Arlyn & Luman Coad
Arlyn Coad was the troupe's designer as well as co-author and co-director. Born in London, England, she studied art in London, Paris, and Vancouver. Recognized as one of the top puppet designers, her work is featured in museums and private collections around the world. She served two terms on the Board of Trustees of the Puppeteers of America, was a Fellow of the International Guild of Miniature Artisans, and one of fifty Artist members of the National Institute of American Doll Artists. After a twenty year battle with myelofibrosis, she died in 1999 from leukemia. The Arlyn Award, recognizing outstanding puppet theatre design, was established in her memory.
Luman Coad, the other half of the troupe, was born in Buhl, Idaho, and studied children's theatre at San Francisco State. While in college he was director of the Storybook Puppet Theater at Children's Fairyland in Oakland, CA and won his first international puppetry award at the age of 23. In 1966 he moved to Vancouver and co-founded Coad Canada Puppets with Arlyn. An outstanding puppet mime artist, his work has been seen on such television shows as Stargate SG-1 and in feature films such as Being John Malkovich and Desolation Sound. He was founding secretary of the Canadian Centre of l'Union International de la Marionnette and has served on numerous committees of the Puppeteers of America. In 1986 he organized the Vancouver International PuppetFest '86 which brought together more than 500 puppeteers from a dozen countries. In 2002 he organized the West Coast PuppetFest - the first combined festival of the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Southwest regions of the Puppeteers of America. In retirement Luman now is dedicated to passing on the hard-earned knowledge to the next generation of puppeteers . . . and learning to play the theatre organ - those complex and mighty instruments which accompanied silent films in the grand movie palaces.