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Preview Mon Jan 05 2015

Puppet Theater Festival to Showcase Puppetry from Around the World

GB-Stephanie-Diaz_MariposaNocturna photoBraveLux.jpg

Stephanie Diaz, "Mariposa Nocturna" at Free Street Theatre.

The puppets are coming to Chicago. They'll be here Jan. 14-25 at 12 different venues around the city during the first Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival. The 12-day citywide festival will showcase puppet styles from around the world, such as marionettes, shadow puppets, Bunraku puppets, tiny toy puppets, and distinctive, innovative styles of contemporary puppetry.

The festival will feature the work of about 50 puppetry artists and a dozen puppet theaters from Chicago, New York, London, Grenoble, Montreal, the Netherlands and other US cities.

Venues include the Neo-Futurists, Links Hall, Free Street Theater at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse and Vittum Theater, as well as the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, the DCASE Storefront Theater, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute, Chicago Shakespeare, the Field Museum, Columbia College and the Logan Center for the Arts.

Here are a few examples of the puppetry to be presented. See the website for complete schedules.

Links Hall, 3111 N. Western, is presenting Nasty, Brutish & Short, Jan. 17-24, eight days of short and medium works of puppetry from Chicago's experimental puppet scene. Links Hall describes it as "a buffet of the dark and twisty, humorous, tender and everything in between." The series ends Jan. 24 with a Late Night International Puppet Slam, featuring edgier work from visiting artists. (Some of the Links Hall events are recommended for adults only.)

The Art Institute of Chicago is staging a family puppet festival Saturday, Jan. 17, with Cincinnati's Bullooney Puppetworks adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling story, Rikki Tikki Tavi, told using hand puppets, rod puppets and masks. Families can participate in an interactive puppet installation where children can create a story and act it out with handmade puppets.

From Grenoble, France, the Chicago Humanities Festival will present Laurent Bigot's Le Petit Cirque Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 17-18, at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St.

The Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., will stage a family festival on Saturday, Jan. 24, with Heart of the Beast's Cartooon plus drop-in activities including a puppet workshop, a photo booth and Puppet Zoo with House Theatre, Flip Flap Productions, Heart of the Beast and AdventureStage.

Organizers plan the new Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to be a bi-annual event to establish Chicago as a center for the art of puppetry by artists around the world. Led by artistic director Blair Thomas, the festival builds on the city's enthusiasm for high quality international theater, while also collaborating with established local presenters.

Puppet Fest performances are scheduled every day from Wednesday, Jan. 14, through Sunday, Jan. 25. Times and prices vary.

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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