Beth Peterson has been creating puppets, masks, pageants, parades and puppet shows for over 16 years. She has worked extensively in schools, communities, and on the professional puppet stage. In Los Angeles she teaches puppetry arts workshops, creates temporary public art works with community through LA Commons, and directed Bari Gongju, a collaboration with Korean puppet designer Eum Jeoung Ae that debuted at the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles in 2005.
Beth Peterson's workshops recognize the ancient origins of puppet and mask art forms from all over the world, and share the common values of the use of recycled materials, respect for the art form and for each other, high energy-low tech, hand made works, and the view that the ability to create art rests in the hearts, hands and imaginations of all who choose to participate. Puppet theatre forms include masks, giant puppets, shadow puppets, hand puppets, rod puppets, toy theatre and suitcase shows. Beth helped develop a puppet cookbook that shares images of these forms with teachers at planning meetings, providing information about the steps and materials utilized in workshops.
Themes explored through past workshops include science wonders, imagination, personal stories, current events, myths and legends, celebration, seeds, water issues and moments in history. Shorter term projects include shadow puppets and toy theatre, or the making of puppets and masks. Longer term projects include the process of storyboarding, design, pageants, or parades.