Daniel DeLoma joined the Puppet Showplace Theater staff in August 2019. Learn more about what brought him to puppetry, his passion for community engagement, and his hopes for his first year as the theater’s Managing Director.
I am so excited to join the Puppet Showplace family! I hope to meet you in person soon at an upcoming show or event.
A bit about me: I am originally from Connecticut (a state known for its puppetry community!) and now live in Attleboro, MA. I have worked in Boston, New York, and at multi-disciplinary arts organizations throughout the Northeast.
My journey into puppetry began with my interest in philosophy, specifically, the intersections between philosophy, psychology, and art. How can inanimate materials be brought to life? Do puppets have consciousness? As a student at Fairfield University, I explored these topics in my studies and in my graduate thesis, and I remain deeply curious about the ontological underpinnings of this ancient art.
Some of my most meaningful puppetry experiences have happened all over the world, particularly at street performances and festivals. In London, where I attended a Punch and Judy festival, I felt like I had been transported into a dream. I recall a carnival-like atmosphere, with “Punch Professors” engaging overflowing crowds, puppet booths boasting bright colors, and an astonishing number of variations on a centuries-old play. Later on, in Izmir, Turkey, I remember meeting the famous shadow puppet characters Karagoz and Hacivat in an unassuming alley, accompanied by boisterous music, and surrounded by children and adults who were filled with delight and the spirit of play.
Early in my life, I realized that art has a unique power to bring diverse groups of people together. I have made it my life’s mission to ensure that everyone not only has access to art, but also has the means to create and express themselves.
In my previous role as Director and General Manager of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, one of my favorite projects was creating the neighborhood salon concert series. It was very important to me that our orchestra visited and engaged each one of Queens’ diverse neighborhoods. Each neighborhood concert had music tailored to the community and took place in venues that felt welcoming, accessible, and familiar. In the Rockaways, we held concerts on the beach. In Ozone Park, we held concerts in schools. Across Queens, we made music in libraries and senior centers. These concerts were open to every member of the community, and audiences of all ages could touch and try out the musicians’ instruments. This tradition still continues, and I am proud to have been part of this legacy.
My first few weeks at Puppet Showplace have been a whirlwind, as I have started making connections with families, artists, partner organizations, donors, volunteers, and community members. While just sitting and working at my desk, I can hear the laughter of children in shows or at camp as they learn while having fun. What could be better than that!
I am so grateful to outgoing Managing Director Cat Meilus for her excellent guidance and for leaving such a strong foundation as her legacy. Looking towards the future, I am excited to:
In partnership with our staff, I will work hard to ensure that Puppet Showplace Theater remains a pillar of New England’s cultural community, and a welcoming destination for artists and audiences from across Greater Boston and beyond.
I hope you will join me in this creative endeavor! Please get in touch if you have ideas or want to get more involved. I will be at all of our “Animal Autumn” Saturday performances, as well as at the Puppets at Night premiere of Flying Lessons (which I saw in development in NYC last fall--it’s amazing!). Please introduce yourself whenever you have a chance, and please share your happy memories, your hopes, and your dreams for our theater.
Let’s share the joy!
Daniel DeLoma (He/Him/His)
Managing Director, Puppet Showplace Theater
617-731-6400 x 102