Puppet Arts Technical Supervisor
Department of Dramatic Arts
Paul Spirito is a Maker.
Paul began his career as an industrial designer working in the toy industry. Working for a consulting firm, he was involved in all aspects of toy product development, brainstorming new ideas, model making, prototype development, design, and some manufacturing. As he approached 10 years in the toy industry, Paul felt the need for new challenges.
In 2004 Paul entered graduate school at the University of Connecticut in the Puppetry Program. Three years later, as he was finishing his MFA the growing program at UConn hired him as the Puppetry Technical Supervisor. At UConn, Paul guides students through the process of designing, creating, and performing puppets for their projects and for Connecticut Repertory Theater. His profound love of machines and the parts that make them go; along with his obsession with the people of the industrial age are the driving forces behind much of his work. Paul attempts to push the art of puppetry forward by infusing traditional forms and techniques with 21st century materials and processes.
Paul pursues the art of craft in his spare time. He is a talented woodworker, blacksmith, and tinkerer. In his home shop/studio he hones an intentionally wide variety of skills, he interprets the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none” as something to aspire to rather than to be avoided. He is inspired by the artists/scientists of the renaissance to have a wide and deep toolbox to reach into for any particular project.
Paul is the founder of the Hartford Art Sled Derby, an annual event where people come together to share art and experience the creativity and excitement of sliding down a snowy hill in an original creation – Art Sledding.