Puppeteers of America

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1936-2019 at a Glance

Organizing and producing Puppetry Festivals is a major part of the mission of Puppeteers of America.

From 1936 to 1941 national festivals were held every year in different parts of the country. During World War II when travel was difficult, four small regional festivals were held in Illinois 1942-1945 to keep the festival tradition and the organization. The first National Festival following the War was held in 1946 at the studio/home of Rufus and Margo Rose in Waterford Connecticut, with some performances and workshops at nearby Connecticut College in New London. The 1950 festival was the first to be held on a college campus (instead of a hotel). The change increased festival attendance, the number of shows presented and the length of the festival.

Currently, national and regional festivals are held in alternate years. Five day national festivals are produced during the odd numbered years in various parts of the United States and Canada. Usually 3 or 4 Regional Festivals lasting 3 days, are held during even numbered years. Regional Festivals are organized within the eight regions of the organization and produced by the Puppeteer of America.

65th American Puppetry Festival, National Puppetry Festival, University of Minnesota, 2019
July 16-21, 2019
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kathleen Conroy, Director

64th American Puppetry Festival, National Puppetry Festival, Concordia University, 2017
July 18-23, 2017
St. Paul, Minnesota
Wayne Krefting, Director

63rd American Puppetry Festival, National Puppetry Festival, University of Connecticut, 2015
August 10-16, 2015
Storrs, Connecticut
Bart Roccoberton, Director

62nd American Puppetry Festival, Puppet Festival (r)Evolution, Swarthmore College, 2013
August 5-10, 2013
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Robert Smythe, Director

61st American Puppetry Festival, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011
July 21–17, 2011
Atlanta, Georgia
Lee Bryan and Jeff Cornett, Co- Directors

60th American Puppetry Festival, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009
July 14–19, 2009
Atlanta, Georgia
Lee Bryan and Jeff Cornett, Co- Directors

59th American Puppetry Festival, Puppet Rampage, Concordia University, 2007
July 17–22, 2007
St. Paul, Minnesota
Drew Allison & Bob Nathanson-Festival Co- Directors

58th American Puppetry Festival, Concordia University, 2005
July 24–30, 2005
St. Paul, Minnesota
Kurt Hunter, Festival Director

57th American Puppetry Festival, Northeastern State University, 2003
June 29 – July 5, 2003
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Jim Malone, Festival Director

56th American Puppetry Festival, University of Tampa, 2001
July 8–14, 2001
Tampa, Florida
Jody Wren, Festival Director

55th American Puppetry Festival, University of Washington, 1999
August 1–7, 1999
Seattle, Washington
Chris and Stephen Carter, Co-Directors

54th American Puppetry Festival, University of Toledo, 1997
July 27 - August 2, 1997
Toledo, Ohio
Joyce and Chuck Berty, Co-Directors

53rd American Puppetry Festival, Bryn Mawr College, 1995
July 23-29, 1995
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Tom and Marianne Tucker, Co-Directors

52nd American Puppetry Festival, (Mini-National) University of Minnesota, 1994
July 13-17 1994
St. Paul, Minnesota
Wayne Krefting, David Sleeper Co-Directors

51st American Puppetry Festival, San Francisco State University, 1993
July 11-17, 1993
San Francisco, California
Mike Oznowicz, Lettie Schubert, Ronna Leon, Festival Directors

50th American Puppetry Festival, Northeastern State University, 1991
July 28 – August 3, 1991
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Jim Malone, Festival Director

49th American Puppetry Festival, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989
July 9–15, 1989
Boston, Massachusetts
Nancy Laverick, Festival Director

48th American Puppetry Festival, Drawbridge Inn, 1987
August 9–15, 1987
Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
Kathy Piper, Festival Director

47th American Puppetry Festival, University of British Columbia, 1986
August 3–9, 1986
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Luman Coad, Festival Director

46th American Puppetry Festival, arvey Mudd College, 1985
July 7–13, 1985
Claremont, California
Lettie Connelll Schubert, Festival Director

45th American Puppetry Festival, Michigan State University, 1984
June 24-30, 1984
East Lansing, Michigan
David Holquist, Festival Director

44th American Puppetry Festival, Iowa State Center, 1983
July 31 – August 6, 1983
Ames, Iowa
Steve Schutt, Festival Director

43rd American Puppetry Festival, Emory University, 1982
June 27 – July 3, 1982
Atlanta, Georgia
Carol Daniel, Festival Director

42nd American Puppetry Festival, California Polytechnic State University, 1981
August 9-15, 1981
San Luis Obispo, California
Don Ave, Festival Director

41st American Puppetry Festival, World Puppet Festival and UNIMA XIII Congress Georgetown University, 1980
June 8–16, 1980
Washington, DC
Nancy Lohman Staub, Executive Director

40th American Puppetry Festival, Kent State University, 1979
August 12-18, 1979
Kent, Ohio
Roger Dennis, Festival Director

39th American Puppetry Festival, Texas Tech University, 1978
June 26–30, 1978
Lubbock, Texas
Peggy Howard Bright, Chairman

38th American Puppetry Festival, California Polytechnic State University, 1977
August 14-19, 1977
San Luis Obispo, California
Gayle G. Schluter, Chairman

37th American Puppetry Festival, Connecticut College, 1976
June 13–18, 1976
New London, Connecticut
Margo Rose, Honorary Director; Frank Ballard, Co-ordinator

36th American Puppetry Festival, Lindenwood Colleges, 1975
June 22–27, 1975
St. Charles, Missouri
Marilyn Myers, Chairman

35th American Puppetry Festival, Tulane University, 1974
August 7-11, 1974
New Orleans, Louisiana
Nancy L. Staub, Chairman

34th American Puppetry Festival, Michigan State University, 1973
June 24-29, 1973
East Lansing, Michigan
Rhea Dow and Phyllis Maner, Co-Chairs

33rd American Puppetry Festival, Mills College, 1972
August 14-18, 1972
Oakland, California
Lewis Mahlmann, Chairman

32nd American Puppetry Festival, Scarritt College, 1971
August 16–20, 1971
Nashville, Tennessee
Tom Nankervis, Chairman

31st American Puppetry Festival, University of Connecticut, 1970
August 16–21, 1970
Storrs, Connecticut
Caroll Spinney, Chairman

30th American Puppetry Festival, University of Utah, 1969
August 18–22, 1969
Salt Lake City, Utah
Nancy Giles and Glenn J. Bealey, Chairs

29th American Puppetry Festival, Webster College, 1968
August 19-23, 1968
St. Louis, Missouri
Don Avery, Chairman

28th American Puppetry Festival, University of Waterloo, 1967
July 3-7, 1967
Ontario, Canada
Ken Wyndham, Chairman

27th American Puppetry Festival, U.S. Grant Hotel, 1966
June 25-30, 1966
San Diego, California
Pat Platt, Chairman

26th American Puppetry Festival, Detroit Institute of Arts, 1965
June 24–28, 1965
Detroit, Michigan
Dr. Audley Grossman, Jr., Chairman

25th American Puppetry Festival, The DeLido Hotel, 1964
June 29 - July 5, 1964
Miami Beach, Florida
Jero Magon, Chairman

24th American Puppetry Festival, New Morningside Hotel, 1963
June 24–29, 1963
Hurleyville, New York
Jim Henson and Earl Wertheim, Chairmen

23rd American Puppetry Festival, The Western College for Women, 1962
June 25-30, 1962
Oxford, Ohio
Ronald Herrick, Chairman

22nd American Puppetry Festival, Asilomar, 1961
June 19-24, 1961
Pacific Grove, California
Lettie Connell Schubert, Chairman

21st American Puppetry Festival, The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1960
August 1-6, 1960
Detroit, Michigan
Dorothy Oden, Chairman

20th American Puppetry Festival, The Western College for Women, 1959
August 3-8, 1959
Oxford, Ohio
George Merten, Chairman

19th American Puppetry Festival, University of North Carolina, 1958
August 4-9, 1958
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
George Merten, Chairman

18th American Puppetry Festival, The University of California, 1957
August 5-10, 1957
Los Angeles, California
Melvyn Helstein and John U. Zweers, Chairmen

17th American Puppetry Festival, Northwestern University, 1956
August 6-11, 1956
Evanston, Illinois
Ann Thurman, Chair, with the Junior League

16th American Puppetry Festival, Bowling Green State University, 1955
June 28 – July 1, 1955
Bowling Green, Ohio
Archie Elliott, Chairman

15th American Puppetry Festival, Dartmouth College, 1954
June 23-26, 1954
Hanover, New Hampshire
Basil Milovsoroff, Chairman

14th American Puppetry Festival, University of Minnesota, 1953
June 23-26, 1953
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Lem Williams and John Shirley, Chairmen

13th American Puppetry Festival, University of Louisiana, 1952
June 24-27, 1952
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Wesley and Jean Starr Wiksell, Chairmen

12th American Puppetry Festival, Western College for Women, 1951
June 26-29, 1951
Oxford, Ohio
William Ireland Duncan, Chairman

11th American Puppetry Festival, Western College for Women, 1950
June 27-30, 1950
Oxford, Ohio
William Ireland Duncan, Chairman

10th American Puppetry Festival, The Tuller Hotel, 1949
June 28 - July 1, 1949
Detroit, Michigan
Ed Johnson, Chairman

9th American Puppetry Festival, Skervin Tower Hotel, 1948
June 22- 25, 1948
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Margaret Trent, Chair, with the Junior League

8th American Puppetry Festival, St. Peter’s Church, 1947
June 25-28, 1947
St. Louis, Missouri
Leona Thompson, Chairman

7th American Puppetry Festival, The Studio/Home of The Rufus Rose Marionettes, 1946
June 27-30, 1946
Waterford, Connecticut
Rufus and Margo Rose, Chairmen

1942-1945
Due to the war effort, no national puppet festivals were scheduled. In 1942 Romaine and Ellen Proctor organized a Midwestern Puppeteers Festival at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield, Illinois, and in 1943 Martha and Anna Hargraves organized a Midwestern Puppeteers Festival at the Aurora Hotel, Aurora, Illinois. In 1944 there was a Midwest Puppetry Festival in Chicago, Agnes Hoffman, Chair, In 1945 the Midwest Puppetry Festival was in Chicago, Lucille Cole, Chair.

6th American Puppetry Festival, Melbourne Hotel, 1941
June 24-27, 1941
St. Louis, Missouri
Romain Proctor, Chairman

5th American Puppetry Festival, The Hotel Lowry, 1940
June 25-28, 1940
St. Paul, Minnesota
Dell Wheeler, Chairman

4th American Puppetry Festival, Hotel Van Rennselaer, 1939
June 27-30, 1939
New York City, New York
Catherine Reighard, Chairman

3rd American Puppetry Festival, Festival at The Medinah Club, 1938
June 27-30, 1938
Chicago, Illinois
Don Vestal, Chairman

2nd American Puppetry Festival, 1937
June 28 - July 1, 1937
Cincinnati, Ohio
Martin and Olga Stevens, Chairmen

1st American Puppetry Festival, 1936
July 8-11, 1936
Detroit, Michigan
Paul McPharlin, Organizer

Puppeteers of America
310 East 38th St, Suite 127
Minneapolis, MN 55409

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office@puppeteers.org