Land of music
and puppets

About Us

Owner/Manager: Carmen Rusu, MAE

Carmen has been managing Puppetonia since 2008. She has a master in education and is a certified Yoga instructor for adults and children.

The Puppetonia Team

  • Corneliu Rusu, MAR, MSW, MAP, Owner
Cornel is a social worker who has spent most of his career in teaching. In 2002 he initiated programs for toddlers at Symposia Bookstore that gradually developed in what is today known as Puppetonia – the land of music and puppets. Corneliu is married to Carmen and they have two children.
  • Andrew Learner, PhD, School Psychologist
Andrew Lemer, Ph.D. is an educator with 25 years experience working as a school psychologist, psychotherapist, professor and consultant. He specializes in encouraging learning, cognitive fitness and behavior change with children, adolescents and adults. Dr. Lemer is a long time resident of Hoboken, NJ.
  • Kristin Stokes – Artistic Director
Kristin Kristin Stokes is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts. Kristin has brought full productions to life as the director of Star Struck Theatre’s summer musical theater camp, taught classes ranging from Acting for Beginners to College Audition Prep. Kristin also worked as a musical theater dance instructor, acting coach, and puppeteer.
  • Bryan Seastrom

Bryan is a graduate of The Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts and has a BFA in musical theatre from The College of Santa Fe.  As a puppeteer, Bryan originated “Shark Talk” at SEA LIFE Aquarium/Legoland California.  He has trained with Leslie Carrara -Rudolph (Sesame Street ’s Abby Cadabby), Rick Lyon (Avenue Q), and Scott Biski at Puppet School of NY.

  • Eric Meyer
  • Nicole D’Onofrio
 NicoleD Nicole has found working with children to be her most rewarding work; she has taught music, acting, improv, a pre-preschool class and fitness classes to people of all ages, including special needs adults. Nicole graduated Magna Cum Laude from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Theater.  She also has her own company where she teaches children’s theater, called Brave Bright Theater Kids. She is an engaging and entertaining performer. 


  • Nicola McEldowney
 Kennebunk puppeteer Nicola McEldowney is featured in the VILLAGE publication.
Nicola is an actress and director who has spent the last four years performing with puppets. As a puppeteer she performs frequently with the New York Public Library, the Boston Public Library and numerous NYC schools, theatres and other organizations. She is the producer of an ongoing series of puppet cabarets for adults and children at the Metropolitan Room in New York. Visit her website at
  • Joy Meikle
 Picture coming soon
Joy is delighted to be a part of the Puppetonia team. She enjoys engaging with young people through her talents as an actor, singer and educator. Her experience ranges from planning and facilitating children’s birthday parties at a paint-your-own pottery studio to working in professional child care.
  • Kristen Michelle
 Kristen Kristen is an actress, singer, dancer, puppeteer, educator, and overall adventuring magic seeker. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. When not performing, Kristen can often be found: writing silly songs on her ukulele, baking  (& eating) treats, and causing commotion with her puppet/alter ego Aunt Lil. For more adventures…
  • Anca Ioana Ciobanu, Graphic Artist
Anca Ioana Ciobanu is a high school student at George Apostu Art High School in Bacau, Romania, where she is studying architecture. She has already illustrated several books for children published in Romania among which The Octopus and Love through Children’s Eyes. Anca is the drawing artist for Puppetonia coloring pages.
  • Vlad Razvan Baciu, Composer
Vlad Vlad Razvan Baciu is a composer, orchestra conductor, and pianist who has won several prizes for interpretation and composition at national and international competitions. Vlad is a second-year PhD candidate in Composition and also a second-year candidate for a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the National University of Music of Bucharest, Romania.
  • Rafi Cordova, Consulting