About Us

Meet Starlite Puppets
Connie Manson: founder & artistic director

Music has always been a very special part of my life as I sang and played music throughout my childhood; and found the performing arts a vehicle to connect in a meaningful way with others. Not long after completing a degree in theatre arts in college, I was asked by a fellow graduate to help perform puppet stories for school children. I jumped at the opportunity! We knelt in a large black box holding the puppets above our heads, so I never had the opportunity to see the children's faces, but was struck by how silent they were through the entire show. Later as I began my journey as a teacher in a classroom, whenever a puppet troupe traveled to our school, I would observe how strongly the children connected with the puppets! 

My journey continued to unfold when I discovered Waldorf education and decided to pursue a Master's Degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education. What a treat to be introduced to a timeless treasure trove of nurturing stories loved by children. I soon became the founder and artistic director of Starlite Puppets and began sharing puppetry in a number of venues. I had the amazing fortune to help create a children's musical group dubbed 'Kinderfolk'. The group consisted of me on vocals (with puppets in tow), a guitarist, a flute player, and a hammered dulcimer player. We wanted to create a beautiful musical experience for children that was unique, joyful, and welcoming.

I soon learned how to sculpt my own puppets using a technique with wool fibers called needle felting, and with that so many possibilities opened up! I began teaching others how to create their own puppets, and continue to delight in the wonder of helping others take their creations and learn how to make them come to life with meaningful gesture.

I love performing and watching how a group of strangers are able to come together through finding the magic within a story told with puppets. The experience invites the audience to slow down, to create within themselves a place for something new and wonder-filled to happen, and to enter into the simplicity and beauty with their imaginations. 

Peter Chin, my husband, has an extraordinary ability to know just when the story needs a sound effect to complement the magic! I am honored to share this work with him; a talented musician and retired Waldorf teacher beloved by so many parents and children. Peter Chin has been a teacher working in elementary and secondary education for over thirty years. He began his career as a Waldorf class teacher in Colorado and continued serving as a class teacher in California and most recently Florida. He has a background in the dramatic arts and enjoys providing musical and theatrical support for Starlite Puppets productions. 

Starlite Puppets has most recently been featured in the Herald-Tribune, Pelican Press, Natural Awakenings, Positive Change and on Youtube with The Observer Media Group. I am connected to AFTA (Association of Florida Teaching Artists).