The Gottabees are a Boston-based ensemble dedicated to creating inspirational, engaging, and empowering theater for family audiences. The company is known internationally for uniting simple-but-elegant visual theater with astonishing technique. The Gottabees apply its interdisciplinary training in music, dance, acrobatics, theater, and design to share original non-verbal stories set to live music that weave together human and puppet characters in surprising ways. thegottabees.com
Chicago Children’s Theatre: After 10 years of staging productions and educational programs at museums, theatres, and other venues across the city, we are overjoyed to welcome you to our new permanent home, “The Station.” Formerly a police station, our building was acquired from the City of Chicago in 2015 and opened to the public in 2017.
In the space formerly occupied by jail cells, we now produce our world-class productions in the 149-seat Pritzker Family Studio Theatre. Where judge’s chambers and rows of detective’s desk used to sit, we now offer classes and camps in 5 beautiful classrooms, including our “Red Kite Room” that is dedicated to our programming for children on the autism spectrum and their families.
The building was built in 1948 and is believed to be designed by Paul Gerhardt, Jr. We purchased the building from the City of Chicago on 2015 for the price of $1, and with the help of a $5 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Finance Fund and the momentous fundraising efforts of our supporters as part of the “For Our Children” Campaign, we were able to completely remodel the building and open our doors in January, 2017.
Our Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified space was designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects in collaboration with Working Group One and Shook Theatre Planners. Pepper Construction served as the project’s general contractor. Our new space is open and bright, with 88% of regularly occupied spaces filled with natural light and views of the surrounding neighborhood.
At our official ribbon cutting ceremony on January 17th, 2017, our Artistic Director and Co-Founder, Jacqueline Russell spoke to attendees, “Today, with so much gratitude to all our supporters who have brought us to this day, we graduate from an itinerant company, to a theatre with a permanent home. This will allow us to better serve the children of Chicago, grow our education programming, provide a cultural anchor for this newly revitalized neighborhood and further establish our presence on the national scale.”
The organization’s mission is to:
• link puppeteers nationally and internationally
• publish information on and for the field
• offer support and technical assistance for professional puppeteers through seminars, conferences, and symposia
• stimulate the general public’s interest in the art of puppetry
• promote the visibility of American puppeteers all over the world
• promote the visibility of U.S. puppeteers all over the world, without distinction of race, politics, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, national origin, or physical ability.
Union Internationale de la Marionnette is an organization in which all those people in the world concerned with the Art of the Puppet Theatre associate voluntarily in order to serve through their art the idea of peace and of mutual understanding without distinction as to race, political ideas or religion.
UNIMA-USA, founded in 1966, is the North American Center of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the oldest international theatre organization in the world, founded in 1929. The organization’s mission is to promote international understanding and friendship through the art of puppetry.
UNIMA-USA fulfills its mission in a range of formal and informal ways, but especially by encouraging and providing contacts to North American puppeteers traveling throughout the world and providing the same courtesy to international puppeteers traveling through North America.
UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) was formed in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1929 by an enthusiastic group of representatives from 14 countries. After a hiatus during and after World War II, UNIMA was re-activated and in 1957 a new constitution was drafted.
UNIMA was adopted as a member of the International Theatre Institute in 1959, making it a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Since 1972 the 18 member executive committee of the international organization meets every year. The UNIMA Council meets every 2 years, and a full UNIMA Congress is held every 4 years. In 2014 UNIMA has over 70 National Centers and representatives in an additional 25 countries.
Romain Proctor, Nancy H. Cole and Mollie Falkenstein first ran the affairs of UNIMA in the United States as a clearinghouse through which Americans could join, participate in and receive benefits from international UNIMA.
In 1966, with more than one hundred members of UNIMA in the United States, UNIMA-USA was formed with Jim Henson as its first chairman.
Jim Henson led a UNIMA-USA committee of Frank Ballard, Bil Baird, Nancy Staub and Allelu Kurten in incorporating UNIMA-USA into a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, UNIMA-USA, Inc., in 1979.
In 1980 UNIMA International held its 13th Congress in Washington DC, This was the first time the Congress was held outside of Europe. In 1992 the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta Georgia became the headquarters for UNIMA-USA.