Collaboration Masterclass – produce exceptional business results – October 21, 2015 in NYC

bunraku puppetry







When you increase your capacity to work successfully in concert and collaboration with others on a team, you position well for exceptional business results.

The imposed condition in today’s innovative work environments is to work on teams, collaborate, to work in concert with cross-functions and the like.

What does it cost us, our project and our company when our teams aren’t working well together?

It’s rare that we’re taught how to work in a team. And when we are it can be rather heavy handed. But how does one live and breathe teamwork? How do you encourage a subtle and true sense of team that is stronger than the inevitable conflicts and differences that arise when working closely with other people?

In this workshop we will use the art of Japanese Bunraku Puppetry to investigate our relationships to each other, ourselves and our sense of collaboration.

This is a physical metaphor for what we do daily working as teams.

In traditional Bunraku puppetry, a single puppet is operated by three people all working together to bring a character to life. The Bunraku masters train their entire lives in the art form and work their way through the various positions on the puppet.

For our purposes, we are not looking to be masters but rather constant students. Our aim will be to dive head first into a collaboration masterclass utilizing the puppet as a catalyst for conversation. Each participant has a part to play in the life of the puppet and without all three parts working in sync, the puppet dies.

By improvising and exploring as well as performing tasks with our puppets – by participating as well as observing others, we’ll begin to suss out what is effective and what is not effective in our behavior on our teams.

How often do we start our meetings by breathing together in unison?

How often do we conduct our business without any one assigned as a leader?

How often do we let our mistakes become opportunities?

How often is our first assumption that the other person is right?

The work with the puppet is a metaphor and it allows us these freedoms and by exploring them in practice we can find ways to incorporate these feelings and practices into our own work teams.

Who is this work for?  Individuals or teams who want to increase and enhance their capacity to be successful working in collaboration with others on a team.

Please join us for a 3-hour workshop on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 from 8:00-11:00 a.m.

Facilitated by Martha Gelnaw and Jon Riddleberger

At Primary Stages, 307 West 38th Street, New York, NY, Suite 1510, Studio A

Cost is $200.00 per person.  (This is special pricing)

Space is limited.  Register here to reserve your space now:

Note: We are available to facilitate in-house workshops, seminars, off-sites or retreats.  Contact us at


Martha Gelnaw, after years of business leadership experience within world class corporations, has for the past 16 years coached and advised senior executives in communication strategies and skills that drive greater business results.

In addition, over decades, Martha has herself trained with Master Teachers in voice, movement, improvisation and acting technique and received a Masters degree from the New Actors Workshop, a conservatory in NYC and training with luminaries such as Mike Nichols, Paul Sills, George Morrison, Patsy Rodenburg, Mary Overlie and many others.

She draws on her extensive background in business management and her theater and performance studies to augment her coaching – and dedicates herself to helping clients increase authenticity, expressivity, clarity of communication and engagement in order to achieve the highest personal and professional goals.

Jon Riddleberger is a New York based actor, writer, teacher and puppeteer. His various endeavors have taken him far and wide: from the mountains of Montana with The Montana Artist’s Refuge to The Little Angel Puppet Theater in London to tiny tin huts in El Salvador with Artists for the 23rd Century to The Orb in Tokyo with “War Horse”.

Most recently Jon toured as a puppeteer with the first US tour of The National Theater of London’s “War Horse”.  Learn about Handspring Puppet Company’s magnificent War Horse here:

Jon has taught puppetry around the country at universities, for elementary schools, high schools and everything in between. Recently, Jon has been working with autistic students on puppetry performance and construction.

In New York he has performed at HERE Arts Center, LaMaMa, Dixon Place, Columbia University, The Lark, Manhattan Rep, and other venues.

Jon received his BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Experimental Theatre Wing.  He is a member of the theater company Theater Reconstruction Ensemble.

Bunraku Puppet