Tom Bonham creates all of the puppets which he uses in the show, as well as the scenery and staging. He operates most performances alone, although a few shows do require an assistant puppeteer. His productions are usually family entertainment ranging from fairy tales, poetry anthologies, to musical variety productions. His latest production “90 Seconds – Stand-up Puppetry” is departure designed as adult entertainment (without “blue material”) based on his ill-fated experience on Season Seven of America’s Got Talent. (He did appear in a 4 minute opening sequence on the show.) Tom Bonham is known for imaginative uses of puppetry. Tom Bonham has been a featured performer at t
Price Range: $150 b’day or pre-school; $300-500 larger groups;
Gig Length: 15 - 60 minutes
Insurance: $1,000,000 - general liability
What to Expect
I do somewhat traditional proscenium based puppet productions. However, my more popular productions are done in my arena staging where the children get close up and personal with the puppets. Then my adult show is all table top puppetry in full view, hence my term "Stand-up Puppetry." With some shows you are sure to see some very imaginative and whimsical puppet creations.
Tom Bonham was born in the creative environs of Robinson, Illinois, home of the Heath candy bar and novelist James Jones. While influenced by televison’s Howdy Doody and Sooty on the Mickey Mouse Club (Kukla, Fran, and Ollie were not carried on the locally available stations), and annual visits by the Cole Marionettes, it was sitting in the living room of his 4th grade girlfriend as she and a friend presented a show from the dining room that really started his idea of performing. Tom’s first public performances were in 1957 when his 6th grade teacher had monthly parties where students were encouraged to entertain.
He was lead puppeteer for Sid and Marty Krofft at their puppet theater for the first two seasons at Six Flags Over Mid-America (Saint Louis). Additionally Tom also worked backstage in the dinner theaters in Saint Louis with such stars as Donald O’Connor and Martha Ray. At Mill Run Children’s theater he created many specialty costumes and puppets like a large smoke emitting dragon, giant hairy spiders, and a herd of elephant heads.
Tom Bonham has been a featured performer at two national puppet festivals, four regional puppet festivals, and many local puppet guild events. He has conducted puppetry classes at national, regional, and local puppet festivals. He has been a regional director of The Puppeteers of America, Inc. and president of The Puppet Guild of Greater Saint Louis, Inc. He is currently a member of The Puppet Guild of Greater Saint. Louis, The Puppeteers of America, and UNIMA-USA the United States branch of the international puppetry organization.
He probably best known for his ill-fated appearance as the 4 minute opening sequence on season seven of America's Got Talent.
Additional Booking Notes
I bring sufficient sound and lighting equipment for most audience. Need standard AC outlet.
Past Booked Events
|March 16, 2017 • 10:00am - 11:00am||School Assembly|
Large flat seamless area, standard electrical outlet, usually indoor venue
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