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Puppet Festival Announces Lineup


The full roster of artists performing as part of the first Chicago International Puppet Festival was announced on Tuesday. In January, the 11-day compilation will bring together many Chicago venues that will present works by puppeteers from the United States and around the world.

There are 7 Chicago-based presentations in the Festival:

Manual Cinema will stage its “Mementos Mori,” a show featuring shadow puppetry, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jan. 15 through 18.

There will be a family-friendly event, “Dozin’ with the Dinos” on Friday Jan. 16 at the Field Museum at which kids and their parents will partake in puppet shows and tours, ending in a night-at-the-museum sleepover.

Also at the Field Museum will be “Open Mic Puppets,” a Jan. 17 event featuring a rotating array of puppeteers on three stages.

“Family Festival: Puppets!” at the Art Institute of Chicago on Jan. 17 incorporates the museum’s “Puppets!” exhibit, the “Temptation: The Demons of James Ensor” special exhibit and a performance from Bullooney Puppetworks called “The Metamorphosis Box.”

“Nasty, Brutish & Short Presents…” is a grouping of puppet cabarets featuring Dave Herzog’s Marionettes, Noah Ginex Puppet Company, Meredith Miller, Rough House, Sea Beast Puppetry, Von Orthal Puppets and more at Links Hall. (Jan. 17-24)

Chicago Children’s Theatre will produce Blair Thomas and Co’s “The Selfish Giant” at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts Jan. 23-25. It’s the company’s take on the Oscar Wilde story.

FlipFlap Productions will stage “The Temp” at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts Jan. 23 to 24.

There are five international presentations:

British company Blind Summit Theatre’s “The Table” returns to Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where it played an acclaimed run this past winter. (Jan. 14-25)

Also part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s season is “Freeze!” from Belgian performer Nick Steur. (Jan. 15-25)

Then at Adventure Stage Chicago is “Le Petit Cirque” by French electroacoustic musician Laurent Bigot.  (Jan. 17 and 18)

The Museum of Contemporary Art presents “The Cardinals” by Stan’s Cafe, a company from the UK, from Jan. 22 to 24. It’s a show within a show wherein three Cardinals tour a biblical puppet show.

Jan. 23 and 24 is the Montreal-based Daniel Barrow’s “The Thief of Mirrors” at the Storefront Theater.

Four other shows come from elsewhere in the United States:

Columbia College Chicago will present Sandglass Theater’s “D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks,” based on pieces written by groups of people with dementia.

Chinese Theater Works will perform its “Rich in Tradition” at The Field Museum on Jan. 17.

The New York-based artist David Commander will perform “Modern Toy Theatre of David Commander,” which includes “In Flight” and “Sacrament Burger,” at the Neo-Futurarium Jan. 22-24.

And the Minneapolis-based In the Heart of the Beast Theatre’s “Puppet Pageantry” will be staged at the Logan Center for the Arts on Jan. 24.


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