Join us for the next Festival: January 15-26, 2025

the 5th edition

Thank you for making the 2023 Festival so fabulous!​

Chicago's appetite for puppetry was proven yet again with more sold out shows than ever before and a delicious variety of international performances!

This 5th edition of the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival was a great return and the inaugural year of the Festival becoming an annual event. Though the Festival did return successfully in the middle of Omicron in 2022, which was a wonderful restart — the 2023 Festival blew it right out of the water — beginning with watery Opening Night performances of Moby Dick. Audiences returned to venues all over Chicago for “Chicago’s Best Festival” (runner up behind only Ravinia Festival). Over 105 performances and events Astonished & Delighted attendees. Artists came from Chicago, the nation and internationally from Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Iceland, Norway, South Africa, and Spain. From bunraku, to shadow, to crankie scroll, pageant-style puppets and more, puppets took over for an 12 amazing days and nights of inspiration and invention. 

For 14,000+ national and international guests, The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival presented a substantial, in-person puppet festival, an oasis of fascination and artistry — representing a breadth of style, quality of work and spectacular depth of artistic achievement from the US.

The Festival boasted many new events this year notably a Puppet Hub at the Fine Arts Building complete with photography exhibitions, art installation and Pop Up Spoke & Bird Cafe. Although only in its 5th iteration, the Festival was again the largest festival of its kind in the nation and remains celebrated for consistently excellent and unforgettable puppetry experiences.

the 2023 festival

Festival Events

2023 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!