baby’, the film was awarded 2nd overall as well as both ‘Best of Bristol’ and ‘Ages 16-21’. 


Want to become an Associate Artist?

Our Associate Artists benefit from:

• Discounted hire rates for Puppet Place’s Rehearsal Studio, Fabrication Bay and Meeting Room
• Dedicated training and skills sharing sessions
• Support and knowledge sharing via our online network (Basecamp)
• Networking events with other Associate and Resident Artists
• Discounted rates to Puppet Place events

To become a Puppet Place Associate Artist costs just £20 per year. Membership applications are processed via this online application form and we aim to notify all applicants of our decision within two weeks.  Please contact if you don’t hear back within two weeks of applying.

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