Kurt and Kathy Hunter
Kurt Hunter is a Minneapolis-based puppeteer best known for his innovative solo marionette work. His introduction to marionettes was a performance by Tony Urbano’s company at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts in 1975 during a family vacation. While attending Washington University in St. Louis he performed regularly with Bob Kramer’s Marionnettes, including a television special and several performances of Peter and the Wolf with the St. Louis Symphony.
Kurt has designed and built puppets at the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company and performed with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. As a solo marionette artist he has performed with the Minneapolis Chamber Symphony and the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra. For Open Eye Figure Theatre he has constructed marionettes for A Prelude to Faust and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and was a featured performer in three “Toy Theatre After Dark” festivals. Recently he has directed productions by Seth Eberle and Z Puppets Rosenschnoz. Kurt has studied with marionette masters Phillip Huber and Albrecht Roser. He is a frequent workshop leader in marionette construction and performance. He is a part of the artistic staff for the marionette strand at the O’Neill National Puppetry Conference. In 2008 he received an UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence in Puppetry for Sock Puppet Serenade. In 2018 he was awarded a Family Grant from the Jim Henson Foundation for development of his solo production “Penguin in my Pocket.”
Although Kathy Hunter has only been involved with puppetry since she and Kurt were married, she brings with her talents that she has been developing for many years. Kathy is a classically trained soprano with a truly rare gift for music. She is also a very talented seamstress and continues to take classes to learn about the latest fabrics and techniques. Her mother, who taught painting classes for many years, helped her develop her keen sense of color. Although relatively new to marionettes, Kathy has shown a very natural feel for marionette manipulation and performed with Kurt as guest artists with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra.