Joel Brubacher has been building and playing with puppets since his early childhood. In May 2005, he established Banjo Puppets to legitimize the work he has been doing for most of his life.
Banjo Puppets specializes in building moving-mouth hand and rod puppets. Most are made from polyfoam covered with fleece or fur. They are premade or custom built to suit your needs, whether it be a puppet version of your own character, an issue-specific puppet for an educational program, a likeness of a loved one, or a fun and interactive play-mate for all ages.
Performance experience includes background puppeteering for Mr. Meaty, performing “Jay” for Giselle’s Big Back Yard TVO kids zoo show, Glimpses of Extra-Ordinary Lives with Cardboard Heart, and involvement with RED, SPEAK, Shadowland Theatre, Clay and Paper Theatre, and Threadbare Theatre. Joel was a puppeteer with Kids on the Block for 3 years, travelling to local schools and camps promoting disability awareness.
Joel has taken several workshops, including the following:
- Foam and fleece session with Puppets for Goodness Sake
- Polyfoam workthrough with Drew Alison of Grey Seal Puppets
- Reticulated Foam workthrough with Nina Keogh as part of the Haliburton School of the Arts.
- Stop Motion Animation at Cuppa Coffee Animation
- Hand Puppet Manipulation workshop with Lampoon Puppet Theatre
- Puppets and Television workshop with Rob Mills of Radical Sheep Productions
- Puppets and Television with Nina Keogh
- Bouffon Intensive with Adam Lazarus
- Puppet Rampage 2007, St Paul, Minnesota
- Celebrate the Puppet 2006, London, Ontario
- Puppeteers of America National Festival 2005, St Paul, Minnesota (scholarship recipient)
- Puppet Fest Midwest 2003, Trenton, Missouri (scholarship recipient)
- FESTIVAL OF POSSIBILITIES! summer 2003, Durham, Ontario (co-organizer, puppet builder, drummer, stilter, well-wisher, rock picker…)