Since 2010 Chad Williams has written, directed and performed over 15 original works of puppet theater for family audiences in the greater New York metropolitan area. His company, WonderSpark Puppets, has performed internationally in Thailand and Taiwan. In the USA they partnered with global brands like Bed Bath & Beyond as well as NYC Parks, the New York Public Library, public schools and more to put on over 400 shows per year.
Now a current Fulbright Specialist, he is ready to perform and teach internationally with the support of the United States government. You can read about the Fulbright program here, and apply as a host institution here.
Outside of performing his solo puppet shows, Chad can also bring these unique programs to your region:
Making Connections Through Puppetry
- 2-3 sessions to teach possibilities and techniques of puppetry to educators, therapists and counselors working with students with Autism (ASD)
- participants receive a handmade felt hand puppet
- supported by the Kennedy Center VSA Arts Connect All - Professional Development Program and The Jim Henson Foundation
Puppetry for Kids
- year-long curriculum, 60-minute sessions emphasize puppet building, performance and play
- 150 different puppet projects for all age ranges (simple and advanced versions)
- shadow figures, mask, toy theater, rod puppets, all puppetry forms joyfully explored
Hand Puppet Basics
- 6-10 session basic hand puppet course for beginners, ages 14 and up
- emphasis on learning technique, performance and play
- taught at Wesleyan University WV, Drama for Youth program
Since mid-March 2020 Chad has been streaming live puppet shows for families in quarantine and schools that offer online content.
Due to his background as a documentary filmmaker with a BFA in Media Arts, he quickly pivoted to offer both live streaming shows and DIY puppetry projects for young children.
In Summer 2020 WonderSpark Puppets partnered with a national streaming school to both teach puppet skills and empower students Pre-K through 5th Grade to tell their own stories. Chad also taught over 10 streaming workshops for hundreds of puppeteers, bringing their shows online for the first time.
Chad after a performance of 'Fox Fables' at the Siam Paragon Asean Fascinating Puppets Festival in Thailand.
To preserve the art form and to teach a new generation of puppeteers, Chad created an online video series teaching the skills and tricks of traditional hand puppets.
He also shot and edited the video series Mystery Max Investigates! where a hand puppet leads children to discover various interesting people and jobs in his hometown of Springville, NY.
He is a current board member of Unima-USA.
Chad with his oldest son Leif on stage at the 14th Street Y Theater in NYC.
Photo by Lauren Khalfayan.
Chad teaches hand puppet basics with simple felt puppets in Thailand.
An alumni of the well-respected National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater, Chad strives to improve the reputation of American puppeteers on the international stage.
Chad was born in a tiny village in Western New York and earned a BFA degree in Media Arts (filmmaking / multimedia). After shooting and editing hundreds of shorts and his own feature-length films, he moved to New York City to work in the TV / film business in 2006. By chance in 2009, his wife Z. Briggs needed a second hand in a puppet show and he was instantly hooked. The husband and wife duo began performing together and then doing solo shows when their first child was born in 2013.
Chad Williams is a Fulbright Specialist ready to perform and teach puppetry to all ages internationally. Contact your local United States Embassy or click here to learn more about the Fulbright program.
Download Chad Williams' professional résumé here.