Sammy Snail & Friends
Sammy Snail & Friends
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Sammy Snail & Friends
Sammy Snail & Friends
About Us - Sammy Snail & Friends
Lesley Smith is a renowned ventriloquist, puppeteer and singer/songwriter employing the vehicles of humor, dynamic vocals and puppetry to entertain corporations, festivals, school children and their families across the country. As a New England Foundation for the Arts touring artist, the Theatre of Life Puppets has become a premier educational entertainment troupe.

Lesley was chosen from puppeteers across the world to attend the Eugene O'Neill Puppetry Conference in 2005 as an Emerging Artist. This is the same conference that launched Tony Award winning "Avenue Q". That same year, their website www.sammysnail.com won the 2005 NH internet awards for Best Children's Site and top honors as Best of Show out of 200 nominated sites and agencies represented in the contest. Sammy Snail's website was designed by the creative team of Hatchling Interactive Studios.

Lesley's early career was in theater, starring in many productions at Durham Center Stage, regional theater, commercials and industrials. She toured professionally as a lead vocalist and bass player in bands of every description, genre and style and still had time to work full time as Director of Recreation Programs and Parks for the town of Newmarket NH for nine years. Lesley's passion is singing gospel and spiritual music in churches across the U.S. Lesley resides with her husband Mark Abramczyk, three sons; Trey, Rowan and Bo and their 110 lb dog Gracie in Durham NH.

Theatre of Life Puppets provides workshops, artist-in-residencies, keynotes and special events for elementary and middle school students, adult groups, organizations and businesses. They specialize in one-of-a-kind comedy skits and in conflict resolution, bully prevention, tobacco prevention, social competency skills, nutrition and environmental education.

Music Director Cheryl Lynne Stromski and keyboardist Barbara Whitney are the talented music professionals that bring the puppets to life at each performance. Cheryl Lynne Stromski was Music Director for Prescott Park Arts Festival for over eight years while performing with the New England tour of Patti Page and for Bob of Sesame Street. Cheryl began creating music for TOLP performances in the winter of 2004. Barbara Whitney joined the company in April of 2006. In addition to playing with the Theatre of Life Puppets, Barbara performs with the Funky Divas of Gospel. In 2006, long time Music Director for TOLP, Jimmy MacDougal retired to Costa Rica. Jimmy had created music for the puppet performances for over 8 years. He promises to make guest appearances when visiting the U.S.

Support Staff and Sub Contractors include many talented students, interns and professionals that have contributed to the success of programming and outreach. They include the most recent UNH interns Erika Hokanson, Lara Woolfson, Jon Mercer, Matt Willis and Julie Constantine. Videographer Ron Wyman, Sound Engineer Jeff Landrock, Media and video producers The Troupe Modern Media, Video Producer Mark Abramczyk, puppeteer Nancy Penney, puppeteer Nikki Tilroe and puppet builder Sabine Rendl.

It was with great sadness that we mourned the loss of our dear friend and co-worker Nikki Tilroe in the fall of 2005. Nikki's career spanned her work with Shari Lewis and Lamb chop to her tenure on Fraggle Rock. We miss you Nikki.

Featured Artist of 2006 is puppet builder Sabine Rendl born in 1968 in Western Germany. Sabine spent four years living in New England during which time she built five new puppets for TOLP. Sabine's early work included paintings in silk and acrylic as well as crafts. Sabine was accepted as a participant to the O'Neill Puppetry Conference 2005, where she studied basic marionette manipulation from Philip Huber and marionette construction from Jim Rose. Her new website will be launched later this year. You can visit her at www.kreationen-sabine.de Or contact her at VolkerandSabine@hotmail.com. Thank you Sabine for the new Fraya, Sir Simon, Wizard Astor and Princess Olivia from the shows "Mystery of Queen Lake" and "Wizards and Knights".


Sabine Rendl


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