Eric Novak is a designer, sculptor, fabricator and master craftsman working in film, theatre, museum exhibition and store display. In his Brooklyn studio, Eric has designed and built puppets and custom props for a wide range of clients including Radio City Music Hall, Omaha Symphony, Immersive Cult, Brookfield Properties, Scholastic, The Skirball Cultural Center, and Mabou Mines among many others. With over 20 years experience and a vast knowledge of materials and techniques, if you can imagine it, he can build it.
Recent theatrical projects include designing and directing puppets for Radio City Music Hall's “New York Spring Spectacular” (premiere 2015), a life-size reindeer puppet for Omaha Children's Theater production of “Prancer” (2016). Broadway credits include building a mechanical squirrel for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2017), and building puppets with Basil Twist on “The Addams Family”. He also puppeteered Magic Screen in "The Pee Wee Herman Show" on Broadway (2010). For the North American tour of “Miss Saigon” (2002) he designed and built the lion and dragon puppets.
Original theatrical works include “The Adventures of Charcoal Boy” at the HERE Arts Center (2006) and the National Puppet Festival (St. Paul, MN, 2007), “The Bacon / Mingus Triptych” at the Voice 4 Vision Puppet Festival (2004), “E-Volution” at the Jim Henson Puppet Festival Cabaret (2000), and “Rex Rocket inOuter Space” at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA (1997), and a 25-foot praying mantis puppet for the Village Halloween Parade (2001).
Museum work includes the permanent exhibit “Noah’s Ark” (2007) at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Eric sculpted 25 pairs of life-size animal heads in wood, along with the sculptural welding of puppets and kinetic sculptures designed by Chris Green. Also with Chris Green he sculpted a life-size cow head for the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, the state’s first children’s museum.
Eric’s film credits include four life-sized marionettes for the feature length “The American Astronaut” (2001) as well as Production Design and shadow puppet design for the short film, “King of the Magicians”. His short film adaptation of “Hunchback of Notre Dame” is currently in production.
He also has extensive experience is retail display. As the Lead Sculptor at Constructive Display, Inc. and as a mechanical animator at Spaeth Design, he sculpted for clients such as Disney, Sony, Macy’s, and Scholastic Books.
Eric has received numerous grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and is a MacDowell Colony Fellow. He received his BFA in Set Design from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI (1989). He lives with his wife and two children in Brooklyn, New York.
- Big League Productions
- Brookfield Properties
- Charged Studios
- Chris Green Kinetics / Skirball Cultural Center
- Commodore Films
- Disney Store
- Immersive Cult, London, UK
- Mabou Mines
- Mary Howard
- Lord & Taylor
- Michael Allen Design
- Omaha Symphony
- Q&A Productions
- Radio City Music Hall
- Omaha Children's Theater, Rose Theater, Omaha, Nebraska,
- Roundabout Theater Company
- Scholastic Books
- Spaeth Design
- Basil Twist / Tandem Otter Productions