Patti Smithsonian

Patti Smithsonian is a performer, designer, and writer for the puppet theater. Her performances often combine puppets, masks, optical effects, dance, and acting. Patti has been given the UNIMA International Award for Excellence in Puppet Theatre, the 1991 Colorado Art Educator of the Year Award, and the Colorado Springs Living Treasure Award, among others. She has a B.A. in Performing Arts from the State University of New York at Brockport. Patti’s programs focus on engaging creativity, joy, and spontaneous imagination.

Patti Smithsonian is available for full or part-time residencies.


Book a Program with this Artist

Explore: Performing Arts, Professional Development, Theatre, Fiber, Folk, History, Installations, Masks, Nature, Puppets


Individual workshop and performance prices are determined by each artist. Please contact us for performance and workshop pricing for a particular artist. Visit our Pricing page for other pricing information.

  • Stories for a Starry Night

    Performance for grades K through 5th

    What does Bigfoot, a magical flying horse, sea monsters, jealous stars, and some people with bad breath all have in common? They are all characters in worldwide legends of the CONSTELLATIONS.
    Luminous special effects and giant shadow puppet styles from around the world will help act out stories the Big Dipper, the Pleides, Orion, Cygnus, Hercules, and many special stars. Kids will learn where to look for the constellations.

  • Making A Giant Puppet

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    Classes will learn simple techniques to make giant puppets either in small groups or working all together to create one GIANT puppet! Giant puppets can be carried in parades, as an installation in the school, or to be part of a theatrical play. Simple mechanical concepts and design are included.

  • Make Your Own Puppet Show

    Workshop or Residency for grades K through 12th

    Patti guides you through a series of puppetry workshops which conclude with a live performance by the participants. Workshops include: puppet manipulation, puppet voices, puppet making, and easy formulas for creating successful drama. In the past, curriculum tie-in subjects have included: Colorado History, Medieval Literature, World Art Traditions, Science Concepts, Grammar, and World Folk Tales.

  • Hello Earth

    Performance for grades K through 5th

    Using recycled materials, these hilariously illustrated stories use 8 foot tall shadow puppets to foster environmental stewardship. Stories include:
    *The Three Little Pigs learn that “disposable” is not all it’s cracked up to be.
    *Little Red Riding Hood learns from the wolf about saving trees.
    *The ant and the grasshopper remind us to enjoy life.