WonderSpark Puppets is a New York City based puppet theater company led by Chad Williams and Z Briggs. The company's mission is to spread joy, spark imagination and share laughter through high quality puppet performances. Their shows are often found in schools, shuls, libraries, parks, and other exciting locations. They have toured internationally, bringing original productions and puppetry workshops to festivals in Thailand and Taiwan. From March 2020 they streamed hundreds of live puppet shows for families in quarantine and streaming schools.
Our mission is to spread joy, spark imagination and share laughter through high quality puppet performances.
Lindsey “Z.” Briggs is the voice of Foley, the host of The Sesame Street Podcast with Foley and Friends, nominated for a 2023 Kidscreen Award, a 2021 Audie Young Listeners Award and now in its third season on Audible. Her work with Sesame Street also includes the role of foster monster mom Dalia in Season 51 Karli’s Life Box and in Sesame Street in Communities Foster Care Initiative, and right hand and props assisting on Season 54. Z. has also performed background character work and assisting in the third season of the Apple TV+ show Helpsters. She has performed as the puppet version of Cardi B for Atlantic Records, Lottie Lamb in three seasons of Seemore’s Playhouse (PBS Kids), and a dance-loving octopus for Moby’s music video I Like to Move in Here. Z. was invited to participate in two Sesame Street Puppeteers Workshops in 2018 and 2006, and is currently a part of the Sesame Street Mentees cohort.
Z.’s innovative professional development course for educators, counselors and therapists working with kids on the autism spectrum, Making Connections Through Puppetry, has empowered hundreds of professionals and parents to learn how to use puppets when working with neurodiverse populations. The program originated through the Jim Henson Foundation, is supported by the Museum of the Moving Image, and is currently offered through WonderSpark Puppets. Making Connections Through Puppetry has received funding from The Kennedy Center VSA Program Sites and Next for Autism.
Z. is the Foundation Manager of the Jim Henson Foundation, and is co-artistic director of WonderSpark Puppets with her husband Chad performing puppet theater shows and offering puppetry programming and workshops throughout NYC and beyond for children and families. She attended the MFA Puppetry program at the University of Connecticut where she created a documentary film about Rufus and Margo Rose, and has been a guest lecturer and educator at Carnegie-Melon and Yale University. In addition to performing and teaching she can also be found hosting read-alouds and crafts in Bryant Park, and being the mom of two amazing kids.
Chad Williams is Co-Artistic Director of WonderSpark Puppets and has toured and taught puppetry internationally. He has written, directed, and performed over 15 solo puppet plays for family audiences with hundreds of performances every year. Chad is a recognized master of hand puppetry, authoring the award-winning manual 50 Hand Puppet Techniques: Hidden Secrets and Tricks Revealed and it's Advanced! sequel. He has trained puppeteers, teachers, actors, therapists and others in his unique Two-Finger Style, at universities and puppet festivals at home and abroad.
His original puppet shows were official selections at the International Puppet Fringe Festival NYC, La MaMa Etc Puppet Festival, Puppet Homecoming, the Siam Paragon Asean Fascinating Puppets Festival in Thailand, and at the 1st Lize International Puppet Festival in Taiwan. His works have been performed at the 14th Street Y Theater, Puppet Showplace Theater, Symphony Space, and at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.
Chad has shot and edited 4 feature-length documentaries about American puppetry and was a constant videographer of puppet shows in the New England region from 2005-10 before he began performing his own shows alongside Z. He is a two-term board member of UNIMA-USA, an Eagle Scout and a Fulbright Specialist.
Chad was a 12 year member of the improv troupe These Guy Are Sick and hosted puppet game shows for families at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital in NYC every month for 10 years. From 2013-17 he was Producer and Artistic Director for the biggest video game film festival in the world, Games on Film. He holds a BFA in Media Arts (magna cum laude) from the State University of New York at Fredonia.
We want to acknowledge our amazing performing partners whose amazing efforts over the years have helped us get to where we are today. A big thank you to Jamie Moore, Jess Simon, Jenny Hann, Christina Rodriguez, Julia Darden, Samantha Sing and Teah Cory.
"Thanks to this couple's ingenious idea, WonderSpark Puppets come to you. From birthday parties to schools and any venue you can imagine, the husband-wife duo behind the company brings classics such as Three Little Pigs and The Little Red Hen to life. These colorful, whimsical characters even make their way to Mt. Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital to spread some cheer." - TimeOut New York Kids