Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium

The Ellen Van Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium


The Ellen Van Volkenburg Symposium has been changed to a FREE ONLINE EVENT! Engage virtually on HowlRound TV when each discussion is live streamed and join in on the conversation via the chat. And/or view the recorded version after the Festival (coming soon).

The Ellen Van Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium brings together practicing Festival artists with scholars to consider the intersection of puppetry with other disciplines and ideas. Before 1912, the year the Little Theater of Chicago was founded in the historic Fine Arts Building, the term “puppeteer” did not even exist. Little Theater director Ellen Van Volkenburg needed a program credit for the actors she had trained to manipulate marionettes while speaking the text of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and she coined the word “puppeteer.” That marked the dawn of the movement that has brought us to the rich art form now practiced around the world. In Van Volkenburg’s honor, the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival presents four discussions featuring festival artists and key topics from the works presented in the Festival.

2022 Symposium Details

The Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium is co-curated by Dr. Paulette Richards and Chicago Puppet Festival Artistic Director Blair Thomas. Discussions are open to the public.