IsleWilde 2015

The 2015 Islewilde festival dates are July 31-August 16. Free workshops start July 31st. See the How do I get here page for directions to our Old Mill Road location on Vashon Island.
Islewilde 2015 Schedule

Wednesday, August 12th
7pm @ Lisabuela Beach
Secret Beach Show:  come find out

Friday, August 14

9pm @ Vashon Village Green, Downtown Vashon. 

Lantern Walk:  Come and join the illuminated procession.  We will have some lanterns, but bring your own if you have them.

11pm @ The Field (see How Do I Get Here link)

Late Night Shadow Puppet Show:  After the Lantern walk we’ll head to the field for these magical shows.

Saturday, August 15

7pm @ The Field (see How Do I Get Here link)

The Pageant:  the big show you’ve all been waiting for.  Dark Magic/Light Magic:  which will you choose.


Celebrating its 24th season, IsleWilde is an ever-changing community of friends and families. We are right here from Vashon, and over the years many have travelled to be here from near and far, including: Seattle, British Columbia, Puerto Rico, Minnesota, Ohio, Quebec, New York, Spain, Taiwan, Hope, and Indonesia.

We come together in the spirit of creativity and write shows, make puppets, masks, villages, music, dinner, you name it. There will be experienced creation professionals on hand to help you unearth/unleash your creative potential. If you want to teach a specific workshop/skill we would love that.

Islewilde is a “Free for all” festival. No money is required for any of our workshops or performances, and the ‘DIY’ spirit rules. Show up any time and create. We will have art supplies on hand, but if you have some to contribute, please bring them.

Camping: Come camp with us! Minimal to no infrastructure, so bring whatever you need to be happy.

Free artist residency in the woods in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Seeking puppeteers, performers, dancers, musicians, thing makers, visual artists, storytellers, myth makers, writers, families.

Dates: July 31-August 16
Place: a field in the woods on vashon island, WA (a short ferry ride from Seattle)
Note: if you can’t make it for the full 2 weeks, come for at least a week, and be sure to stay til August 16.

You are invited! Islewilde is a small community performance and art festival, now going into it’s 23rd year. It is a chance for artists to gather in an idyllic field in the woods with the local whackos, share skills and stories, create new work individually and together, share already made performances with their peers, and collaborate on a large scale interactive immersive performance.

Be prepared–this is rustic living. Bring a tent. There will be a camp kitchen set up, and a workshop tent. There is no running water, but we bring in tanks of water for washing up and drinking. There is no electricity. But we share really great meals together, and make art all day. And there are no bugs!!! What more do you want?

If you have any pieces you are working on, or have been thinking about developing, this might be a great chance to try that out, get help and feedback from other artists, and have a really supportive audience. If you have any pieces already made, it’s a great chance to share them. And if you just want to join in and collaborate with everyone on the big group performances, there are so many ways to get involved–you can help construct the set, and transform the field into a weird wonderland. You can lead workshops, make costumes, participate in dance and movement workshops, make masks and giant puppets, help develop the story, create and embody a character for yourself, make instruments, join the house band. There is room for anything, everything, and everyone. If you are excited about making something happen, the answer is always yes. It’s a strange and wonderful artists’ playground.

Along with the usual assortment of oddball local vashon island artists and residents, this year you can expect to collaborate with an amazing team of international artists I have been assembling–two families of artist/teachers flying in on sabbatical from Berlin, a team of amazing thing makers from Montana, a visiting chef/film maker from Israel, a team of puppeteer/activist/artists from Puerto Rico, a clown family from Vancouver, and other as yet unconfirmed participants.

As our central theme this year, we will be inviting the audience to take a trip to fairyland. But it turns out that there is a war raging in fairyland between the curious creatures and monsters who live there, and an invading race of giant aliens from another dimension. The war seems to be over an abstract philosophical dispute about the animus spirit. What controls our actions? What is the force that makes us who we are? Do we have free will? Are we just puppets?

Just for fun, and because kids love violence, the war is ugly and brutal. Puppets and monsters blown up and contorted in impossible positions as the medics try to save them. Horrible dissections and experiments are conducted as the creatures try to understand scientifically the source of life’s guiding force. Explosions, flying giant puppet guts and brains and spurting blood. Yeah!!!

The audience will be invited to travel to this fairyland by way of the imagination, and once there, find themselves immersed in an interactive game/performance.
The humans in this world are tourists, medics, relief workers, photographers, journalists, spooks, civilian engineers, and various eager hangers on. Why are we all there? To help? To watch? Can you be just an innocent observer? Or are you just as responsible for everything you see as everything you do?

If you are interested in participating, please feel free to contact me, Adam, with any questions, and for more information.

Can’t wait to see you in the field!

Yours Truly,

Adam Ende, founder and janitor of Jawbone Puppet Theater.

Plea for Donations

Dear Friends,

I am writing to tell you about this crazy thing I have been lucky enough to be involved with for many years now, and to invite you to support this thing, which is totally improbable, kind of irrational, and at the same time, incredibly special, beautiful, and even magical.

It’s the Islewilde community arts and performance festival on Vashon Island, WA, which, against all odds, is going into its 24th year now.

We’ve made it super easy for you to make donations.


You can make a donation with Paypal to

(Important–Please write “ISLEWILDE” and your full name in the subject.  We would like to thank you publicly on our thank you sign at the festival. If you don’t want to be publicly thanked, still include your name in the subject for our records, but add the word “anonymous”)

Or if you don’t like to do PayPal, you can send a check made out to our de facto managing director, Douglas Skove. And mail the check to:

Adam Ende

(Also let us know if you prefer to remain anonymous)

Before you decide–here are some more things you might like to know:

Every year in August a small group of the local Vashon Island community, including children, adults, seniors, and even teens, gather in a field in the woods in the most remote part of the island, and are joined by a smattering of visiting artists from around the country and the world.

We all live together in the woods for two weeks, sharing meals, stories, skills and shows, and use bamboo, sticks, pvc pipes, cardboard, paint, fabric, foam, and other various garbage, to transform the field into a magical wonderland and make shows, while offering performance and art workshops such as mask making, instrument making and dance. At the end, we invite the public to a series of large scale immersive and participatory performances.

There is no exchange of money at the performances–no admission fee, no vending of crafts or food, not even any donations accepted. We even serve food and drinks to the public for free! This is very incredible, right? It’s just art, wonder and community, for the sake of art, wonder and community!

The thing is, we just lost the one small grant from king county which has been sustaining the festival for the past several years. So right now we have exactly NO MONEY. Don’t worry–even with no money we will make this happen. We will use the aforementioned bamboo, cardboard, scraps of fabric, old costumes, and garbage to make something crazy beautiful. It will be awesome!

But just now, when we have less money than ever, we also have an influx of amazing visiting artists joining us this year from Puerto Rico, Berlin, Israel, Taiwan, Montana, Minneapolis, and NYC (which is, of course, super exciting and fun!)

The point is–we could really use your help with a few bucks. Your donations will be used to help us feed and host our visiting artists, cover some ferry fare, buy materials and tools for workshops and shows, and other various logistical expenses such as dump runs for the cleanup effort at the end. No amount is too big or too small. Even $1 is great, and will be put to use. Whatever you can give is cool–$5, $10, $20, $50–it’s all good. $100 would be awesome. $500 will blow our minds.  Regardless of how much you can or can’t donate, you are invited to come to the festival for as long as you want. Hell, you can come for 2 whole weeks and camp with us and be part of the show.  Or you can just come for the performances on the final weekend. Either way, we’ll wash your feet and love you, and put on shows for you about monsters and aliens beating the crap out of each other.

We’d love to include your name on a thank you sign at the festival. If you don’t want us to do that, please let us know.

Just one more thing–if you can donate, please donate as soon as possible, because the festival is coming right up.

Please feel free to send me an email or give me a call with any questions. I can also send an event description/invitation for this years festivities upon request.

Also please feel free to share this with anyone who you think might be interested in helping us!

Note:  Islewilde is not a 501c3 organization. We are nothing. But we can use your help. Thanks!


Adam Ende, Founder and Janitor, Jawbone Puppet Theater.