James Retter Duncan Actor Puppeteer Movement Specialist

Actor Movement Specialist Puppeteer

I am a performer dedicated to all aspects of movement, puppetry, motion capture, live skins, suits and creature movement.  I have worked for and alongside some of the world's top creature creators, puppet builders, storytellers and producers. I've been involved in almost every aspect from research and design, to consulting and performance in  some of the industries most notable shows. While balancing working on 2 continents I continue to be driven by a genuine fascination (slash obsession) and a love of all things movement and puppetry. Whether working on new developments or large scale productions I remain thankful to have these rare creative experiences. . (I am also a huge action figure geek...)

 Thanks for visiting, please contact me anytime.

James BW no specs

James is a classically trained actor (Ryerson Theatre School) dedicated to all aspects of movement, puppetry, motion capture, live skins, suits and creature movement.  James is NYC based at the moment and calls Toronto, Canada home.

James’ work takes him across Canada, USA and Great Britain and he has representation in all 3 locations.

James began his stage career at the Stratford Festival of Canada. He was a lead in Theatre Direct's "I met a bully on a hill" (Lynda Hill)  nominated for a DORA award and he also won the coveted audience choice award at the nationally acclaimed Toronto Fringe Festival in the same year. (Napoleon vs. the Turk) 

James quickly began steady work in his chosen career path of puppetry and movement after the success of WAR HORSE where James debuted as head puppeteer (Joey, Topthorn, goose) in 3 different productions of WAR HORSE spanning 4 countries, beginning with the premier production in Toronto (Mirvish Productions) and finishing in the West End. (New London Theatre) 

James is currently working as a voodoo swing puppeteer for Broadway’s KING KONG the MUSICAL and is puppetry consultant for the Stratford Festival’s THE NEVERENDING STORY.

Earlier this year James completed R&D on The Old Trout Puppet Workshops production of GHOST OPERA and was puppetry consultant for Carousel Players’ Production of THE ADVENTURES OF MARY JANE MOSQUITO.

Other notable large scale puppetry James originated the title characters in Paramount's "The Animables", and worked on development of new puppets for Significant Object. (Circus 1903) After completing research and development on a new large scale puppet (Atlas the lion) with Brunksill and Grimes (James Grimes, London, UK) James was head puppeteer and stayed on as associate puppetry director for the Longleat Estate 50th Anniversary celebrations.  

Using his background in hand and rod puppetry, James flew to England to shoot a series of ads for Soreen ("Squidgy bit Soreen" campaign). and to star and consult in "The Space Between" at the Young Vic on a new development piece.

James is also a passionate director and educator and has taught workshops across the USA, Canada and the UK.  (Recently Kingsway College in Toronto, Queens University and University of Toronto.)  

He is one of 4 people certified in North America by the National Theatre of Great Britain to conduct workshops and classes in the art of puppetry and movement.

James also works in motion capture and has trained with Terry Notary and Sarah Perry (Shapes in Motion) .  

James has worked for various large brands in commercials as both an actor and puppeteer.