Benedictine’s Artist-in-Residence brings the craft of puppetry to campus

April 15, 2016

Lisle, Illinois ~ Kat Pleviak, professional puppeteer and founder/artistic director of Sea Beast Puppet Company in Chicago, will teach a puppetry class at Benedictine University as part of their Artist-in-Residence program, which allows artists to share their unique abilities and talents with students.

Pleviak discovered puppetry by chance during her last semester at the University of Illinois. The advanced makeup class she was supposed to take was cancelled and, on a whim, she signed up for a course on puppetry. Years later, she earned a master’s degree with a puppet emphasis and ultimately moved to Philadelphia to work with Liz Evans at Renaissance Artist Puppet Company and with the Puppeteers of America.

“Through Liz and the Puppeteers of America I found an amazing community of performers, designers, builders, and writers,” said Pleviak. “Puppeteers are some of the greatest people I have ever met.”

In 2000, Pleviak founded the Sea Beast Puppet Company in Glen Ellyn, Ill. The company has created a number of original touring productions and offers workshops for students of all ages. They are well-known as a leader in puppetry excellence in the Chicago area.

Pleviak has been published multiple times in the Puppetry Journal and she was a featured artist in Puppetry International’s issue of “40 under 40.” Pleviak currently serves on the board of Puppeteers of America and works as the Archival Committee liaison.

“An important part of the mission of Sea Beast Puppet Company is to provide opportunities for audiences of all ages to see puppetry” she said. “I can think of no better way to serve this mission than to share the form with new artists who can help spread my craft. The Artist-in-Residence program is a great chance to do this and I am truly excited to be a part of it.”

The Sea Beast Puppet Company will perform their piece, “Méfiez-Vous de la Vache-Garou! [Beware the Werecow!]” on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Goodwin Hall Auditorium. Pleviak’s Benedictine puppetry class will perform an original piece on Thursday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m. in the Goodwin Hall Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public. Recommended for grown-ups of all ages.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls more than 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the eighth consecutive year in 2018. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

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