Puppet theater has been around since at least 3,000 BC. While it’s been overshadowed by other forms of entertainment in today’s world, it is still a relevant and unique visual medium that’s worth experiencing. A great opportunity to find out what puppetry is all about is at the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival this January.
The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival takes place over 10 days (January 19-29) and will feature puppet theater performances across multiple venues throughout Chicago. The performances last anywhere from 60 minutes to 2 hours and range in subject matter from dramatic thrillers to kid-friendly adventure tales. While in Chicago, the Majestic Hotel is a great lodging option while you explore various Chicago neighborhoods during the festival.
Despite the popular idea that puppet theater is for children, about 75% of the shows at the festival are geared towards adults or deal with adult themes. So if you plan on taking the whole family be sure to check out the 9 “family friendly” shows which are specifically labeled as such in the festival’s schedule.
Admissions to the shows vary depending on the show and venue but roughly range from free to $40, there is also special pricing available for students and senior citizens. In 2015, the first year of this biannual event, over 87% of shows were sold out, so be sure to book your tickets ahead of time.
An Excellent Resource for Puppet Theater Enthusiasts
Besides performances, puppet enthusiasts might be interested in some of the other events taking place as part of the festival. Panel discussions, puppet theater workshops and presentations about the history of puppet theater help round out the festival into a comprehensive event suited for people at all levels of puppet theater interest.
Why is Chicago the home of a puppetry festival? Chicago is actually considered to be the home of modern puppetry in the United States. In fact, the word puppeteer wasn’t even in the American vocabulary until Chicagoan Ellen Van Volkenbrug coined the term in 1912 when she needed a way to credit a mannequin operator in a production at the Little Theater in Chicago.
Join The Conversation
Be sure to follow the Chicago International Puppet Theater on their various social media accounts. They are active on Twitter @ChiPuppetFest Facebook, Instagram and encourage the #ChiPuppetFest hashtag.
Where: Chicago, Various Venues
Admission: Free – $40
WHERE TO STAY
This hotel has lots of charm with its comfortable, delightful atmosphere of an upscale English manor, amidst the energetic city life of the bustling Lakeview neighborhood. 528 West Brompton, Chicago, IL 60657. 773.404.3499