John Bell

John Bell

Museum Director

Dr. John Bell is a puppeteer and theater historian who began working in puppetry with Bread and Puppet Theater in the 1970s, and continued as a company member for over a decade. He studied theater history at Columbia University, and has since taught at New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, Emerson College and other institutions. He is a founding member of the Brooklyn-based theater company Great Small Works, and the author of many books and articles about puppetry, including Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects, Strings, Hands, Shadows: A Modern Puppet History, and American Puppet Modernism. His wife Trudi Cohen is also a puppeteer and member of Great Small Works. Their son Isaac is studying at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Stoph Scheer

Graduate Assistant 

Stoph Scheer is a puppeteer, puppet maker, writer, actor, director, and circus artist from New York.  They were trained in the Jim Henson technique by the Jim Henson Company, and trained as a stage puppeteer by Figurentheater Wilde und Vogel.  They are co-artistic director of Doppelskope Theatre Company, and they also write and perform for The Creatures of Yes on YouTube.

Jungmin Song

Research Associate

Dr. Jungmin Song completed a practice-as-research PhD titled Animating Everyday Objects in Performance at the University of Roehampton in 2014. Her writings have appeared in Performance Research, Artpress 2, Asian Theatre Journal and Contemporary Theatre Review. In 2017 she edited a special issue of Puppet Notebook on Shakespeare and puppets and was a researcher in residence at the Institut International de la Marionnette (IIM) in Charleville-Mézières, France to lay the ground for a book on Shakespeare and Puppetry. As a puppet maker she has participated in numerous projects, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Little Angel Theatre’s co-production of Venus and Adonis (2004).  She has taught in the fields of theatre and fine arts at the University of Roehampton, University of Connecticut, and University of Kent. 

Emily Wick

Emily Wicks

Manager of Operations and Collections | 860.486.8585

Emily Wicks received her MA in History and MLIS degree, with a specialization in Museum Studies and Archival Management, from Kent State University in Ohio. She has experience in cultural resource management, historical research, and museums. Before joining the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Emily worked for the Shaker Historical Society in Shaker Heights, Ohio and the ACLU of Ohio.