January 20-30, 2022

The Festival Returns!

The 4th edition of The Chicago International Puppet Theater is upon us!  Over 100 performances and events will Astonish & Delight you at dozens of venues, neighborhoods and civic collaborators all around Chicago. From bunraku, to shadow, to crankie scroll, pageant-style puppets and more, puppets take over for an 10 amazing days and nights of inspiration and invention.

Photo Saverio Truglia

a message from the artistic director & founder

Dear Comrades in the Arts!

Pandemic disruptions and cultural awakenings have challenged our values. What is the role of art, when sickness, upset and death are so prevalent, we ask? And we have answered—art’s presence provides meaning for us as individuals and our collective spirit. This is especially true when we reciprocate by bringing our own physical presences to the art. We share a moment and place together. Our Festival of Puppet Theater is a front row seat to just such an experience, transcending the real and aggravated shortcomings of daily life.

See the puppet there, standing just on the periphery of our human world. There in its spot, though surrounded by our world of turmoil and uncertainty, the puppet has been waiting. Waiting for us, its audience. The time is now. Welcome back to the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival! Please join us this winter for a return to the warmth of connection, of insight, of humor, of astonishment and… delight!

Blair Thomas
Artistic Director & Founder

in the heart of winter

An Oasis of Fascination
and Artistry

A greatly anticipated cultural oasis for Chicagoans, the Festival is also a favorite staycation with numerous FREE events, special gatherings, $8-$40 tickets, and deep hotel discounts to treat all puppetry enthusiasts.  For 14,000+ national and international guests who travel into Chicago in the heart of winter to enjoy the Festival, it is the nation’s most substantial puppet fest, an oasis of fascination and artistry — representing a breadth of style, quality of work and spectacular depth of artistic achievement from the US and abroad.  Although only in its 4th iteration, The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival is the largest festival of its kind in the nation and celebrated for consistently excellent and unforgettable puppetry experiences.

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More than 100 Events over 10 Days!

FESTIVAL partners

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How it Happens: With Your Support

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival exists because of the generous donations of our partners and friends. To ensure the future vitality of the Festival, please make a donation online today!