Patti Smithsonian

PATTI SMITHSONIAN has been enchanting audiences for over 30 years with her creations for the Puppet Theater.

Patti has created puppets for Opera, Television, Film and the Stage.
Her original Children’s Theater has toured USA, France, Guatemala, Mexico and Taiwan.

Her original performances have received the UNIMA International Award for Excellence, Colorado Governor’s Award, Colorado Springs Living Treasure Award, among others. Her performances have appeared in theaters including; the Detroit Institute of Art, Telluride Theater Festival, New York City Buskerfest, Seattle Theater Festival, Atlanta Puppetry Arts Center.

Patti has taught Creativity and Puppet Theater at colleges including Princeton University, University of Connecticut, State University at Buffalo, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

She has been dedicated to fostering imagination and self expression with children. She was Artist in Residence for the Colorado Council on the Arts for 15 years, touring Colorado with focus on at-risk kids. She has been the recipient of the CAEA Art Educator of the Year Award.
Patti was one of the founding members of Concrete Couch in Manitou Springs, creating art in community. She developed expressive art programs for children at the Colorado Springs Cancer Center.

Patti has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts from the State University of New York at Brockport, with additional studies in Puppetry at the Institut International De La Marionette in France. She completed language study in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Sign Language and French

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.