Lake Simons is a multidisciplinary theatre artist based in New York City. She grew up in Fort Worth, Texas & maintains strong ties there. Lake is a director, designer, choreographer, puppeteer, builder, painter, & physical performer. She makes theatre productions that utilizes puppetry, movement, & live music. But most importantly she relies on make-believe.
Lake has collaborated with many distinguished artists creating theatre productions from the ground up. Her creations have been performed in New York City, Fort Worth, Boston, Chicago, & Edinburgh, Scotland. Her primary collaborator is the composer John Dyer. They have made over a dozen theater productions together.
Having grown up in the theatrical family in Texas: Hip Pocket Theatre (founded 48 years ago by her father and mother), her training in theatre started at a young age. Early on Lake was exposed to puppetry, dance, & mime. She has continued in the footsteps of both her father and her mother, making theatre that is original & playful for the past 26 years. She carries on in the family business as Managing Artistic Director of the Hip Pocket Theatre where she also contributes as a director, performer, & designer. Lake launched their Cowtown Puppetry Festival in 2003 bringing NYC artists to Fort Worth to perform & teach puppetry workshops.
At Hip Pocket Theatre she has directed 15 world premiers & performed in over 35 productions, as well as designed masks and puppetry for multiple productions.
Lake is a proud recipient of multiple Jim Henson Foundation Grants: Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland, White Elephant, Wind Set-up, Tree Pop, & Sorry About the Weather.
Her past collaborative productions include:
When We Were Very Young, Pixie Posy, Arcadia Darling, Hero’s House, Loop the Loop, Tree Pop, Don Quixote, Rose Nose Rhapsody,
A Tempest, Wind Set-up, Moby Dick, Electric Bathing, Etiquette Unraveled, White Elephant, Alice In Wonderland, How I Fixed My Engine with Rose Water,
What’s Inside the Egg?, & Paper Plane.
As a designer Lake has collaborated with New York Shakespeare Festival, Signature Theatre Company, Doug Elkins, Kristin Marting, My Brightest Diamond, Cori Orlinghouse, Alexandra Aron, Peggy Stafford, Adrienne Kapstein, Paper Canoe, Division 13, Theatre Works USA, Peculiar Works, Fort Worth Opera, Theatreworks USA, Sarah Lawrence College, Miller Theatre, & Dallas Children’s Theatre. She has been a guest artist at University of Texas Arlington & Texas Woman’s University.
Lake has created two commissioned works for Miller Theatre at Columbia University creating puppetry renditions of Carnival of the Animals and Musicians of Bremen.
As a performer Lake has been seen in the work of
Johnny Simons, Basil Twist, Christopher Williams, Dan Hurlin, Matt Acheson, Chris Green, Erin K Orr, Mabou Mines, Tom Lee, & Patti Bradshaw.
Coming out of the pandemic, Lake joined the production team of Wolf Play in NYC, 1st at Soho Rep and then again at MCC as their Puppet Coach. In 2018 Lake joined the Puppet Lab at St. Ann's warehouse as a Co-Director and advised two rounds of cohorts until 2022. She served as a Puppetry Associate for the Lincoln Center Broadway production of War Horse and assistant movement & puppetry director for the national tour.
She an adjunct theater professor at Sarah Lawrence College where she teaches puppetry to graduate
& undergraduate students.
Lake was one of 4 Americans who participated in a collaboration with Koryu Nishikawa V of the Kuruma-Ningyo Puppet Theatre in Japan. From the age of 6-12 she attended the prestigious theatre and art school, The Reeder School led by Flora Reeder. She is a graduate of Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France and holds a BFA in Scene Design from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.