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Pop-Up Puppet Grams Are Back at The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

New this year, Blashford has created three different Pop-Up Puppet-Grams, each with original puppet characters and themes.

Pop-Up Puppet Grams Are Back at The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

Pop-Up Puppet Grams, the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival's answer to sending flowers or singing telegrams, are back for spring gift giving.

Chicago's own traveling Pop-Up Puppet Gram puppeteer Mark Blashford has begun booking appointments again, starting Thursday, May 6, just in time for Mother's Day weekend.

New this year, Blashford has created three different Pop-Up Puppet-Grams, each with original puppet characters and themes, each ready to be performed in person for someone you love on front porches, in back yards, lobbies, entryways, even garages. Choose from:

Garden Party is inspired by Chicago's Motto, Urbs in Horto: City in a Garden. While working in his backyard, a gardening marionette is visited by a roller-disco, dancing chrysanthemum, Chicago's official flower. Recipients will receive their own mid-western wildflower seeds as a keepsake for this green-thumb inspired Puppet Gram.

A Western Lonely Goatherd is a tribute to the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein song and the beloved marionette scene in the Sound of Music. Blashford delivers a Czech rod-marionette performance featuring a yodeling puppeteer complete with 18 western-themed puppets (and counting!)
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Doorstep Marionette is a tiny, delightful cowboy show, customized for your giftee. As part of the show, Blashford's diminutive cowboy marionette paints a little picture, which he gifts to the recipient as a Puppet-Gram keepsake.
So, send the one you love -- or that friend who could use a little extra joy this spring - a Pop-Up Puppet-Gram. Not only will they get a personal message of love, performed live right at their doorstep, but each recipient receives a special memento at the conclusion of each show.

Pop-Up Puppet-Grams are on sale now for $75 and are easy to order via the Chicago Puppet Festival's website, chicagopuppetfest.org. Just pick a day and time: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, May 6-November 7, plus Sundays May 9 (Mother's Day) and June 20 (Father's Day). No shows during summer break, July 18-August 11.

To allow for multiple deliveries each day, Puppet-Grams can be sent in the city of Chicago and to several nearby suburbs. Check the website for delivery boundaries.

The Chicago Puppet Festival launched its Pop-Up Puppet-Gram service last spring and has since dispatched more than 200 Puppet-Grams to front porches, apartment lobbies, back yards and private events throughout the city. As before, Blashford will be masked and maintain social distancing throughout his performances this spring.

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival is a non-profit organization founded by Chicago master puppeteer Blair Thomas to establish Chicago as a prominent center for the art of puppetry and advance the form. The festival introduced Pop-Up Puppet-Grams in an effort to keep local puppeteers active and working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

i??For the latest updates, visit chicagopuppetfest.org.


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