Learn More About Asheville Puppetry Alliance

APA has been created to extablish a Regional Puppetry Center which unites nationally recognized puppeteers artists and the community Western North Carolina through this ancient art.


Even More About APA

Asheville Puppetry Alliance was founded to bring puppetry in all its forms to Western North Carolina. The organization emerged when several nationally known puppeteers settled in this area. APA was established to celebrate puppetry, an art form that is ancient, contemporary, ever evolving and enjoyed by all ages in all cultures. We promote puppetry by educating our public about the origins and development of the art form and introducing them to a variety of puppet styles. We also act as an umbrella organization for artists in Western North Carolina and beyond, to produce new works.

Since receiving our non-profit status in 1998 we have produced shows for both adult and children's audiences. In our first ten years we produced nine seasons of our Young Audience Series, held at the Diana Wortham theater in downtown Asheville, NC. The 2008-2009 season marked our tenth anniversary of providing quality educational programs and family entertainment for Western North Carolina.

The Alliance has hosted two major festivals for Puppeteers of America. The first, Puppets On the Ridge in 2004, was a regional festival for the Southeastern states. In 2006 we hosted Supersonic, the tri-regional festival, for the entire East coast of America. Other events include sponsoring Debra Brown, the choreographer for Cirque du Soliel, to lead a community based workshop on Creativity, and co-sponsoring Pamella O'Connor's Anatomy of Melancholy,an adult puppet performance.

In 2003 we began an ongoing collaboration with the Southern Highlands Craft Guild's Folk Art Center and with the Carolina Guild of Puppetry to sponsor a National Day of Puppetry to coincide with other celebrations across the country.

We held our first annual Puppetry Slam in 2007. Six workshop sessions were offered to students, teachers, actors, and anyone interested in creating a mini-puppet show. These were followed by two public performances at the Bebe Theater where the three-to-ten minute creations were debuted. Since then, Puppet Slams have been performed at the Magnetic Field Theater in the Arts District of Asheville, NC and at the LEAF festival in Black Mountain North Carolina.

Most recently, we expanded our show locations to include The White Horse in downtown Black Mountain where Pinocchio was enjoyed by all in attendance.

Meet the Board Members

Lisa Sturz
MFA, Executive Director / Treasurer 

Artistic Director of Red Herring Puppets / Teaching Artist 
Asheville, NC

Susan Vande Weghe
Mountain Marionettes / Data Management Consultant 
Cedar Mountain, NC  

Conni Mulligan
Webmaster/ Educational Consultant

Instructional Technology Facilitator / Amateur Puppeteer
Asheville, NC