Nicole B. Cloeren is the puppet keeper. She prefers improvisational encounters between her puppets and people in public spaces because she feels this allows her audience members to experience things outside of their expectations. It is in this space of surprise and wonder, that Nicole feels we can all learn from one another. She strives to bring this element into all her performances and into any space. Nicole is perplexed by the use of the metaphor that “someone is a puppet to someone else,” because the negative connotation goes exactly against what she believes: it is the puppet that breathes new life into its performer and audience even if the puppeteer is the necessary vehicle for this transformation to take place.
Despite what some may believe, Nicole’s Ph.D. does not stand for Doctor of Puppet handling! Nicole earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning, & Leadership in Higher Education from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She earned her MA in American Studies also from William & Mary and her BA in English from The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.
She has participated in numerous projects related to Theater for Social Change, worked in a Global Education Office, taught English in Austria and Maryland, collaborated with local artists, and travelled extensively through Europe, the US, and Canada as well as briefly to Argentina and Mexico. Nicole speaks fluent German and a little Spanish.
Our puppets are from around the world and will rock whatever world you inhabit!
Some of Nicole’s puppets have traveled around Europe, South America, and North America with her. Always enjoying the variety of international cultures, Nicole continues to collect puppets from around the world and learn about the various traditions of puppetry. In addition she strives to learn about varying cultures and individual stories within the US through the help of her puppet friends.
Trivia: Nicole’s smallest puppet is 7mm wide. The largest puppet she has ever made and worked with was 12 feet tall.