Mission Statement



Puppetmongers’ aim is to explore and advance the theatrical possibilities of puppetry, to promote the art by making our new and broader definition of puppetry into a widely accepted part of theatre.  Our definition encompasses all objects manipulated for a theatrical purpose be they representational or nonrepresentational, including the scenic elements and live performers when used as objects.




We create something never seen before, yet accessible because it is grounded within recognizable traditions. By exploring stories with meaning and placing the work in a contemporary context, we delight and engage the consciences of our audiences.  We challenge our audiences’ expectations of puppetry, of what they might see at the theatre, and ultimately about what life has to offer. Our desire is that our work will contribute to a humanist, supportive and accepting society.


Heather Kent – Co Chair.  Heather holds a faculty position at Humber College in the Theatre Production department. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a B.F.A. in Theatre Design and the University of Victoria with a M.Ed. in Art Education. She has worked as a freelance designer and prop builder for the past twenty years for theatres across Canada; Bard on the Beach in Vancouver; Theatre Calgary, Alberta Theatre Projects and Quest Theatre in Calgary, and the Banff Centre. Heather has taught Theatre Production at Douglas College in Vancouver, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Newfoundland, and Sheridan College in Oakville. For the past two years Heather has coordinated the successful summer Puppetry Intensive Workshop at Humber College.

Allie Marshall– Co Chair.  Allie began with Puppetmongers as a high school co-op student. Her time with them instilled a great love for puppetry and object theatre.  Since 2009 she has been a member of the board of directors.  Allie works as a wardrobe coordinator for theatre working for such companies as Factory Theatre, Canadian Rep, Mirvish Productions, Company Theatre, and Theatre Francais Toronto.  Allie has worked as a Designer with such companies as The Blyth Festival, Birdtown and Swanville and Bad New Days Performing Arts.

Francesca Accinelli – past Chair and now off the board – we miss her!  Francesca currently holds the position of Director of National Promotions and Communications at Telefilm Canada. Prior to this role in the organization she was in the position of Director, English Market for the CMF Program Administrator, and previously Francesca was Deputy Director of the Television Business Unit. Before joining Telefilm Canada, Francesca was the Manager of Operations and Business Analyst for the Canadian Television Fund where she started in 2001.  Francesca began her career as a cultural administrator in theatre working at Harbourfront Centre and Solar Stage (among many others) before moving to television production, where she worked for close to ten years. She has a B.A in Fine Arts from York University.

Larry Swartz.  Larry is an instructor in literacy as well as dramatic arts at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. He has been an educator for over thirty-six years and is well-known for his use of children’s literature to help young people grow as readers, writers and citizens of the world. As a classroom teacher, consultant, author and speaker, Larry has shared his enthusiasm and expertise with teachers, administrators, teacher-librarians and parents throughout Canada, the United States and Asia. Using Children’s Literature, The Arts, on fronting the Bully Issue and Creating Caring Classrooms are some of the educational events important to Larry.  He is the author of several teacher resource publications.

Brian Burch.  Brian has moved in and out of the creative world for generations.   At various points from the 1970s on he has done things such as running poetry reading series, helping to co-ordinate coffee houses, teaching drama and creative writing and received arts council funding as a writer and as a visiting artist in puppetry and drama.   He has also devoted a great deal of time and energy to community based and co-operative boards, including serving as president of the Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative and St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society and on the boards of such organisations as the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, FoodShare and Essex Non-profit Homes.

Linda Rogers.  Linda is employed as Resource Development and Financial Manager at VIBE Arts, Linda holds a degree in Applied Theatre and has worked in Arts Management, Advocacy, Education, and New Media.  Her roles have included leadership positions in Theatre, Orchestra, Opera and New Music, as well as pioneering leading edge new media applications in the Arts.  She founded the Arts Consulting firm ArtsCubed, which specializes in consulting and provision of services to small arts organizations.  Linda first encountered Puppetmongers while working with composer R. Murray Schafer, through the wonderful puppets created for his outdoor music/theatre work “The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix”