The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 13, 2014

Jim Henson Company puppeteer visits Ottumwa next week

OTTUMWA — David Valentine, NYC master puppeteer and puppet builder for the Jim Henson Company, Puppet Heap and the Vampire Cowboy Theatre Company, will present two free, one-hour puppeteer workshops to the public at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa on Tuesday.

Students in grades three through six will meet 9-10 a.m., and middle and high school students along with any interested adults will meet 11 a.m. to noon. Participants must register in advance for the workshops and may do so by going online to or by calling 641-777-9636. Registration is limited to 25 persons per session.

David Valentine is a professional fabricator of puppets, props and all things crafty and creative. He lives to make things with his hands that demand a high level of innovation, ingenuity and inventiveness.

His multiple years of design experience in the theater world have been recognized by nominations from the New York Innovative Theatre Awards as well as the American Theatre Wing's Henry Hewes Design Award.

From his early years as an avid Sesame Street fan to his post-undergraduate years in the professional world, Valentine has held onto the most essential tools in creating playful, fun and dramatic characters for award-winning theatre, film, web series, and theme park shows.

Valentine is the resident puppet designer of Vampire Cowboy Theatre Company as well as a puppet builder for Puppet Heap and The Jim Henson Company.

Valentine is being brought to Ottumwa June 16-18 for training with the puppeteers of the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival’s upcoming production of The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra, Go!

The children’s play is brand new, having only been produced in Minneapolis and New York City prior to its Iowa premiere in Ottumwa. Valentine’s original puppet creations for the show will be a part of the Ottumwa production as well.

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