Jim Henson Award for Puppetry Presentation

Anders Tighe (bottom left), Stacey Carlson (top left), Mark Costello (top right), Nitsan Scharf (bottom right)

Event Attributes

This showcase presents puppetry projects created by four TDPS students selected for the Jim Henson Award: “The Milkman of Human Kindness” by Mark Costello (MFA Design), “The Missing Link” by Nitsan Scharf (BA Theatre), "The Children of Lir" by Anders Tighe (BA Theatre ’16), and an as-yet untitled project by Stacey Carlson (MFA Dance).

Projects and bios:

 “The Milkman of Human Kindness” by Mark Costello

"The Milkman of Human Kindness" is about a man who always leaves an extra pint at your doorstep when you need it, and always just in time. 

Dependable and good-natured, The Milkman knows everyone in his neighborhood by name, about their families, their stories. He looks forward to seeing them in the morning, and they him.

But what of the milkman’s story? In this multimedia puppetry one act, The Milkman’s daily routine is thrown off course when he meets a beautiful woman on his route, forcing him to look inward and reflect upon his happy but simple life. When he is so used to focusing on providing for others, can he help himself? 

Mark Costello is a nationally produced multimedia designer and theater artist working across performance disciplines. He specializes in using live video and interactivity in his work. He received his BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and he is currently an MFA Design candidate at TDPS.


“The Missing Link” by Nitsan Scharf

"The Missing Link" tells the story of a creature trapped between the world of man and animal at the advent of human civilization. As the protagonist struggles with their place in the natural order, a series of harrowing events – including a conversation with a literal fossil – leads them on a journey to fulfill their place in the universe, whatever that may be. 

Nitsan Scharf is thrilled to be producing, designing, building, directing, and performing in a piece he has been working on for two years. He looks forward to future opportunities to channel his passion for puppetry. He is also interested in media design and playwriting. He is currently a BA Theatre student at TDPS.


"The Children of Lir" by Anders Tighe

"The Children of Lir" is a fresh, theatrical take on an old Irish fairytale. Using movement-based performance, puppetry, and mask work, this piece seeks to rekindle the fire of mythology for a modern-day audience. They will use these techniques to carry on the great storytelling traditions of Ireland, and to bring new life to its landscapes, characters, and spirits. 

Anders Tighe is a recent graduate of TDPS, having received his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland in December, 2016. When he isn't designing or constructing puppets, Anders spends his time performing seasonally at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and in local productions throughout Maryland. He is a co-founder of the DIY performance troupe Nine Dollar Bill Theatre. 


Stacey Carlson

This puppet piece is a work-in-progress that explores being alone, afraid of the dark and finding the light. Metamorphosis and life transitions are underlying themes in this piece. 

Stacey Carlson is a choreographer, dancer, aerialist who dabbles in storytelling, clowning and puppets currently pursuing her MFA in Dance at TDPS. She carries a BFA in Dance from Webster University and is certified in Pilates and Anti-gravity yoga.


The Jim Henson Fund for Puppetry was established by the Henson family to honor the memory of Jim Henson (1960), creator of the world famous Muppets.