W.P. Puppet Theatre Society

At WP Puppet Theatre we seek to spark curiosity; provide understanding about the world we live in; examine the issues of our time; consider solutions and inspire our audiences to become active, ethical and involved citizens through puppetry.

Hands with eyes serves well as a puppetOur Story Why We Exist

Once upon a time, two little girls named Wendy and Pam crawled into their attic to create puppets from popsicle sticks and cardboard, making epics like the semi-autobiographical - Hood the Horrible. Inspired by these childhood memories, Founding and Artistic Director, Wendy Passmore-Godfrey BFA, established WPTS as a charitable, not-for-profit society based in Calgary, Alberta in 1991.

At WP Puppet Theatre (WPTS), we seek to spark curiosity; provide understanding about the world we live in; examine the issues of our time; consider solutions and inspire our audiences to become active, ethical and involved citizens through puppetry.

Puppets bring joy, supply a creative outlet, help diverse groups of people to better understand each other, promote diversity, exercise tolerance and provide a creative platform to express controversial and significant social issues.

  • The performance exceeded expectations. Such a simple design filled with imagination galore.”  (Audience member)

Child looking at a googley-eyed orange puppetOur Impact What We Do

The Arts are one of the most effective ways to learn. Here are some of the ways puppets have impacted our audience:

  • During a student performance, Amar, a selective mute student, found the courage to say his line in front of 500 people with the help of his puppet.
  • In a ‘youth at risk’ class, students who normally struggle to engage in class subjects, became completely immersed in carving marionettes.
  • Kids will flat out copy our child-friendly performance puppets to create their own characters, tell their own stories and express their ideas (We’re obviously flattered!). 
  • Parents who remember seeing us as children now bring their own kids to experience our shows. Generational impact!

The Innovative and Explorative Puppet Theatre of WPTS

  • Produces and performs original shows, which tour throughout Alberta, transforming school gyms and community centres into theatres with lights, sound and stunning sets.
  • Presents a wide range of learning experiences in and about puppetry in schools and at community events for both children and adults.
  • Community engagement projects building connections and social capital.
  • Annually reaching over 5,000 people at over 150 events.

Highlights 2015-2016 - Please see attached Annual Report Highlights 2016-2017 - We opened our Healing Ointment Exhibit to support mental health, we gave away 3 FREE mini View from the Inside: Courage Journey workshops, we're working on our Canada 150 project to celebrate Gray Jay, we're presenting five Artists in School residencies, Pigs in a Canoe and Other Watery Stories will have been part of the Kimberly Arts Festival and the Grande Prairie Children's Festival, Puppet Pop Up's continue to pop up around Calgary... and more. Looking forward to 2017-18 - Puppet Power 2018 conference on Applied Puppetry takes place in May, we get back to testing & development of our online course program, our Canada 150 project concludes, creation starts on a new show (top secret) and work continues on our large experimental show "Evolution of Moral Progress: Species 394WZ".  

Karrie with Maggie puppet in Creative Encounters with a lady named MargaretOur Programs How We Do It

Puppets have long held special power as metaphors, proxies and stories which have a power that transcends time and cultures. Here is how we have combined artistic quality and story telling:

  • We push the definition and challenge perceptions of what puppetry is by integrating other art genres such as installation, performance art, video and public art. 
  • We ensure our art is accessible for young audiences to ‘try it themselves’. 
  • We are proud to state that we don’t do cookie cutter work, we don’t dumb it down, and we don’t exploit our art form or our audiences.

Our programming includes: 

SCHOOL PROGRAMS 

WP Puppet Theatre Society has been offering performancesworkshopsresidencies, and professional development for schools and communities since 1991. If you aren’t able to host us at your school, we also have a Puppet on the Go program ready to ship anywhere in Alberta!

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS

WP Puppet Theatre offers a variety of performancesdrop-by workshops and our Puppets on the Go program, for festivals, events, camps, and after school care. Puppetry ignites the imagination and can provide a hands-on learning experience that is also entertaining.  We can custom build a workshop or activity to suit the needs or theme of your event or festival.We also present Puppet Pop Up Studio the third Saturday of each month. This is a hands on workshop in puppet making and perfroming for the whole family. We welcome organizations to partner with us as hosts.  We are also excited to offer free workshops in conjunction with our Canada 150 Project, funded in part by Community Fund for Canada's 150.

VIEW FROM THE INSIDE: COURAGE JOURNEYCourage Journey is a series of mask-body puppet workshops available for booking by organizations, companies, communities, or any group (teens to seniors) who is interested in exploring self-realization through fun, creativity, and performance.

PUPPET POWER CONFERENCEWP Puppet Theatre is proud to announce that our next applied puppetry conference is called Puppet Power: Story and will take place May 2018.  

Mayor Nenshi stands next to puppet and puppeteerOur Requests What You Can Do

Support doesn’t just mean money!  Get involved by volunteering, donating materials, or becoming a sponsor.

Our baseline Board positions ask for people with entrepreneurial ideas and puppet passion. But we’re proposing some Value Added positions, not to do the work but to invest in it and oversee it, so we can plug into more of the opportunities that arise.

For example:

  • Community Connector for Strategic Alliances or CCSA - actively look for community partners and opportunities.   
  • Education Guru – knowledgeable on current education policy and philosophies, review WPTs programs. 
  • Fundraising Forager - would help to find opportunities, research, introduce, meet prospects with AD. Help advance our Give Back program.   
  • Morale Officer - would thank clients, volunteers, sponsors, donors any of of our stakeholders
  • Messenger/Archivist - would handle keeping a record of what we do, managing photos, writing blogs. 
  • Child Wrangler - would volunteer (maybe seek opportunities as well) at public puppet making events. Maybe find friends to help too.

If you would like to get involved, submit your resume and a brief statement of interest to Wendy Passmore-Godfrey, Artistic Director at wppuppet@telus.net. A phone and live interview follows.

We are also proud to be part of ArtsVest - Business through the Arts matching sponsorship program. (Program ends July 30 2017) We'd be pleased to discuss partnership opportunities. 

Calgary