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Puppet Club

Puppet Club is an online meeting place for young people (aged approximately 15 - 30) who love puppets and who are neurodiverse or “differently-wired.” Most have Autism Spectrum Disorder, while others have Learning/Intellectual Disabilities… everyone is welcome at Puppet Club and we celebrate our differences! 


The Club strives to foster social interactions, collaborations, friendships, and above all to further our members’ knowledge, artistry and professionalism in the field of puppetry. Many of our meetings center around socializing, sharing artwork, and learning from each other, while others tackle more specific topics ranging from “parody” to “copyright” or “puppet wrangling” to “audition self-tape 101” - and at some meetings we even have special guests!

The Club is run by its members and they have agreed on the following format for our meetings: 


Each month we have at least one general meeting, which includes a member art share, games/trivia and a video watching/discussing on a particular topic.


We sometimes have a second meeting which usually includes a more focused agenda (this could include a special guest, a class/workshop or a presentation).

Puppet Club is lead by DOW Artistic Director Gretchen Van Lente who has over 15 years of experience as a teaching artist with children with special needs. Gretchen has a masters degree in special education and teaches theater at a District 75 school in the east village. She uses puppetry in much of the work with her students, most of whom are on the Autism Spectrum. Before becoming a full-time teacher she worked off and on for the Henson Company and Disney. She worked for the Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, and in their archives/exhibits department. She also helped run the Muppet Whatnot Workshop at FAO Schwarz. Through Drama of Works she has attended many conferences, workshops, and events in the puppetry world...

She is helped by two other DOW Artistic Associates: Meghan Williams who is avid ally, artist, and mother of a young man on the Spectrum; and Molly Kohl another avid ally who works in the New Jersey school system with children with special needs, and she is an amateur ASL interpreter as well.

78 Erasmus Street unit 1a, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Puppet Club
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