DolphinWizard Puppetry and Toys is a Gainesville-based company under DreamQuilt’s umbrella that produces live puppetry in our community and beyond, cultivates and curates new puppetry talent, and creates handmade, whimsical toys for all ages. Their accomplishments to date include a successful fundraiser to treat Myasthenia Gravis, workshops for the Hipp’s Summer Spectacular, puppet training at SFC, the first puppet film festival in Gainesville, an award-winning They Might Be Giants music video, springs protection awareness events, and regular appearances at comics and toys conventions across the nation as well as local crafts fests, farmers markets, and the Lubee Bat Festival.
The company provides puppetry training and skills development workshops that incorporate puppetry, and provides workshop participants with an opportunity to try out a form of performance that many of us watching growing up.
The company aims to provide homegrown entertainment for people of all ages, using the classic art forms of puppetry and handsculpted toys, to raise social awareness while celebrating creativity.
They have 9 hand puppets that are easy for beginners to handle, as well as 3 hand-and-rod puppets that more experienced participants can work with. Participants can come to their booth at festivals and play a character, solo or in scenes, and learn the basics of operating a puppet.
Puppetry is an excellent exercise in hand-eye coordination, a workout for upper body muscles, and a critical tool in supporting social skills and self-confidence.