Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Puppet Kitchen?


The Puppet Kitchen is a hub for puppetry in New York City, offering design, fabrication, performance, consultation, and direction for productions both nationally and internationally. The Puppet Kitchen pulls together the right team to bring any kind of puppetry to a project. Since 2008, we’ve designed hundreds of puppets in just about every puppetry style, from finger puppets to giant puppets, and can be seen in-person, on stage, and on screen. All of our puppets are designed from scratch to meet the versatile needs of each client. We work with some of the best designers, builders, and costumers around, creating a bespoke team for each project so that their expertise directly aligns with fabricating the highest-quality puppets. In addition to custom-made puppetry design and fabrication, we offer puppeteer casting, training, coaching, and consultation services to ensure the best performance. --- The Puppet Kitchen Origin Story ---




Who are some of your past clients?


We’ve worked on big live events like Thom Browne’s Paris Fashion Week, the San Diego Zoo’s Centennial Celebration, The Brooklyn Museum’s Artist Ball, and a Live Activation in Times Square for LG. Our work is on-screen in Comedy Central’s Broad City, HBO’s Bored to Death, Netflix’s Brain Child, and CBS’s Life in Pieces. Of course, you’ll also find our work in theatrical productions worldwide, including the Muny in St. Louis, The Maltz Jupiter Theater in Florida, the Drama Desk-nominated The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show in New York, London, and Australia. You can find more photos of our work on our homepage.




How much does a puppet cost?


Our puppets are priced depending on a number of factors, including the size and number of puppets, their functionality and medium, and whether we’re working from established patterns or creating new ones. Please get in touch and let us know what you need and we’ll be happy to send you a quote. While every puppet is unique, and costs vary from project to project, we’ve found that budgeting based on the rough size of the puppet is a good metric for per-puppet costs. Medium-sized puppets (about the size of the puppeteer’s arm) are about $3,000-$6,000 each; large puppets (about the size of the puppeteer’s body) are between $8,000-$15,000 each, and very large puppets (larger than the size of one puppeteer’s body) start at around $20,000. Just like budgeting the costs of the puppets in your production, it’s important to budget the time it takes from idea to finished product. We like to allow 4-6 weeks to design and deliver a project.




Isn't that a bit expensive for a puppet?


We think of our creations as a handmade kinetic sculpture, rather than ready-made toys. We work with some of the best designers and builders in our field and we believe in paying artists fairly for their time. Our prices include the cost of research and development, material sourcing and purchasing, hours of design work, and often hundreds of hours of fabrication by hand. If you’re looking for a ready-made puppet for you or your child, there are some excellent options available, including our friends at Folkmanis Puppets. From 2012-2016 we worked with Folkmanis on designing their NY Toy Fair display, and they make wonderful toy puppets.




Should I hire a puppeteer?


Performing with a puppet is very similar to playing a musical instrument. A well-built instrument can sound okay in untrained hands, and a trained performer can often coax beautiful performances out of everyday objects, but there's nothing that compares to a well-built instrument in the hands of a trained artist.We can connect you to some of the best performers working in the field of puppetry, and can often find performers who are trained in the style of puppetry you're looking for. If you've never operated a puppet, or are working with untrained performers, we can offer a wide variety of training, coaching, and consultation services to help you and your team get the best performance.




Can I come visit your studio?


The Puppet Kitchen operated out of New York's East Village, in the Cornelia Connelly Center, from 2008 - 2017, and an auxiliary studio in Brooklyn from 2014-2016, but we have since moved out of both locations. This allows the Puppet Kitchen to be much more flexible, and to better serve clients around the country (and the world!)




Do you offer an internship or apprenticeship program?


While we don't currently offer an apprenticeship program, if you're looking to learn more about puppetry, please feel free to contact us with any questions you have, and we'll do our best to share what we know.




Do you offer workshops or classes?


We do! We love sharing what we've learned. We teach small group and corporate team-building workshops. Please contact us for rates and workshop descriptions. We have a number of wonderful teaching artists who can bring a workshop to your office or studio, or we can rendezvous at a studio space nearby. We can also organize and lead workshops online for teams working remotely. If you don't know exactly what you're looking for, drop us a line, and we'll create a customized consultation plan just for you! We also launched a new idea called Meeting Monster, which allows you to invite a puppet into your next company video meeting. It's a great way to bring a little levity to an otherwise routine meeting, and the experience can be customized to include team-building and other workshops. For more information check out our Meeitng Monster page. For more information on our other workshops, classes, and team-building sessions online, contact us directly




Where can I see more puppetry in my area?


You can stay up to date with the Puppet Kitchen activities on our Instagram and Facebook pages. We’re always working on something different and it’s a great way to connect with us directly. There are so many great productions using puppetry and we’re excited to be a part of so many of them each year. A good place to learn about what's happening in your area is by subscribing to the Henson Happenings Newsletter (especially if you live in the NY Metro area). Joining your local Puppetry Guild (like The Puppet Guild of Greater New York), Puppeteers of America, or UNIMA are also great ways to stay connected to the puppetry community.




Are you still open?


Yes!
Like every small business, the Puppet Kitchen has seen a significant impact due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, but we have always kept our focus on remaining agile and finding creative solutions to unique challenges. While the challenges we face now are difficult and unprecedented, our need for connection through the arts is especially vital. Puppetry has always been able to strengthen our connection to one another, whether in our own homes or through a screen, and the Puppet Kitchen can help bring that connection to you.
For more information, use our contact form, or reach out to us directly.





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