Chicago International Puppet Festival Jan 14-25



Most of the puppetry in the festival is for adults, but there are some all ages shows. Make sure to check to avoid any shocking unpleasantness.

You’ve already missed some of it (and so have I), and some of it is sold out already, but don’t worry, there’s still plenty of the first Chicago Biennial International Puppet Festival goodness to go around.

Directed and founded by Blair Thomas, a local puppet juggernaut, the purpose of the festival is to establish Chicago as a prominent center for the art of puppetry. Â There is already a thriving theatre scene, and puppet makers and performers have been putting on shows already, including puppet slams, avante-garde cabarets, and just plain old shows that feature masks and puppets. The festival will provide a focus for all that puppet energy, and provide a community/coming together of a lot of disparate forces.


The Table, performed by Blind Summit, will be performing at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

The festival is featuring workshops, performances, and the Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium, a conference devoted to the advancement of puppet scholarship and research.

The performances are the most exciting part, including a collaboration between  festival founder  Blair Thomas and Chicago folk music legend  Michael Smith’s in an all-ages musical spectacle The Selfish Giant, a very imaginative retelling of the classic Oscar Wilde story. There are over 15 different performance groups coming from all over the world, not to mention many local performers, who will be performing in a series of shows called “Nasty, Brutish, and Short.”


Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre will have 2 shows, and teach some workshops

To get the full schedule of performances, visit the Puppet Festival website  and click on performances.  You can also find out more about the symposium, workshops, and a lot of wonderful performers there as well.


You should hurry so that you don’t get sold out!


Video Promo for Blair Thomas & Co’s The Selfish Giant, which will perform at the Chicago Children’s Theatre.

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