Join us for the next Festival: January 18-29, 2023

Free Neighborhood Tour

Various Locations Chicago, IL

Navy Pier & Chicago Puppet Fest present the Free Neighborhood Tour. The Neighborhood Tour fosters an appreciation of puppetry outside of traditional mainstage settings all around the city. Free performances from: Ty Defoe, Jerrell L. Henderson, and Joshua Holden.

Free

Cabinet of Curiosity

MCA Chicago 205 E Pearson St, Chicago, Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Sea Change. Cabinet of Curiosity transforms their celebrated outdoor exploration of the power of the sea and the feminine divine for the MCA mainstage.

$30 – $40

Nasty, Brutish & Short

Links Hall 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL

Links Hall, Rough House & Chicago Puppet Fest present Nasty, Brutish & Short. This is your chance to double or triple down on an evening of puppetry by hitting the late show to round out your puppetry day.

$8 – $10

Neo-Futurists

The Neo-Futurarium 5153 N Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL

The Neo-Futurists & Chicago Puppet Fest present I, OBJECT! 30 Neo-Futurist Puppet Plays. From Chicago's celebrated Neo Futurists comes this all original, all new series of short works by local theater-makers giving you a dunk into object performance and high-speed theater.

$20 – $30

Online Symposium – What We Leave Behind: The Plastic Object Geological Layer

Live Stream Event

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. & Chicago Puppet Fest present The Ellen Van Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium. The Symposium brings together practicing Festival artists with scholars to consider the intersection of puppetry with other disciplines and ideas.

Free

Andy Manjuck and Dorothy James

Chopin Theatre 1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Bill's 44th. Bill's 44th is an original comedic show that brings two puppeteers together to create one (very worried) protagonist. Many styles of puppetry, raucous balloons, and a cheeky piece of crudité all collide to examine the pitfalls of impatience and the wonder of loneliness.

$25 – $35

Marsian De Lellis

Links Hall 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL

Links Hall & Chicago Puppet Fest present Object of Her Affection. Part puppetry, part performance art, a visual narrative about objectsexuals - humans who form intimate relationships with inanimate objects.

$20 – $30

Joshua Holden

Chopin Theatre 1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents The Joshua Show. Joshua Holden debuted The Joshua Show at Nasty Brutish and Short in Chicago in 2012. He then took it to the Puppeteers of America’s National Festival, where it was awarded “Best Performance” and “Fan Favorite.”

$20 – $30

Nasty, Brutish & Short

Links Hall 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL

Links Hall, Rough House & Chicago Puppet Fest present Nasty, Brutish & Short. This is your chance to double or triple down on an evening of puppetry by hitting the late show to round out your puppetry day.

$8 – $10

Margaret Laurena Kemp / Janni Younge

The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center 740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL

DuSable Museum of African American History & Chicago Puppet Fest present The Bluest Eye. Director Margaret Laurena Kemp brings Lydia R. Diamond's dramatization of Morrison's literary classic, "The Bluest Eye" to life exploring the destructive power of racism and the strength of a community attempting to embrace an era of change.

$20 – $30

Neo-Futurists

The Neo-Futurarium 5153 N Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL

The Neo-Futurists & Chicago Puppet Fest present I, OBJECT! 30 Neo-Futurist Puppet Plays. From Chicago's celebrated Neo Futurists comes this all original, all new series of short works by local theater-makers giving you a dunk into object performance and high-speed theater.

$20 – $30

Ty Defoe

American Indian Center 3401 W. Ainslie St., Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Skeleton Canoe: A work-in-progress. The story of young Nawbin as they leave home and set out on a rites of passage through a season of their life. Their journey along the water to discover their truth and way back to themselves and ancestral knowledge.

Free

Rootstock Puppet Co.

Instituto Cervantes Chicago 31 W. Ohio St., Chicago, IL

Instituto Cervantes Chicago & Chicago Puppet Fest present TIMBER!. Featuring hand-carved marionettes and original music, TIMBER! is about a forest: its wild inhabitants, its enemies, and the artist who defends it.

$20 – $30

Online Symposium – Race & Representation in Puppetry

Live Stream Event

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. & Chicago Puppet Fest present The Ellen Van Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium. The Symposium brings together practicing Festival artists with scholars to consider the intersection of puppetry with other disciplines and ideas.

Free

Online Symposium – How Objects Make Meaning on Stage: New Perspectives

Live Stream Event

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. & Chicago Puppet Fest present The Ellen Van Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium. The Symposium brings together practicing Festival artists with scholars to consider the intersection of puppetry with other disciplines and ideas.

Free

Pop-Up Puppet Hub

The Fine Arts Building 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The Spoke & Bird, Fine Arts Building, and Chicago Puppet Fest present, Pup-Up Puppet Hub. Your Puppetry Destination: Food, Drink, and Exhibitions. Bursting with site-specific activities, it’s the perfect place to relax between shows, meet up with friends and make some new ones?

Free

The Gottabees: Squirrel Stole My Underpants

Chicago Children's Theatre 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Squirrel Stole My Underpants
. In this poignantly silly adventure tale for families, Sylvie is sent to the backyard to hang up the laundry. The moment her back is turned, a mischievous squirrel steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off.

$20 – $25

The FREE Neighborhood Tour with Little Uprisings

Various Locations Chicago, IL

Navy Pier and Chicago Puppet Fest present the Free Neighborhood Tour. My Night at the Planetarium is based on the award-winning book by Innosanto Nagara, a graphic artist and acclaimed author/illustrator of “A Is for Activist” and “Counting on Community.”

Free

The Gottabees: Go Home Tiny Monster

Chicago Children's Theatre 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Go Home Tiny Monster
. What happens when a girl and her family of homespun creatures suddenly find themselves in need of a new home? They look for help and, luckily, they find it.

$20 – $25

Théâtre de L’Entrouvert: Anywhere

Chopin Theatre 1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL

Théâtre de L'Entrovert & Chicago Puppet Fest present Anywhere. A marionette made of ice will melt your heart in Anywhere, an exquisite, landmark string-marionette work created by the French company Théâtre de l’Entrouvert.

$30 – $40

Khecari: as though your body were right

The Fine Arts Building 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents as though your body were right, an invitation to confront the bodiliness of being human – a shared experience of the vulnerability of being a body, and of the power of being a body.

$30 – $40

Nasty, Brutish & Short (Wknd 1)

Links Hall 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL

Links Hall, Rough House & Chicago Puppet Fest present Nasty, Brutish & Short. Extend your festival experience by hitting Chicago’s favorite late-night puppet cabaret.

$15 – $18

Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium: Boundless Bodies

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and Chicago Puppet Fest present: Boundless Bodies. Moderated by Dr. Paulette Richards with panelists Ishmael Falke (Invisible Lands), Elise Vigneron (Anywhere), and Camille Trouvé (R.A.G.E.).

Free

Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium: Grand Narratives and Petits Récits

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and Chicago Puppet Fest present: Grand Narratives and Petits Récits. Moderated by Dr. Paulette Richards with panelists Yngvild Aspeli (Moby Dick), Sarah Fornace (Frankenstein), Michael Brown (Invitation to a Beheading) and Theodora Skipitares (Grand Panorama).

Free

La Fille du Laitier: Macbeth Muet

Chopin Theatre 1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Macbeth Muet. Performed entirely without words, Macbeth Muet completely deconstructs this Shakespeare Tragedy into a fast paced, visceral theater experience, using the body, objects as imagery, and a ton of fake blood.

$30 – $40

Basil Twist: Symphonie Fantastique Film

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Symphonie Fantastique. In 1998, puppeteer Basil Twist debuted his boundary-breaking response to Berlioz's 1830 "Symphonie Fantastique" to universal acclaim. In the two decades since, Twist became an internationally recognized artist in opera, ballet, and on Broadway, winning countless awards including the illustrious MacArthur Fellowship.

$10 – $15

Tian Gombau: New Shoes

Chicago Children's Theatre 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Puppet Fest presents New Shoes. Internationally recognized Tian Gombau creates large experiences from very little. In this one-man show, a local event at a Mediterranean town takes you on a universal journey, speaking with simplicity and poetry about the fact of growing up.

$20 – $25

The Naive Theatre Liberec: Choo. Choo. Whistle. Woof!

Chicago Children's Theatre 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Choo. Choo. Whistle. Woof! A charming and ingenious series of events full of garden railings, railway yards, steam locomotives and dogs in cars, Choo. Choo. Whistle. Woof! unfolds in continual tabletop puppetry delight as the classic boy meets girl story is playfully retold as dog meets dog, dog loses dog and hopefully, finds her again!

$20 – $25

Nasty, Brutish & Short (Wknd 2)

Links Hall 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL

Links Hall, Rough House & Chicago Puppet Fest present Nasty, Brutish & Short. Extend your festival experience by hitting Chicago’s favorite late-night puppet cabaret.

$15 – $18

Rough House Theater Co.: Invitation to a Beheading

Chopin Theatre 1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents Invitation to a Beheading. In a bizarre and irrational world, a man is condemned to death for an absurd crime and sent to a surreal prison to await his execution. But the prison may not be what it seems…

$20 – $30

The Koryū Nishikawa Troupe: AKUTAGAWA

Chopin Theatre 1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL

Chicago Puppet Fest presents AKUTAGAWA. The Koryū Nishikawa Troupe brings a collaborative puppet performance by Chicago-based puppet artist Tom Lee and Japanese traditional puppeteer Koryū Nishikawa V.

$30 – $40

Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium: Maya: the Uses of Illusion

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and Chicago Puppet Fest present: Maya: The Uses of Illusion. Moderated by Dr. Paulette Richards with panelists Eduardo Felix (Macunaima Gourmet), Janni Younge (Hamlet), Jonathan Meyer (as though your body were right) and Michaela Homolová (Choo. Choo. Whistle. Woof!).

Free

Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium: Building New Worlds: Emerging Voices

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and Chicago Puppet Fest present: Emerging Voices. Moderated by Dr. Dassia N. Posner with panelists: Graduate students from University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Northwestern University.

Free

The Puppet Has Been Waiting.

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival is returning in a big way, January 18-29, 2023, at venues large and small throughout the city. For 12 consecutive days, Chicago will be the puppetry capital of the world, home to more than 100 performances and events around the city that promise to astonish and delight.

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