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

Internship Program

Intern with the Puppet Festival!

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival Internship Program seeks enthusiastic, forward thinking, detail oriented, and teachable interns eager to join a growing and highly reputable organization. The program provides opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and emerging puppeteers to learn the inner workings of the festival and its annual programs. Interns will work with administrative, programming, and production staff on various projects according to their assigned area. No prior puppetry experience is required. See session dates and available positions below.

To apply, send your resume, cover letter, and any relevant work samples to

Internship Details

Session Dates

Fall semester:
September 12 – December 9
Studio, Marketing, Engagement  (13 wks)

January 3 – February 3
Studio, Marketing, Engagement, Production (festival artists) (5 wks)

Winter/Spring semester:
February 13- May 12              
Studio, Marketing, Engagement (13 wks)

Summer session:
June 6 – August, 12                            
Studio, Marketing, Engagement (10 wks)


Schedule determined by intern and supervisor. Generally hours range from 8 hours/week to 12 hours/week. See specifics below in descriptions. 


The Fall, Winter, and Summer internships are unpaid. The J-term position is paid and priority consideration is given to Fall, Winter, and Summer interns. Undergraduate and graduate students receive academic credit.

Intern Positions and Descriptions

Studio Intern

(8 hours/week)

The Studio Intern will gain valuable insight into the work of puppeteer/craftspeople and the skills necessary to engineer and fabricate puppet designs for the stage. They will have the opportunity to interact with festival staff and artists and assist them in creating a welcoming space in Studio 433 that is the hub of the festival’s education and design programs. In addition, they will be able to network within the larger Chicago and international puppetry community.

Marketing Intern

(8 hours/week)

The Marketing Intern will play an integral role in the voice and branding of the company. Support across key areas including social media, newsletters and e-blasts, graphic design, video editing, and audience building will be the primary focus of the internship. Interns receive one-on-one support through regularly scheduled check-ins with the marketing team. They also have the opportunity to engage firsthand with festival supporters and followers through social media marketing.

Engagement Intern

(12 hours/week)

The Engagement Intern focuses on events and fundraising. They also support The Living Room Tour front of house, learn Spektrix (our ticketing system), track individual information/database management and analytics. During the festival, they also act as leads for volunteers, front of house, box office and merchandise sales.

Curatorial Intern

(12 hours/week)

The Curatorial Intern will be supporting the new Curatorial Advisory Committee and the Artistic Director in making assessments of artists and companies active in the field. The Festival’s goal is to create a sustainable institutional programming pipeline, and the intern will provide the backbone of this process by maintaining our internal database of puppet theater works and artists from around the world. Additional tasks may include email correspondence, providing support for processing submitted materials, researching existing companies and artists, and other work supporting the selection process. They will work directly with the Festival’s staff and Artistic Director and gain a vast knowledge of the current puppet theater landscape.

Production Intern

(up to 30 hours a week)

The Festival Production Intern will gain experience in the inner workings of a festival as well as working hands-on with an international theater company. Festival interns will be present to help with pre-festival activities such as preparing spaces, prepping programs, etc. This internship becomes more intensive in structure as each company gears up for performance with up to 30 hours a week required for interns. Each intern will work on 2 shows, one each week of the festival. After the festival, you may be asked to assist with the strike of the shows as well as the strike of the festival as a whole.

To apply: Send cover letter, resume and any relevant work samples to:

The deadline to apply is two weeks before the session start date.

"I felt that there was a lot of opportunities within the internship to expand my skills in different ways. I enjoyed the technical lessons I learned inside the studio as well as the connections I made with other artists who happened to be in the studio on the same days I was. We got a lot of work done but also found times to share ideas, designs, and connect."

— Rocio Cabrera