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

Submit Your Show

To submit your show to the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, please complete the form with as much detail as you are able. Submissions made online will go through the Curatorial Advisory Committee for review. If your show is being considered for presentation in the Festival, staff will contact you for further details. Submissions are evaluated based on multiple factors.

The Curatorial Advisory Committee

The purpose of the Curatorial Advisory Committee is to seek out, review, and recommend exceptional puppetry performances for presentation in future Festivals. The review process for selecting shows has several steps and this Committee serves a pivotal role in guiding the Festival’s artistic, administrative and production staff in the curatorial decision making process. The Committee is made up of professional presenters, scholars, and artists who each serve a 3 year term.  They meet regularly to review work that has come to our attention, been discovered through research or has been sent to us as a cold submission directly via our website.

Andrew Kim
Puppet maker and performer; co-artistic director of Thingumajig Theatre (England)

Andrew Kim creates touring giant puppet and street theater acts, builds puppets for commissions and teaches giant puppet making and performing. Andrew was born in Korea, raised and educated in the USA and emigrated to the UK in 2006. He started as a puppeteer with In the Heart of the Beast Theatre, Bread & Puppet Theater and Horse and Bamboo before starting Thingumajig Theatre with his wife Kathy in 2006. Andrew has created puppets and performances for 30 years in 21 countries throughout Europe, Asia and North America, in several television shows and a Disney feature film.

Ana Díaz Barriga
Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre & Drama, Northwestern University

Ana Díaz Barriga is a puppetry practitioner and scholar, and a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama at Northwestern University. In her research, she investigates the sophisticated strategies puppeteers use to guide the spectators’ experience by integrating methods from cognitive science and theater. Ana’s work has appeared in Puppetry International, Etudes and Puppetry Journal, among others, and she has presented her research at theater conferences including the Ellen Van Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium. Ana is also a co-founder of Beyond the Wall, for which she built giant puppets at the US/Mexico border and the Prague Quadrennial 2019.

Paulette Richards
Independent Researcher

Independent researcher, Dr. Paulette Richards has taught at Georgetown University, Tulane University, and Georgia Tech.  During her time as a 2013/ 2014 Fulbright Scholar in Senegal, she began to focus her multi-disciplinary interest in African Diasporan cultural studies on puppets, masks, and performing objects.  

Co-curator of the Living Objects:  African American Puppetry exhibit at the University of Connecticut’s Ballard Institute and Museum with Dr. John Bell, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.  Subsequently she curated a traveling exhibit on The Wonderland Puppet Theater.  Her book, Object Performance in the Black Atlantic:  The United States is available from Routledge.

Doreen Sayegh
Theatre Producer/Tour Manager

Doreen Sayegh co-owns Pemberley Productions with Tim Smith, which specializes in touring theater internationally and across the US. Previously, Doreen was Manager of International Projects at Chicago Shakespeare, overseeing up to 16 international presentations a season. In 2016, as Festival Producer of Shakespeare 400 Chicago, Doreen managed and developed the programming of 863 events across 231 locations in Chicago. Doreen is the Board President of Chicago’s Links Hall and the Board Vice President of the League of Chicago Theatres. She holds a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology from Syracuse University and an MFA in Arts Leadership from DePaul University.

Tom Lee
Director, designer, puppet artist

Tom Lee, a director, designer, and puppet artist, was born in Seoul, Korea, and raised in Hawai’i. He’s currently based in New York and Chicago. Tom’s artistic journey began at La MaMa Experimental Theater, where he honed his craft, producing original puppet theater works “Shank’s Mare” and “Hoplite Diary.” He has directed and designed puppetry for renowned productions, including the New York Philharmonic and Prototype Festival. Tom’s remarkable contributions extend to the iconic “War Horse” at Lincoln Center Theater, where puppetry by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa took center stage. He has also been a principal puppeteer in the late Anthony Minghella’s production of “Madama Butterfly” at the Metropolitan Opera, with puppetry by Blind Summit Theatre.

Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla
Artistic Director of High Concept Labs

Yolanda Cesta Cursach Montilla (she/ella) is the Artistic Director of High Concept Labs, advocating for artists worldwide. Her independent curation focuses on interdisciplinary artists from various regions, highlighting themes like Indigeneity and Disability Culture. With a background in Political Science, she’s a Practitioner in Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation. Yolanda is actively involved in networks like CIPA and serves as the Curator of Destinos Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Curator of Elevate Chicago Dance, and Artistic Associate with the FACE Foundation. Her career also includes her role as a former Curator of Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Yolanda’s dedication to humanitarian work earned her the Paul Harris Fellow Lifetime Award from Rotary International.