About Jen Miriam. . .
I am. . .
- A pre-school teacher for over ten years
- Former director and teacher at The Itty Bitty Kiddie Gym- a toddler music and movement program
- The director, puppet maker and performer in a multi-media puppet theatre troupe called “The Puppet Players”
- Creator and teacher of after school programs in drumming and puppetry for elementary school kids
- A professional musician and drum teacher for adults and children
- A certified Music Together teacher
- A student pursuing a Masters degree in pre and perinatal psychology
What I offer. . .
- Puppet workshops for teachers focusing on the use of puppets for classroom management, conflict resolution, curriculum implementation and emotional expression.
- Personalized puppet presentations for the classroom related to curriculum themes.
- Song leading with guitar and drum accompaniment.
- Guided child participation with shakers, rhythm sticks and movement activities
- Puppet shows for community events, birthday parties and weddings
- Professionally recorded CD’s of songs and puppets
How I got started playing with puppets. . . I have been playing with Puppets since I was a small kid. I grew up watching the muppet show every Sunday night with my family. My first show was created at age 6 at a carnival created by my neighborhood club. I transformed a square of lattice-work fencing into a puppet theatre and made a troupe of finger puppets out of two gloves. Since then I have always been fascinated with puppets! In my adult life, I began to incorporate puppetry in my teaching and found it to be an invaluable tool in the pre-school classroom. With the use of puppets, classroom management transformed from a power struggle to a creative opportunity to use a puppet. WHEN PUPPETS TALK, KIDS LISTEN!
Click here to download Jen's complete Work History
top of page
Jen Miriam's Puppet Gallery
EXTRA! EXTRA! The Intra-Psychic Neurotic Puppet Theatre Troupe
These Puppets are a cast of characters that are generated from within Jen’s psyche. Maybe you will recognize some of them. Let’s meet some of the characters...
It’s all about me - clearly full of him self.
Never enough - He is addicted, unfulfilled, always craving and living with intense longing
In control - She is bossy, neurotic, anal retentive, and emotionally repressed. She is in control!
Always/Never are two sides of the same coin. In this case, two sides of the same puppet.
Be where I am - The wise crone, living authentically in this moment.
The characters in the intra-psychic neurotic puppet theatre perform daily within my mind. They can be seen as a puppet show once per year at my Birthday party (after Midnight). You’ll Laugh, cry, you might even call your therapist, but don’t miss the next installment of the intra-psychic neurotic puppet theatre troupe.
Jen Miriam is availlable for private Puppet consultations. (I am not a licensced therapist)
Contact me for your personalized Puppet. It’s great for couples. We have recently been hired to perform Puppets at three different weddings. These Puppet shows have included hand made Puppets built in the likeness of the wedding couple. The crowds went wild as we revealed the intimate details of the couples lives for all their friends and families. Brian Shacter's comment after his wedding Puppet Show was “I feel like I’m in a dream!”
top of page
THE PUPPET PLAYERS Puppet Troupe
The Puppet Players are a multi-media, musical, and ritual theatre group. Our shows are masterfully produced to thrill people of all ages with sets and puppets that are handcrafted with love. We incorporate all original music, live action theatre, hand puppets and more to involve the audience in a multi-sensory experience for the whole family.
Our troupe consists of educators, professional theater performers, health care practioners, musicians, parents and environmentalists. Our purpose is to create experiences that the whole family will learn from and enjoy. We take what is ancient and make it alive in the moment. The use of puppetry is used in every culture for its ability to captivate audiences and transmit learning in a way that transcends ordinary modes of comprehension, where the line between reality and illusion disappear and the young and young at heart can come together in joy and laughter.
People just can’t seem to take their eyes and ears off the puppets as they magically weave wondrous tales.
The Puppet Players Repertoire
- Ester’s Journey: The Hidden Story
- Seeing the Voices: A Shavuot experience
- The Music Story
- The Miracle of Hannukah
- The Tisha B’Av Show
- Moses makes Challah
We are proud to announce the release of our new CD: The Miracle of Hannukah.We are available for religious holidays, services, school assemblies, community events, workshops, benefits, weddings, rites of passage, political actions, senior centers and more.If you would like to donate to The Puppet Players, send your tax-deductible donation can me made to Epic Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to art and social change. Donations may be sent, payable to "Epic Arts", sent to:
1923 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703
Be sure write “For the Puppet Players” on your check!
The Puppet Players Bios
Jennifer Kantor is the Founder and Co-Director of The Puppet Players. She has toured throughout California and Oregon performing puppetry with Kid Kaleidoscope; a children's music and puppetry performance troupe. She is a pre-school teacher and specialist in early childhood education. She teaches after-school programs in Hebrew, puppetry and drumming for elementary school kids. She has brought joy to kids in schools all over the Bay Area with her puppet shows and music circles. She works professionally as an artist specializing in Ketubot (Jewish wedding contracts) as well as being a master sculptor and puppet maker. Her other fine art mediums include, water color, gouache, acrilycs and paper mache. Currently, she is a singer, guitarist and drummer in the band Miriam’s Well. She has recorded and produced two music CD’s for kids and is currently working on a new album featuring Jewish kids’ music.
Nell Ester Magel Friedman - Nell was born and raised in San Francisco. She joined Make*A*Circus while still in high school and went on to tour with them for three summer seasons. After studying Physical Theatre extensively at Humboldt State University, including CSU Summer Arts Workshop with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, she Co-founded Magic Bean Theatre and performed their original two-woman physical theatre play throughout California including the Southern and Northern Renaissance Faires, and Into the Streets San Francisco Street Theatre Festival. As her dynamic rap star persona, Queen Ester, Nell has blended rhyme, story and circus arts to dazzle Jewish thrill seekers at every Purimpalooza. Queen Ester most recently performed at The Hub’s Night of Jewish Spoken Word. She joins the Puppet Player cast for both the Hanukah and Purim shows, and is featured on the Miracle of Hanukah CD in the role of Zaide. Nell contributes her knowledge of Jewish sacred text and tradition, informed by practice and study including 2 years at Nishmat Torah Institute for Women in Jerusalem. She is currently the Director of High Seas Deep Torah Jewish Adventure Sailing Program, and is learning to play the fiddle.
Deborah Ben Eliezer is the Founder & Director of Swivel Arts, and is also a new member to foolsFURY Theater Co. and a Co-Director of The Puppet Players. An actor, puppeteer, dancer and voiceover, she has been performing professionally and teaching in the Bay Area for over 11 years, including Kids on Camera, Hamlin School and the SFJCC. As a pro voice-over, you can hear her voice in more than 25 Leapfrog Toys.
Sara Nicoletti is a Founding Member Co-Director of The Puppet Players. She has toured CA, OR performing puppetry with Kid Kaleidoscope; a children's music and puppetry performance troupe who played venues such as The Oregon Country Fair She Co-founded and Directed The World Unity Performance Troupe; a multi-cultural street performance troupe in Europe that worked to facilitate discussions pertaining to cultural tolerance and activism. Sara has been a performer, teacher and facilitator for The Gender and Race Theater Troupe in Boulder, CO. She is a certified Montessori teacher for ages 6-9 and holds a M.A. in Psychology. She specializes in working with children who have developmental variations and learning differences.She has created and implemented drama & art based, interactive teaching tolerance curriculum in schools for over 10 years. Sara is working towards her Marriage and Family Therapy licensure.
Aharon Wheels Bholsta -The rhythms of India combine with the West, West African poly-rhythm, Balkan meters, and Middle Eastern rhythmic traditions in the drumming of Aharon Wheels Bolsta. The instruments he plays range from the drum set to the Indian tabla, from Egyptian darbukka or riqq to various shakers,from Malian calebasse and kalimba to his vocal palette of percussive sounds. Aharon began classical drum study at the age of eleven and continued with teachers of various styles through high school, most notably Jim Dalrymple of Cal Tjader’s ensembles. Aharon has studied with tabla master Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. While striving to train and perform in the traditional manner, Aharon’s background in jazz and improvisational music has enabled him to perform and record in non-traditional projects such as Psycho-Jew-Grass group Mozaik and the all-star women’s Balkan music group Panacea. Clarinetist David Solbach’s recording project utilized tabla and other-non-western percussion in the place of the ususal traps to accompany jazz standards and originals. Aharon's melodic playing on flutes, voice and kalimba are featured seasonally in dance and puppet theater productions by the Puppet Players and the Sun and Moon Ensemble.
top of page