Ingrid Hansen trained first as a dancer, then as an actor, until she turned to the dark side and became a puppeteer.
Raised by gregarious Danish immigrants, Ingrid is a television puppeteer, voice-over actor, and theatre creator. Most recently, Ingrid plays Heart, a lovable agender orange monster on three seasons of Helpsters, Sesame Workshop’s new series for AppleTV+. Ingrid performed the body of the monstrous Ma Gorg as well as several featured characters on Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock with the Jim Henson Company. She also puppeteered Gertie the Gopher for four seasons of Tiga Talk (APTN), and appeared on Miss Persona (Treehouse TV), Princess Sparkly Butt and The Hot Dog Kid (Teletoon), Singalong with Tobee, Caitie’s Classroom, Mr. Monkey, Monkey Mechanic and Tongue Twisters with Twyla.
In 2006 she co-founded SNAFU Dance Theatre. With SNAFU, Ingrid has co-authored and produced 21 live shows including Little Orange Man, Kitt & Jane, Interstellar Elder, Table Top Tales, Snack Music and The Merkin Sisters. SNAFU’s work has cumulatively garnered over 20 awards, countless five star reviews, and has been presented by the National Arts Centre, The Belfry Theatre, SummerWorks Festival, The Great Canadian Theatre Centre, The Centaur Theatre, and festivals across Canada. She also creates theatre behind bars with prisoners.
Young audiences are Ingrid’s favourite. Touring across the country, she has taught and performed in hundreds of schools, from wide-eyed kindergarten kids to world-weary grade twelves. She spent several semesters as an artist-in-residence at Fraser Mustard School, coaching children to author and perform their own made-up stories with Theatre Direct’s Firefly Project. Theatre Direct commissioned Hansen to co-create a surreal object-puppetry show called Lost & Found, of which children said, “It’s magic,” and “She’s a witch!” Her interactive puppetry workshop was a hit at Junior, Toronto’s International Children’s Festival, and she puppeteered for several years with Theatre Direct’s Dora-Award-Winning show The Old Man and the River. From the role of Marie Antoinette to a grass-munching sheep, Ingrid performed physical comedy with Corpus Theatre in Canada, the US, and Japan. Her solo physical comedy work was described by the Star Phoenix newspaper as being “in its own stratosphere. From its hilarious opening scene, to its triumphant and totally one-of-a-kind conclusion, Hansen offers a fully realized vision that is equal parts absurd and profoundly human. ★★★★★.”
Hansen earned her BFA in Theatre at the University of Victoria and studied with clown master Sue Morrison, the SITI Company in New York, and the Old Trouts at the Banff National Arts Centre Puppet Intensive.
"I was blown away by Little Orange Man so when I learned that Ingrid was offering a masterclass in Toronto I just had to fly across the country to participate. I was not disappointed. If Ionesco knew how to stage chairs, Ingrid had us wrangle them! But I particularly liked how we explored dramatizing aspects of ourselves through objects, how we developed story sequences and worked with feedback from the group to enhance them. I had expected getting to animate objects, but I really appreciated working on story development, both individually and with others. Plus, Ingrid is such an inspiring ball of energy and enthusiasm. No wonder she can raise the dead, um, objects..." - Kris Fleerackers, student at the Humber College Puppetry Masterclass