Zachary Crook started his love of puppetry at the age of 7 after attending a puppet show at the San Diego Zoo’s
summer camp. His passion was fueled when he found out that the puppeteer, Big Joe, was a resident
puppeteer at the puppet theater right in Balboa Park. Zac started to plan all of his weekends around the
puppet theater’s schedule. When most kids were watching TV and playing video games Zac was
practicing his puppet manipulation skills. When other boys were asking for action figures for birthday gifts
all Zac wanted was puppets.
The puppet theater started to recognize Zac and asked him to join their guild. As a guild member Zac was
able to participate in their annual December nights performances. Big Joe started to mentor Zac and he
assisted him with shows whenever possible.
Puppetry is this teenager’s passion. He has attended many puppet workshops, conferences and festivals
hoping to perfect his skills. He was awarded the Mike and Frances Oznowicz Scholarship by the Puppeteers
Of America. He currently attends classes at the Los Angeles based Puppet School.
At age 12, Zachary, was honored by becoming the first “child” to be a Resident Puppeteer at the
Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater. He now performs his own original shows. With the help of his parents
he writes the scripts and makes all the puppets, backgrounds and props.
Zac continues to assist the other puppeteers at the theater whenever he has a break from school. He has learned
so much from all of them and hopes to mentor younger aspiring puppeteers in the future.