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Z Puppets Rosenschnoz

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HomeArtistsZ Puppets Rosenschnoz

Z Puppets leads people of all ages and abilities into the power of playfulness and feats of imagination through performances and workshops. With a mix of hand-crafted puppetry, live music and quirky humor, they delight children and adults by transforming complex concepts into fun, meaningful arts experiences.

Co-founders and Creative Directors of Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, Shari Aronson (M.A. Drama Education) and Chris Griffith (formerly Education Coordinator at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre and teaching artist for Children’s Theatre Company Neighborhood Bridges Program) have created and toured over 25 original family-friendly productions and a gajillion workshops, since 1998.

More About the Artist

These artists have won the support of the National Endowment of the Arts, Jim Henson Foundation, Puppeteers of America, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, VSA, NDN Collective, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and over 40 grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Shari and Chris have also served as creative consultants, teaching and performing artists for the Educational Theatre Association, Perpich Center for Arts Education, MN History Center, MN Children’s Museum, Science Museum of MN, Mill City Museum, performing arts centers, festivals, schools and libraries in rural, urban and suburban communities.

Z Puppets has won national and regional acclaim for four main initiatives: Arts and Mindfulness, STEAM, Puppetry and Arts for All Abilities and Cherokee Language Revitalization .

At the heart of all Z Puppets’ work is the people with whom Shari and Chris work. “It is a great honor and responsibility to bring youth and adults into the process of making meaning of the world through the arts,” says Shari, who began her work in theater as a playwright. Chris, who started his career as an accomplished juggler/street performer, adds “We are especially thrilled to instigate the transformative experience of sharing laughter.” Thus, their company motto: Behold! The Power of Playfulness.

Learn more about Z Puppets Rosenschnoz:

Program Offerings

Residencies

Story Building – available virtually or in-person

Turn ideas into action! Individuals and/or collaborative teams explore:

  • Beginning, middle and end, key elements of story sequence and plot to write their own plays or stories
  • Physical and visual brainstorming through theater improv games, drawing exercises and photo techniques of storyboarding to transform ideas into writing
  • Narratives of literature, history, science, vocabulary, math, current events and their own lives to deepen their understanding of the world

STEAM of Puppet Making – available virtually or in-person

Explore STEAM with hands-on, creative sparks-flying, puppet labs!

Participants build skills in design, engineering while working with simple materials to create their own characters — adaptable to any subject or topic. Choose from puppetry styles, mixing traditions with innovations:

  • Shadow
  • Black light (Glow in the Dark)
  • Toy Theater
  • Recycled Object Inventions
  • Hand Puppets
  • Parade puppets

Arts & Mindfulness – available virtually or in-person

Join the Quest for Calm! Learn creative tools for finding calm combining puppets, music and yoga with the Monkey Mind Pirates. The fun story, catchy music and loveable characters engage people of all abilities with simple, easy to use techniques for navigating the stormy seas of stress, distraction, anxiety and depression. Opportunities for puppet making and performance.

Performances

Monkey Mind Pirates – available virtually or in-person

Turn your Arghs Into Om’s with this musical yoga tale of navigating the stormy seas of stress. With workshops, youth and families perform alongside professional puppeteers and musicians as the Sailor Chorus.

Cellula – available virtually or in-person

A glow-in-the-dark performance of mitosis through the lens of mother and child. Through humor, dazzling sound and spectacle, Cellula illuminates the true marvels of cell science inside us all. Cellula features the live music of highly acclaimed improvisational vocalists Mankwe Ndosi and Libby Turner.

Say It! Sing it! Play It! in Cherokee – available virtually or in-person

Help keep alive an endangered language by singing loud and proud with Turtle and Wabbit! An adventure into language revitalization, through catchy songs and fun storytelling created by Cherokee tribal member Chris Griffith.

Secret Life of Puppets – available virtually or in-person

Travel ‘round the world and across time in an interactive presentation that reveals the tricks of turning sticks, cloth, string and even bare hands into fun characters through the magic of puppetry.

The Amazing Gnip Gnop Circus – available virtually or in-person

A Glow in the Dark Ping Pong Ball Circus Spectacular! Featuring acrobats, tightrope walkers, clowns and wild animals in a blacklight puppet extravaganza. Allow Z Puppets to astound you with these magnificent glow-in-the-dark marvels and you will never look at table tennis the same way again!

Through the Narrows- An Audio Drama with Images – available virtually or in-person

Find the next step forward through life’s narrow places in these stories of the Cherokee Trail of Tears and the Jewish Exodus. With the global music fusion of instrumentalist Greg Herriges, slide across centuries and continents as a 3500 year-old Jewish woman recounts her crossing of the Red Sea, and a 6-year old Cherokee boy bears witness to the Trail of Tears.

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“Z Puppets Rosenschnoz bursts at the seams with wild imagination, pure genius and sheer fun.”

Wendy Jones, Minnesota History Center

COMPAS Logo

COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.