Stage Door News

Toronto: “Fraggle Rock” puppeteer brings “spicy” puppet cabaret to Toronto March 1-3

Monday, February 5, 2024

How does a small-town Canadian puppeteer go from a sheep festival, to "Sesame Street" and "Fraggle Rock", to a spicy adult puppet cabaret Off-Broadway? Ingrid Hansen was on tour performing "Les Moutons", a surreal show where a group of dancers behave hyper-realistically like sheep. Between performances at the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY, Ingrid sat down at a picnic table for her lunch break next to a random wool-enthusiast and asked, “What brings you here? Do you like to knit?” Turns out that wool-enthusiast was Peter Linz, who puppeteers Ernie on "Sesame Street".

From there Hansen eventually auditioned and got a lead role in Sesame’s new TV series “Helpsters". “It was totally surreal,” says Hansen, “especially as a small-town Canadian, to suddenly be sprinting through parks of Brooklyn wearing a giant orange monster puppet and holding hands with Alan Cumming. I was the only Canadian on the project, and I spent most of my childhood climbing trees, so I’m not very good at recognizing famous actors. I’d ask, ‘Hi, what’s your name?’ to celebrity co-stars on set because I genuinely didn’t know who they were.”

Next Hansen puppeteered on the Jim Henson Company’s "Fraggle Rock". “We created our own b-storylines performing puppet ‘extras’ in the background of scenes. Our puppet extras had crushes, conflicts, complex backstories–we wanted to give them fully developed personal lives in the background of the "Fraggle Rock" universe.”

Now Ingrid tours to Toronto with her award-winning spicy puppetry cabaret Epidermis Circus, and then heads to an Off-Broadway run in New York. Epidermis Circus has entertained sold-out crowds across Canada where critics called the show, “Hilarious, absurd and profoundly human,” (The Star Phoenix News.) “Both live and magnified on screen, in cunningly angled cameras and mirrors, we see Hansen create characters from her own hands, fingers, tongue, in a saucy and jostling vaudeville of ‘stars’. NUTTY, INGENIOUS, MESMERIZING.” (12th Night Reviews.) 

Epidermis Circus is live March 1, 2, 3, at Sweet Action Theatre near Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto. Not for children, this spicy puppet show is for audiences age 14+.

“Delicious dark deadpan humour, provocative cinematic effect, apocalyptic imagery, the occasional erotic frisson…Everything a show should be.” - Winnipeg Free Press.

“A GENIUS of physical comedy” - Entertainment World


Friday March 1 @ 930PM SHOW of Epidermis Circus

Saturday March 2nd @ 7PM SHOW of Epidermis Circus.

Sunday March 3rd @ 7PM SHOW of Epidermis Circus


Saturday March 2nd @ 2-5pm. Workshop - "How to Puppeteer Anything"


Sweet Action Theatre, Inside Artscape Youngplace

180 Shaw St Unit 106, Toronto

TICKETS: Sliding Scale $20-50 at

Photo: Ingrid Hansen. © 2024 Helene Cyr.