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Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival Invites Public To Free Open House on October 8

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The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival has an expanded administrative office, complete with a fireplace, in its new space in Chicago's Fine Arts Building.

Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival Invites Public To Free Open House on October 8

The public is invited to explore the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival's newly expanded space, including its teaching lab and puppet fabrication shop, Friday, October 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the historic Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.

Previously housed in a cramped fifth floor office, the Chicago Puppet Festival has tripled its space in the Fine Arts Building this fall. The administrative staff has moved to a larger office and welcoming suite, complete with a fireplace, where plans are now being made for the return of the 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, January 20-30, 2022.

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival has an expanded administrative office, complete with a fireplace, in its new space in Chicago's Fine Arts Building.

On the fourth floor, festival staff are building out a new, 2,120-square-foot, four-room studio space with exclusive access to the building's Venetian courtyard, a hidden treasure.
Here, the festival will house its expanded Chicago Puppet Studio, which designs and fabricates amazing puppets for theaters and special events around the U.S., and the festival's new Chicago Puppet Lab, a developmental incubator for Chicago artists creating new, original puppetry work. The first Chicago Puppet Lab residencies begin in late October, with a cohort of six to eight artists all set for an eight-month, on-site residency culminating in a mini-festival of works-in-progress.

The view from the Chicago Puppet Studio, where visitors can step right outside to the beautiful Venetian courtyard, a hidden treasure in the Fine Arts Building.

Puppetry fans know it's only fitting that the Fine Arts Building is home again to one of the most influential puppetry organizations in the world. Back in 1912, when Ellen Van Volkenburg famously founded the Little Theater of Chicago in the Fine Arts Building, legend has it she needed a name for the actors she had trained to manipulate marionettes while performing Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. So, she credited them in the show program with a new word, "puppeteer." Many agree this marked the initial intersection of traditional puppetry with contemporary theater still practiced today, and now flourishing around the world.
The Open House on October 8th is free, and part of the Fine Arts Building's monthly Open Studios Event, held on the first Friday of every month in creative spaces throughout the building. Vaccination and masking protocols will be in place per current Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines at all festival facilities.

The 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival will return with live performances, ready to make Chicago the puppetry capital of the world, January 20-30, 2022.

For 10 days, Chicagoans and visitors alike will be treated to a deep, diverse roster of contemporary and traditional puppetry forms presented at cultural institutions large and small all over the city. Shows, artists and all festival events will be announced in the fall.
Until then, visit chicagopuppetfest.org for more information.


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