Q's Tartaglia Adds Second Puppetry Master Class

By Andrew Gans
29 Apr 2005

John Tartaglia in Avenue Q
John Tartaglia in Avenue Q

John Tartaglia, who earned a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the puppet-filled musical Avenue Q, recently announced that he would offer some tricks of his trade during a five-week intensive master class in theatre and children's television-style puppetry.

Response to the master class has been so overwhelming that the young actor has added a second master class. The second class will be held on the same dates — Saturdays, May 7-June 4 — from 1:30-4:30 PM. The weekly three-hour course will focus on the types of puppetry that can be found today on Broadway and on children's television programs.

The master classes, according to a press release, will include "group scene work, musical performances, master classes with guest artists, viewings of television and film puppetry classics and one-on-one training." The seminars are open to beginners with little or no experience and those interested in perfecting their puppetry techniques. Tartaglia has spent more than 11 years as a puppeteer, working on Broadway (Avenue Q, City Center Encores! Carnival) and television ("Sesame Street," "Bear in the Big Blue House," "Book of Pooh," "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss," "Animal Jam" and "Sesame English").

Students, Tartaglia said, "will receive some puppeteering written and practice materials to keep for their own use, as well as a personalized DVD of their work to send to casting directors and to learn from."

John Tartaglia made his Broadway debut in Avenue Q. He received a Tony nomination, a Theatre World Award and the Clarence Derwent Award for that performance. The singer-actor also appeared in the Children of Eden and Hair benefit concerts and in the City Center Encores! presentation of Carnival. His TV credits include eight seasons on "Sesame Street" as well as "Animal Jam," "Bear in the Big Blue House," "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." Tartaglia was recently seen in the Empty-Handed concerts at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and has performed solo evenings at the Ars Nova and Joe's Pub. His final performance in Avenue Q was Jan. 30. Tartaglia will return to Joe's Pub with "AD-Liberty" June 13 and 20 and July 4 at 7 PM.



The puppetry master classes will be held in Manhattan at Grier Studios. For more information call (212) 502-6671.