Puppeteers and Playwrights

Puppeteers

Nancy Riggs is the Artistic Director of the company and lead puppeteer. She has a BFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has studied with several notable acting companies including the National Shakespeare Conservatory. She has acted and directed for many Atlanta theaters such as the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Stage Door Players, The Legacy Theatre, and the Shakespeare Tavern. She has also performed for children all over the southeast through the Alliance Theatre for Youth, Children’s Musical Theatre (Mobile, AL), the Academy Theatre for Youth, and Telltale Theatre. She trained in puppetry at the Center for Puppetry Arts, where she has worked in the resident and the touring companies, and worked as a puppeteer for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program. She has twice been selected as a participant in the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut, where she trained with nationally and internationally known puppeteers and studied playwriting. She was also chosen as a Project Director for the 2015 edition of “Xperimental Puppetry Theatre” at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

Puppeteer manipulates a bright pink bird puppet for several African children

Artistic Director Nancy entertains children at an orphanage in the African country of Lesotho.

Fracena Byrd Dolan is a graduate of Spelman College with a BA in Drama/Theatre Arts and a minor in Dance. She has been a professional performer, director, puppeteer, and educator. She is the Associate Artistic Director of the Academy Theatre where she directed Agnes of God, Alice @Wonderland and Miss Nelson is Missing and starred in Yellowman, Dixie Swim Society, Steel Magnolias and more. Some of her other credits include Smoky Joe’s Cafe at the Springer Opera House, and Evillene in The Wiz directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon. She performed with the Center for Puppetry Arts in The Adventures of Little Noodle. She worked with Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program in shows such as Secrets, Give Peas a Chance (a nutritional puppet show), and Fragments. Credits at the Legacy Theatre include Matilda, Hairspray, Nunsense, 9 to 5, and Chicago (nominated for a Suzy Bass Award for Best Musical).

Headshot of Fracena
Fracena

Lorie Summers has a B.A. in Theatre and English from Smith College, and has been performing with puppets since 1997. Ms. Summers’ performances range from Japanese Bunraku Puppetry on stage, to “Xperimental Puppetry Theatre” at the Center for Puppetry Arts, to puppet shows at bookstores, and puppet therapy with adolescents who have mental illnesses. Her greatest passion since 2000 has been Kids on the Block. Kids on the Block is an international puppetry program that was started in 1977, and is operated by agencies worldwide, including Mental Health America of Georgia. What began as a volunteer position at the National Mental Health Association of Georgia (now d/b/a Mental Health America of Georgia) grew into a vocation for Lorie. She now heads the program at MHA of GA, and since the year 2000, she has performed for more than 60,000 children in the state of Georgia.

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Puppeteer Lorie Summers with the Eel rod puppet

Lorie with Eel from Splish, Splash: Water Stories

LeeAnna Lambert Sweatt graduated magna cum laude from the University Of Connecticut with a BFA in Acting. Since moving back to Atlanta she has worked as a Teaching Artist specializing in acting and storytelling for the Alliance Theater. As a WolfTrap Artist she helps teach classroom teachers how to integrate the arts with their curriculum in order to make learning interesting and fun for the students. Using puppetry and storytelling she teaches the students how to bring their imagination and stories to life! LeeAnna also has worked as an acting teacher at Georgia Shakespeare Theater, Georgia Ensemble Theater, and Pace Academy. She toured as a puppeteer for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Program and GMT, and has acted at many theaters all over the city of Atlanta, recently in A Point of Order at Centerstage North.

LeeAnna demonstrates a puppet to preschool children.

Playwrights

Bobby Box: Co-writer for ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Carol Daniel : Sole writer for Imagination Station, Wish Tales, Once Upon a Time in China. Co-writer for Splish, Splash: Water Stories, Butterfly Ballad, Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Carol was the Director of Piccadilly Puppets for many years, and wrote scripts and music for many, many shows. Carol Daniel

Barbara Goltz: Cherokee Tales, Foxy Christmas

Nancy Riggs: Sole Writer for Cat and Mouse Tales, Jonah: The Prophet Who Ran Away, and Piccadilly Holiday. Co-writer for Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors and Splish, Splash: Water Stories.

Pamela Shook: Co-writer for Butterfly Ballad.

Kids on the Block was developed by Kids on the Block, inc.