Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium

The Ellen Van Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium

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.

2023 Symposium Details

Presented by the School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

Location: Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan Ave. 

FREE and open to the public

Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium: Boundless Bodies

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and Chicago Puppet Fest present: Boundless Bodies. Moderated by Dr. Paulette Richards with panelists Ishmael Falke (Invisible Lands), Elise Vigneron (Anywhere), and Camille Trouve (R.A.G.E.).

Free

Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium: Grand Narratives and Petits Récits

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and Chicago Puppet Fest present: Grand Narratives and Petits Récits. Moderated by Dr. Paulette Richards with panelists Yngvild Aspeli (Moby Dick), Sarah Fornace (Frankenstein), Michael Brown (Invitation to a Beheading) and Theodora Skipitares (Grand Panorama).

Free

Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium: The Real Deal

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and Chicago Puppet Fest present: The Real Deal. Moderated by Dr. Paulette Richards with panelists Eduardo Felix (Macunaima Gourmet), Janni Younge (Hamlet), Jonathan Meyer (as though your body were right) and Michaela Homolová (Choo. Choo. Whistle. Woof!).

Free

Volkenburg Puppetry Symposium: Building New Worlds: Emerging Voices

Studebaker Theater 410 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL

The School of the Art Institute Performance Dept. and Chicago Puppet Fest present: Emerging Voices. Moderated by Dr. Dassia N. Posner with panelists: Graduate students from University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Northwestern University.

Free