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

Summer 2024 Workshops

Announcing Spring 2024 Puppetry Workshops!

Take a live online workshop from anywhere in the world! Whether you choose a 1-week intensive, or you prefer 1 night a week over several weeks, these workshops offer a range of puppetry styles including Shadow, Toy Theater, Hand Puppet Techniques and more with expert instruction to create within a fun, communal format. Live work sessions, group sharing and personal feedback combine to make these some of the most enjoyable and productive workshop opportunities available. See below to select your course and register!

multi-workshop discount

Register for 2 or more workshops at once and get 15% off
with promo code MULTIWORK

Find the Perfect workshop for you!

One Week Online Workshops

Shadow Puppetry I (Level 1)

with Chinese Theatre Works

June 24-30, 2024
1 week: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun
7 – 9pm CDT
Cost: $250

Shadow Puppetry 1 (Level 1) is an introduction to the form for the beginning puppeteer. Students will create a desktop shadow theater, build and create basic shadow figures and environments and devise their own short pieces with music or text. An overview of world shadow puppetry traditions is included as well as an introduction to light sources and fabrication. The course makes use of basic materials including home recyclables.

Shadow Puppetry II (Level 2)

with Chinese Theatre Works

July 22-28, 2024
1 week: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun
7 – 9pm CDT
Cost: $250

Shadow Puppetry 2 (Level 2) is an advanced course of the exploration of light, object, sound and moving image. Participants will conceive, craft and perform their own shadow work, using both traditional techniques, contemporary digital projection and lighting technology.

Toy Theater I (Level 1)

with Roberto Rossi

July 29-August 4, 2024
1 week: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun
7 – 9pm CDT
Cost: $250

Toy Theater 1 (Level 1) is an introduction to the form and the basic skills concluding with a showing. Make your first toy theater stage using recyclable materials. Learn conceptual and design approaches in building an original work. Build basic jointed 2D puppets and moveable set pieces and discover the unique theatrical language of the Toy Theater.

Toy Theater II (Level 2)

with Roberto Rossi

August 5-11, 2024
1 week: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, and Sun
7 – 9pm CDT
Cost: $250

Toy Theater 2 (Level 2) will be an opportunity for participants to further develop their shows. We will be exploring different ways of articulating and mounting puppets and of enhancing the illusion of depth through stage design and lighting. We will also look at the dramaturgy of the miniature spectacle and isolate the compositional elements of this highly visual theater form as participants prepare for an informal—yet always exciting—showing on the last day.

Multi-Week Online Workshop

150 Hand Puppet Techniques (Level 1)

with Chad Williams

June 10, 17, 24; July 1, 8, 15

6 sessions over 6 weeks: 
Mondays: 6 – 8pm CDT
Cost: $300

150 Hand Puppet Techniques (Level 1) is great for beginners or puppetry pros! Participants will create their own hand puppets and learn the best techniques and secrets from a hand puppetry expert. Each week we will build, play, learn, and perform! Puppeteer Chad Williams incorporates moves from Chinese Bu Dai Xi, European glove puppetry, and other traditions into his modern style.

Please Note:

  • Pricing listed below with each workshop.
  • Limited scholarships available upon request, BIPOC encouraged to apply. To request email info@chicagopuppetfest.org with a brief statement of interest/need.

Guide to Levels

Level 1 – Introduction of a particular form, through its basic skills and elements. Ideal for all new to puppetry and those looking to refresh their foundational knowledge.
Level 2 – Offering applied foundational skills and techniques for a specific form. Ideal for those who have some experience working in the form.
Level 3 – Instruction of more advanced skills and techniques for emerging and experienced puppeteers.

Level 4 – Instruction supporting the use of puppetry to create or progress a short form work.
Level 5 – Ideal for artists who are expert in their respective artistic field. These offerings frequently have an application and selection process, are by invitation and are designed to take a work in development to the next level.