4 Foam Fingers – Stevens Puppets

1 – Where did you get your start in Puppetry? Was there a moment where you knew puppets would consume your life?
 
We started 22 years ago by answering an ad in the local newspaper in Elkhart, Indiana.  We were hired because of our extensive theatre backgrounds.  We were hired by Elton and Jane Hummel who took over (the business and touring end) in 1965 for Martin and Margie Stevens which allowed the Stevens to concentrate on the art work.  We toured for the Stevens Puppets for a couple of years before we we purchased the company.  We were touring 3 states back then and now we are touring 35 states with several puppet troupes on the road.  (We are currently in Alaska as I type this)  My wife, Zan, is lovingly and respectfully restoring all of the existing Stevens shows for future generations to enjoy as well as creating new shows to add to the repertoire.

2 – Do you have a favorite moment in your career, or a project that you feel defines your body of work?
 
I suppose it was the moment that I realized, early on, that we are not just carrying on a tradition in puppetry, but that we are carrying on a legacy and ensuring that future generations will be able to experience the shows in the same way the Stevens created them decades ago.  It’s a true honor, and one that we take very seriously.

3 – Where do you draw character inspiration from? Do you have a set way of creating or do you allow spontaneity to take over?
 
My wife and I have a passion, (as did the Martin and Margie Stevens) for preserving the classics.  We have noticed over the years that classic children’s literature and classic fairy tales are not being told.  So we carry on creating the tried and true characters from classic stories and that’s where we get our inspiration.

4 – Name one tip you would give an aspiring puppet builder / performer?
 
Be passionate.  Find what you love and do it 100%.  Don’t listen to the nay-sayers!  Stay positive!

You can find Stevens Puppets here:

Stevens Puppets
www.stevenspuppets.com
dan@stevenspuppets.com
1-512.318.8760  

Author Details

I’ve been working with people and puppets for a long time. I’m just not sure which group I prefer spending time around. Just kidding, it’s the puppets.

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I’ve been working with people and puppets for a long time. I’m just not sure which group I prefer spending time around. Just kidding, it’s the puppets.

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