Hobey Ford's Golden Rod Puppets

Hobey Ford's Golden Rod Puppets

Hobey Ford is known for excellence in puppetry performance and craft. His intricate shadow puppetry work and creation of the original rod puppets, the “Foamies”, have earned him a place on stages across the world. Hobey is a two-time winner of puppetry’s highest honor, the UNIMA Citation of Excellence, and recipient of three Jim Henson Foundation grants. He utilizes his artistic study at The State University of New York at Purchase and the University of North Carolina at Asheville to design and construct all of his Golden Rod Puppets and the beautiful sets that surround them. Hobey also draws on his early experiences growing up in coastal Connecticut or living in a Nevada Native American community in writing the scripts for some of his performances. For nearly thirty years, Hobey has widely toured his Golden Rod Puppets. Last spring Hobey was in Manama, Bahrain at the Spring of Culture Festival.  He has performed at the Puppeteers of America Festival in Atlanta, & the International Festival in NC as well as numerous international children’s festivals in North America.  His educational programs have taken him into schools across the country.  In the past 3 years, in addition to his school performances, he has performed in performing arts centers including the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap in DC, Playhouse in the Park in OH, Irving Arts in TX, LA Music Center in CA.  Hobey has also performed in numerous libraries and taught at teacher institutes in many states.

Hobey’s performances incorporate a variety of puppetry styles-Bunraku, rod, marionettes, “Foamies” & shadow puppetry. Hobey adapts folk tales from various cultures for many of his shows & always adds a special “Golden Rod” twist. He uses his own voice to create characters & sound effects, tell stories & sing.




  Loyd Artists, 126 Worley Cove Road, Leicester, NC 28748




Hobey Ford Residency and Workshops

Program description

Hobey Ford’s Animal Science Through Shadow Puppetry – Students will learn to construct and perform shadow puppetry to demonstrate knowledge of a topic from animal science.  Students can work in teams or by themselves to create short performances which they will perform for each other.  The workshop can be in one or more sessions.  Topics could include metamorphosis, life cycles, migration, endangered species, adaptation, extinction or other aspects of animal science.

Shadow Puppetry Workshop – Combining storytelling with shadow puppetry brings a variety of cultures to life in the classroom through folktales. During this workshop, students learn shadow puppetry performance techniques and how to construct their own shadow puppets.. Hobey Ford discusses the construction of a shadow puppet theater and how to later implement the technique for performing shadow plays.

Hobey Ford conducts a variety of residencies with students from three to five days in length.  Contact Loyd Artists to discuss possibilities for your students.


Booking / scheduling contact



Program detail
Artistic discipline: Literary Arts, Puppetry, Storytelling, Theater
Cultural Origin: Multicultural
Program type: Residency, Workshop
Population served: Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8
Subject: Language Arts, Science, Theatre Arts
Bilingual: No
Available dates:


Available times:

Day and eve

Length of program: 50 - 60 minutes; up to five days of 4 sessions per day
Space / technical requirements:


– One table or desk for workshop supplies

– Classroom or art room with chair and table or desk workspace for each participant

– Blackboard or white board or drawing pad on easel with appropriate writing tools

– One electrical outlet near Hobey’s table; extension cord if necessary

– AV cart or table at front of room for Hobey’s project display board theater



– Dark blue poster board cut to 7” x 11” (22” x 28” poster board – 8 pieces per sheet);

one piece per participant.  Have several extra pieces per class.

– 5 rolls of 1/2” masking tape  (3/4” will do)

– scissors and pencil with eraser for each student

– several glue sticks (at least one per group of students at a table)

– Colored art tissue (we won’t use much, so if you have an open package, don’t buy a

new one – it will last for many workshops)

– At least two boxes of ½” paper fasteners for each class




Classroom or library

Fees / Ticketing:

Please contact Loyd Artists to discuss fees for your situation depending on the number of workshops or the residency length and number of sessions.


NC Standard Course of Study:

Use performance to communicate ideas and feelings. Analyze literary texts and performances. Understand how to design technical theatre components, such as costumes, sets, props, makeup, lighting, and sound.

NC Essential Standards:

Understand animal life cycles. Understand the interdependence of plants and animals with their ecosystem. Understand how to adapt sources, such as literature texts, poetry, and speeches, into scripts. Understand how to use technical theatre components of costumes, props, masks, and set pieces to support formal or informal dramatic presentations. Interpret a character from literature through formal and informal presentations.