If you happen to enjoy puppetry as an art form, then you’ll be happy to know that April is the official month of the L.A. Puppet Fest. This citywide celebration will bring together a wide variety of events, shows, exhibits and classes for all ages, April 2nd through the 28th. Among this year’s participants are: Automata; Bali & Beyond; Bob Baker Marionette Theater; Grand Performances; International Puppetry Museum; Leslie K. Gray and Mercado La Paloma; Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry and Handmade Puppet Dreams; Million Puppet March; Puppet School; Rogue Artists Ensemble; Skirball Cultural Center; and UCB Theatre.
“The Los Angeles region is home to an eclectic world-class history of innovative puppetry arts; and we are still growing as a dynamic center for creative entrepreneurs, superb companies and presenting venues that embrace or specialize in puppetry arts,” says Joe Smoke, L.A’s director of cultural grant programs.
For more information, you can visit the L.A. Puppet Fest website at www.LAPuppetFest.com. Events range from Free to $25 per person and may have age recommendations.
Among the highlights: “La,La, La, LA: A Puppet Musical” at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater kicks off the festivities on Tuesday, April 2 at 9:30 p.m. Then, on Sunday, April 7, fans can enjoy a whole day of puppet programming at The Skirball Cultural Center (10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) The Bob Baker Marionette Theater will present “Pulling Strings & Funny Things” on Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. The Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry and Handmade Puppet Dreams will offer “Awesome Puppet Films & Filmmakers” on Tuesday, April 23, at 8 p.m. at Barnsdall Gallery Theater in Hollywood.
Of course, the piece de resistence may very well be L.A.’s largest puppet parade and closing ceremonies scheduled for Sunday, April 28, beginning at 10 a.m. You can check out the awesome parade organized by Michael Bellavia and his famous Million Puppet March, at 11 a.m. at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. (For more info, visit www.millionpuppetmarch.com). The Puppet Parade Grand Marshall is Alan Cook, the founder of the International Puppetry Museum in Pasadena, who will be recognized at the Closing Ceremonies immediately following the parade.