Most puppeteers are accustomed to bringing their shows to the audience – to schools, churches, fairs, meetings and other venues. A few organizations, however, have been able to establish fixed locations where the public can experience puppetry on a regular basis, either from a resident company, touring puppeteers, or both.
For this listing, a puppet theater is defined as: a permanent location that is open to the public, with an ongoing schedule of puppetry performances throughout the year.
If you have a place, a performance season or a museum dedicated to puppet arts that is open to the public, and feel it belongs on this list, please contact the PofA Office, 612-821-2382, firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Arizona Puppet Theater
Shows by resident professional troupe and visiting national and international guest artists. Open to the public year-round, 5 days a week. Gift shop with puppets, puppet stages and books. Repertoire consists of classic fairy tales, original stories, and educational programs with a special emphasis on shows that celebrate Arizona’s culture, heritage and ecology. New series features shows for adults.
Bob Baker Marionette Theatre
The theatre was founded some 44 years ago, and is the oldest, longest running puppet theatre in America. Bob Baker, the proprietor, has been doing puppetry for 72 years, starting when he was 8 in 1932. We offer puppet shows in our theatre that seats approximately 250/300. Adults sit in chairs, children sit on the floor around a “magic circle” where the marionettes are brought out to them. (Children parading as adults may sit on the floor, too.)
The Storybook Puppet Theater is the longest on-going professional puppet theater in the United States – founded in 1956. Resident Repertory Puppet Theater Company. Performances year round at 11, 2 and 4 o’clock. June- August: every day; September-October, and April-May: 5 days a week, Wednesday-Sunday; November-March: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Weekend Puppet Fair in August with guest performers, workshops, exhibit.
Puppetry Center of San Diego – operated by the San Diego Guild of Puppetry, Inc.
Exhibits. Literature and curriculum based education outreach programs. Community based, giant puppet parade pageants. Performances by local, national and international artists for children, families, adults. Workshops. Classes. Internships. Custom design: portrait puppets to giant parade figures. Puppet Theatre Writers’ Conference.
Denver Puppet Theatre
Established in 1996, the Denver Puppet Theater is a 100 seat marionette theater performing 6 productions each year from October through mid August. We offer marionette shows of classical and modern themes, hands on puppet play activities for children, a fun filled puppet gift shop, a cafe filled with delicious food and a wonderful outside courtyard.
Simpich Showcase – Museum, Gallery and Marionette Theatre
The Simpich Showcase Theatre is dedicated to presenting year-round string puppet productions for adult and family audiences. Featuring original plays from the Simpich Marionette Repertoire, the intimate 70 seat theatre plays host to a variety of stories and subject matter, from productions such as The Secret Garden, Hans Christian Andersen Storybook and Great Expectations to original plays by puppeteer David Simpich, as well as Christmas, Easter and other seasonal offerings. The adjoining Simpich Museum also houses rotating exhibits of many marionettes from the Simpich performances, displayed in elaborate settings.
2413 West Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
National Puppetry Conference – Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center
Annual 8-day June conference focused on creating new works for the puppet theatre through the collaborative process. Participants work with renowned guest directors, puppet artists and playwrights to develop innovative productions, either conceived by guest artists, or presentations initiated by the conference participants.
Center for Puppetry Arts
The Center for Puppetry Arts’ mission is to touch lives through the art of puppetry. The Center for Puppetry Arts is a unique cultural treasure – a magical place where children and adults are educated, enlightened and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops, the hands-on museum, as well as distance learning and outreach programs.
Opera in Focus
To the best of our knowledge, we are the only continuously operating ROD PUPPET OPERA company in the world. We perform on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1:30 pm. Performances are generally 60 to 80 minutes long and usually consist of three or four scenes, arias or songs. A demonstration of how the rod puppets “work” and a backstage tour follow each performance. Groups of 30 or more may reserve a performance at a day and time of their choosing. PRICES: ADULTS $12.00 SENIORS (Over 60) $11.00 and CHILDREN (Under 12) $7.00 The theater is air conditioned and is fully handicapped accessible. Parking is free and “bus-friendly. A banquet hall with a capacity of 128 is located in the facility and can be serviced by a Park District approved caterer of your choosing.
Melchior Marionette Theatre
Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
A quaint old world style 50 seat theatre in downtown Indianapolis, located in a 100 yr. old warehouse building. Shows are scheduled from October thru April, including two weeks of puppet camp in June. Seasonal shows, The Peewinkle Series and Fairytale Series are presented by MMHP Puppet Productions, Inc.
Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre
Owl Glass Puppetry Center presents an annual season of 6 productions. These include 2 productions by the in-house troupe, Eulenspiegel Puppets, 2 or 3 guests from all over the world, and one adult evening – Puppets and Pastries Dessert Theatre. The season also includes one community puppet theatre production. Owl Glass sponsors the annual West Liberty Children’s Festival and offers workshops for adults and children, summer puppet camp, and open studio hours during which locals are encouraged to help build puppets for community events.
The Puppet Co. Playhouse
Since 1983, The Puppet Co. has created puppet theatre, especially for children, as an art form synthesizing the visual and performing arts. Hand puppets, rod puppets, body puppets, marionettes and shadow puppets are used in the fully staged productions of the stories, traditional and original, which comprise our ever-growing repertory. Our new theater and resource center at Glen Echo Park had its Grand Opening on May 1, 2004, and is believed to be the first indoor theater in this country, designed and built from the ground up specifically and exclusively for puppet theater. It seats 250 people.
The Puppet Showplace Theatre
Founded in 1974, the Puppet Showplace Theatre is New England’s first and only year-round theatre devoted entirely to the art of puppetry. As a presenting theatre, the Puppet Showplace provides a different show each week, 50 weeks a year. These award-winning shows are performed by local and traveling professional puppeteers, and cover the entire spectrum of this unique art-form.
Detroit Institute of Arts – Paul McPharlin Collection
The Detroit Institute of Arts is undergoing a renovation project that will limit the exhibition of the McPharlin Puppet Collection. Tours of the puppet storage area can be arranged through a letter of request to the curator. A 116 page color catalog of the collection published in 2000 and titled Strings Hands Shadows: A Modern Puppet History is available for $19.95 on the DIA website www.dia.org. The DIA will open a permanent, rotating puppet exhibit of the Paul McPharlin Collection on 12/22/10. Forty feet of display cases will change every six months and the regularly scheduled puppet shows can be viewed at the DIA website page: dia.org
PuppetART/Detroit Puppet Theater
PuppetART is a Theater, a Studio, and a Museum. Each visit to PuppetART provides an audience with a performance of high artistic quality followed by a puppet-making workshop. Both events are tied together by an educational and explorative tour through the Museum. PuppetART Theater has an active repertoire of nine shows, staged monthly year around; every Saturday for general public and weekdays for groups. PuppetART Studio provides the opportunity for art education for children, caregivers, and professionals. The mainstream of PuppetART Studio activities is developing and offering hands-on workshops to groups of schoolchildren. Students K-12 learn how to make puppets and recognize, understand and use folk art elements of different cultures. Other workshops on the puppetry art are designed for various levels of interest, including one for teachers especially designed to enhance the curriculum and support an “arts-integrated” education. PuppetART Museum is a source of information on puppetry and how it reflects on history and diverse cultural traditions. The Museum also organizes exhibits to complement repertoire performances. The PuppetART Museum published a book in 2002, entitled “A History of Puppetry in Detroit,” by Gina Granger and Nancy Henk. The book is dedicated to Detroit’s tri-centennial and highlights its important role in the history of professional American puppetry.
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre
In the Heart of the Beast produces a season of original, company-generated plays for both families and adults. We teach puppetry and pageantry to students and teachers, teenagers and youth, and community members in our neighborhood and throughout Minnesota. We can seat up to 300.
Open Eye Figure Theatre
Open Eye brings the magic of puppetry to audiences of all ages with whimsical yet profound work in its historic jewel box home in Minneapolis and in neighborhoods throughout the Twin Cities with the award-winning Driveway Tour.
Kramer Marionette Theatre
Performances year-round by resident troupe and guest artists: Monday-Saturday: 10 am demo, 11:15 show, 1 pm demo, 2:15 show by reservation. Sunday at 1 and 2:15. Exhibit, Store, Workshops.
Mesner Puppet Theater
Mesner Puppet Theater is a globally known professional puppet theatre company based in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to its local season of storytelling performed in our 200-seat capacity studio, the company tours nationally and performs regionally to more than 30,000 children and adults annually. Mesner Puppet Theater provide a Puppets in Education program to schools and organizations.
1006 E. Linwood Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64109
Mike Horner – Artistic Director
Puppetry Arts Institute
Hazelle Rollins Puppet Museum; Special Exhibits; Puppet Shows; Workshops; Birthday parties; Puppet Research Library; Puppet Repair, Restringing & Appraisal. Hours: Tuesday – Saturday. 10 – 5. Museum Admission: Adults $3, children $1.50. Monthly puppet shows and drop-in or reserved group workshops $6 each, over 10, $5 each
Puppet BloK at Dixon Place
Branching out of downtown institution, artistic laboratory and state of the art theater Dixon Place’s mission to provide a safe haven for works in progress, Puppet BloK presents strikingly original programming from today’s most inspiring artists. Created in 2006, Puppet BloK promotes new works of puppetry and other innovative styles of performance by emerging and established artists year round with multiple development opportunities; one night showcases, a commissioning series and an artist in residence program to further support the creation of new work in NYC.Puppet BloK is the proud recipient of six presenter’s grants from The Jim Henson Foundation. Submit your work today!
Goat on a Boat @ Bay Street
Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre (founded 2001) is a community puppet theater committed to introducing young children and their families to a life-long love of theater and the creative arts. We are proud to partner with Bay Street Theater in our new home at 1 Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Our theater seats 200 with shows throughout the year for children ages 3-8 and their adults. We host puppeteers from all over the US.
HERE Arts Center, Dream Music Puppetry Program
One of few programs in the country to grow and commission contemporary, adult puppet works, Dream Music provides performance opportunities to puppet artists, and encourages multidisciplinary collaboration to develop new puppetry techniques. This program was inaugurated with the premiere of Basil Twist’s OBIE-award winning Symphonie Fantastique in 1998. Under the artistic direction of Twist, with producing direction from HERE co-founder Barbara Busackino, the Dream Music aesthetic is geared toward puppet works that feature live music as a collaborative element.
Open Hand Theater
A World of Puppets performance series for families on the first two Saturdays of the months October-April featuring great puppetry performances from across the country. Touring mask and puppet performances, arts-in-education programs and workshops, collaborations with other arts organizations and mask and puppet museum.
Puppetry in Practice
Our main site is still at Brooklyn College and open to teachers and the community but this summer we opened the Puppetry in Practice Museum, an outreach center in the Marine Park section of Brooklyn. We have been hosting parent workshops to supplement our school programs and meetings with other puppeteers and performing artists.
Weekend Public Performances: 12:30 & 2:30 Weekday Groups: 10:15, 11:30, 12:45 – Also, performances at Macy’s Herald Square, during the Holiday season. Souveniers, Books, Puppets on sale in Lobby. Seats 100.
The Shadow Box Theatre
The Shadow Box Theatre is currently the resident children’s company at the Theatres at 45 Bleecker St., Manhattan. With the magic of live theatre, music and puppetry, SBT has served over 2,000,000 children in 41 years in schools, theatres, community centers and parks throughout New York City. SBT also conducts creative arts workshops and publishes storybooks and CDs based on its shows.
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre in Central Park
Run by the City Parks Foundation, the Cottage, a model schoolhouse, was built as Sweden’s exhibit for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In 1877, Frederick Law Olmsted moved the Cottage to its present site in Central Park. In 1973 it was remodeled to include a permanent stage. Since then this small wooden lodge has hosted daily marionette shows that bring fairy tales alive for enchanted audiences.
Central Park West Drive at 80th St.
New York, NY
Teatro SEA (The Latino Children’s Theatre)
TEATRO SEA/The Latino Children’s Theatre at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, is New York’s Only Latino Children’s Theatre, and possibly the Only Latino Children’s Theatre in the United States. Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. (SEA) offers a year-round season of professional Puppet and Children’s Theatre, as well as art workshops. SEA’s repertory of shows, are performed in Spanish, English and bilingual. SEAson runs from September to June.
Lancaster Marionette Theatre
Lancaster Marionette Theatre is a 60-seat Victorian style theatre in downtown Lancaster founded in 1990 by Robert Brock. Marionette performances of classic stories and fairy tales are presented on weekends for the public and by arrangement for groups during the week.
Mock Turtle Marionette Theater at the Ice House
Now in our seventeenth year of family performances at our city-based IceHouse Theater in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Mock Turtle supplies the Lehigh Valley area with a ten to fourteen show family series called Saturday’s Child and a literacy-based field trip series for elementary schools called Early Reader Field Trips. In addition to our work at the IceHouse, Mock Turtle runs a puppet-based child abuse prevention program for the county and engages in artistic partnerships with community arts groups such as the Pennsylvania Sinfonia and Touchstone Theatre.
Spiral Q Puppet Theatre
Philadelphia’s Spiral Q lives at the intersection of arts and social justice. Established in 1996, Spiral Q uses popular arts (parades, print, pageantry, puppets) to build an urban arts democracy rooted in principles of accessibility, inclusion, self-determination, collaboration, sustainability, and life long learning. Spiral Q works with reclaimed and recycled materials, teaches in schools and community organizations throughout the city, leads collaborative planning of giant public art projects, and supports creative community organizing. Spiral Q’s work is nationally recognized for its originality, its capacity to inspire individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and its ability to creatively revitalize communities throughout Philadelphia.
Columbia Marionette Theatre
Celebrating 16 years as South Carolina’s premiere children’s theatre, the Columbia Marionette Theatre offers birthday parties, field trips, traveling shows, artists-in-residence programs, home school programs and even puppet shows for adults!
Sandglass Theatre & Sandglass Center for Puppetry and Research
An intimate 60 seat renovated barn theater in Putney, Vermont. We present our own work as well as national and international companies.
Bread & Puppet Theater & Museum
Apprenticeship Program end of June thru July; Summer performances at our farm in Glover, Vermont, July-August. Museum open daily, 10am-6pm, May – October, housing a giant collection of puppets, masks, paintings and graphics in a century old barn.
Northwest Puppet Center – Carter Family Marionettes
Northwest Puppet Center features a season of public performances, weekday school series, museum exhibits, archive/library, touring performances and educational programs. In recent years the Carter Family Marionettes have also begun staging full scale marionette operas and was recently the cover story in the national magazine, Early Music America. In December of 2003, Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s “Best of 2003 – Family”, Northwest Puppet Center was listed as #1 children’s attraction. “Pupi per tutti!” (Puppets for all!)
Hazel Green Opera House
The opera house is where people and puppets come together for fun. This is the home of The Fever River Puppeteers, a nonprofit 501c3, who perform marionette and other puppet shows seasonally. We offer occasional puppetry workshops for children and adults, and we feature guest puppeteers as well. The opera house seats 80 patrons on soft chairs.