Bio: Rob D’Arc began his career as an artist, writer, sculptor, and puppeteer with an apprenticeship to the French puppet troupe, “Les Marmouset.” He went on to become a walking puppet stage for Knott’s Berry Farm, a Court Magician at Medieval Times, and a puppet “boothie” at the Renaissance Pleasure Fair. Rob also spent several weeks in a hollow tree, travelling to malls in fifteen mid-western cities as Ernie the Elf (and Ernie's Mom!) in the President’s Drug Awareness Campaign / Keebler-sponsored show, “I Believe in Me.”
In 1987, he founded the decidedly not for profit Kidstuff Puppet Theater in Riverside, California. In Kidstuff’s 14 years of operation, Rob coordinated all elements of production, creating and performing over 30 original shows, preparing promotional materials and grants, even retrofitting the theater space…twice.
Rob has also fabricated props, mask, and puppets for other local theater groups for productions such as Little Shop of Horrors, The Hobbit, Bocon, Into the Woods, 1776, Babes in Toyland, and Nutcracker Suite. In 1996, he directed over 200 community volunteers in the creation of twenty-four giant Mardi Gras-style masks and parade puppets for the Orange Blossom Festival.
Rob’s work also extends into the health care field. In 1997, he was approached by the W.I.C Agency to create the puppets and scripts for the nutrition education programs “Snack Attack” and “Take a Milk Break” which was presented in three counties.
He received an “Artist in Schools” residency from the California Arts Council to teach puppetry to G.A.T.E. classes; instructed librarians, teachers, and therapists with in-service programs; taught sculpting at two National Puppetry Festivals; and won local awards for specialty makeup, the promotion of literacy, and artistic excellence. In 2000, Rob directed three plays, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit and (Co-directing with Susannah Faith) a comedic version of A Christmas Carol for the Riverside Community Players, the oldest continous running theater-in-the-round in the country. Two years ago, Rob directed a production of The Little Prince and co-created (with artistic partner Susannah Faith), a comedic version of Adam and Eve for the 2001 Southern California Renaissance Faire, featuring large scale puppets.
Rob currently tours with his puppet shows and his neo-vaudevillian act, “Professor Humbug’s Flea Circus”, which can be seen on sunny weekends at Seattle's famous Pike's Place Market. Rob sells his pop-up style puppets at the market as well, with his partner Gyan Davies, and these puppets can be viewed on their website; at planetofthepuppets.com
Recent Projects: In 2002, Rob built a twenty two foot whale puppet for the Fremont solstice parade. In 2001 & 2002, Rob supervised ten makeup artists and hair designers, creating full prosthetic makeups for Sea World, San Diego's "Terrors of the Deep," a family oriented Hallow'een event. 60 - 80 characters representing ghostly pirates and villagers were made up each night with the help of Rob's staff. Most of these characters had exaggerated features that required nearly full prosthetic makeups that were colored in a surprisingly bright greasepaint pallette, vented hair pieces, wigs and teeth. The foam latex appliances were made fresh each day by Rob and his staff. In December of 2001, Rob moved to Seattle to seek employment with established theater groups. Most recently, Rob created creepy monster puppets for two productions of plays presented by Open Circle Theater (inspired by author H.P. Lovecraft), and four puppet astronauts for Theater Shmeatre's production of "Twilight Zone: The Invaders". He is currently building 30" marionettes for the Seattle Opera's production "Tales of Hoffman," working part time in the Education Department of the Woodland Park Zoo, as well as creating masks and monsters freelance, building costumes, and puppets for clients worldwide. Regarding special projects or future employment, please contact Rob at: