Friday, March 29, 2013

LA Puppet Fest throughout April

L.A. Puppet Fest, a celebration of the art and creativity of all things related to puppetry to be presented by a myriad of puppetry organizations located throughout greater Los Angeles from April 2 through the 28th, come together to create a great experience for locals and visitors of all ages. This inaugural citywide festival offers a variety of events, shows, exhibitions and classes for all ages and tastes, bringing the best puppetry can offer to fans, those who want to learn and those who want to participate.  L.A. Puppet Fest 2013 is sponsored in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA).

Participants of the First Annual L.A. Puppet Fest include: 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. As a sponsor of Los Angeles’ first official Puppet Fest, the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) has played a mentorship role in empowering some of our region's most energetic players to organize and market a lively schedule of entertaining and participatory events with something for all types of audiences. We are certain that this increased concentration of smiles and laughter will be a great way for Los Angeles to join our country in celebrating National Puppetry Week," exclaimed Joe Smoke, Director of Cultural Grant Programs, City of Los Angeles DCA.

For more information please visit the L.A. Puppet Fest website at www.LAPuppetFest.comor you can check each participating event has its own contact information. Events range from Free to $25 per person and may have age recommendations. L.A. Puppet Fest can be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @LAPuppetFest.

Tuesday, April 2, 9:30 p.m.:             La, La, La, LA: A Puppet Musical
5919 Franklin Avenue, Los Angeles 90028, 323-908-8702
Admission:  $5.00
Los Angeles deserves its own puppet musical about how life sucks sometimes. Follow Joe Green and his friends in this puppet musical, as they experience commercial auditions, terrible (but flexible) part-time jobs, and worst of all, living in the Valley. 
Cast: Ben Siemon, Andie Bolt, Meghan Parks, Steve Szalga, Zach Reino, David Kerns, and Renee Colvert, with music by Ben Siemon & Scott Passerella.
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre offers affordable comedy shows seven nights a week in NYC and LA with improve, sketch and standup.

Thurs/Fri/Sat, April 4*/5/6, 7:30 p.m.:          Songs of Bilitis
Bootleg Theater, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 90057,
Admission:  $25, Students with ID $18
The World’s Greatest Work of Counterfeit Greek Erotica WITH PUPPETS! Based on the French erotic novel written by Pierre Louÿs; Adapted for the stage by Katie Polebaum with Rogue Artists Ensemble; Directed by Sean T. Cawelti
Songs of Bilitis is an erotic psychological thriller, exploring the true story of how and why a flamboyantly heterosexual avant-garde Parisian novelist successfully impersonated a lesbian Greek poet in the most elaborate erotic literary hoax the world has ever known.Mature audiences only, contains nudity and adult themes.
Rogue Artists Ensemble combines multi-media projections with puppetry, movement, sophisticated live audio-sampling and larger-than-life Greek masks to transport us through a world of sexual power struggles and changing identities.
* post-performance “talkback” with the artists will take place after immediately following the 4/4 performance

Sunday, April 7, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.:      Puppet Festival
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles 90049, 
Admission:  $10 General; $7 Seniors, Full-Time Students, & Children over 12; $5 Children 2-12; Free to Skirball Members and Children under 2
This is The Skirball Cultural Center’s second annual Puppet Festival. Inspired by the fanciful animal puppets and kinetic animal sculptures that populate the Noah’s Ark galleries, celebrate the art of puppetry during this festive day of performances, puppet making, and storytelling. Fun for visitors of all ages.
Art making, close-up puppet “happenings,” and a host of puppet performances are sure to delight visitors ages 2 to 102. This daylong event will bring together some of Southern California’s most talented puppeteers and artists—working in a wide range of cultural and artistic styles—to entertain, inspire, and amaze.

Saturday, April 13, 8:00 p.m.:           Pulling Strings & Funny Things
1345 West First Street, Los Angeles 90026, /
Admission:  $10
A Night of Puppets, Comedy, Music, Dance, Magic and More, hosted by Bill Parker and Lloyd the Tap Dancing Toad! Entertainers of all kinds are coming together to put on the best variety show you've ever seen!

Saturday, April 20, 2:00 p.m.:           L.A. in Focus: Images and Turnabout Puppet Theatre Lecture
630 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles 90071;
Admission:  FREE
L.A. in Focus: Images from the Los Angeles Public Library Collection and Turnabout Puppet Theatre Lecture. Puppetry, Hollywood, and gay history would not be the same without the Yale Puppeteers and Turnabout Theatre. Located on La Cienega, the Turnabout was a cabaret destination for audiences and entertainers who visited its performers such as Elsa Lanchester and the theatre founders Harry Burnett, Richard Brandon, and Forman Brown. More than friends, these marionette maestros were a talented gay trio who illuminated early gay culture and changed the course of American puppetry. Please join historian J. Eric Lynxwiler for this Los Angeles tale unlike any other. With special guests, Tony Urbano, master puppeteer and former performer with Turnabout, and Alan Cook, founder and director of the International Puppetry Museum.

Saturday, April 20, 2:30 p.m.:           “Snakes R Us” - Art & Craft of Shadow Theater
Bali & Beyond at NoHo Senior Arts Colony   
10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood 91601,
Admission:  FREE
Since early February, participants have been having fun while working hard making shadow puppets, writing a group story, choreographing the shadows, coordinating with the live music and preparing for their culmination performance.

Saturday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.:           “Change the World,” A Shadow Puppet Performance
3655 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles 90007,
Admission:  FREE
The environmental element of the L.A. Puppet Fest – “Change the World,” a family-friendly overhead projector shadow show will be presented with a free shadow puppet workshop conducted by director Leslie K. Gray for the Mercado La Paloma's special Night of Community Expressions and Conversations: "Out of the Shadows", an open forum and dialogue about possible 'fracking' projects in local neighborhoods.

Tuesday, April 23, 8:00 p.m.:           Awesome Puppet Films & Filmmakers
Presented by the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry / Handmade Puppet Dreams
Barnsdall Gallery Theater
4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles 90027,
Admission:  FREE
In partnership with Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams, the LAGOP's contribution to the First Annual L.A. PUPPET FEST 2013 is a special offering of the film shorts "Graveyard Jamboree," "Yamasong," "Sammy and Sofa," and "The Narrative of Victor Karloch," complete with Q&A with filmmakers Screen Novelties, Sam K. Hale, Tim Lagasse, and Kevin McTurk and displays of the puppets - a great event and just part of a month's worth of great events in Los Angeles!
Parents please note that "Sammy" has mature humor and "Victor Karloch" is a Victorian-era horror story - best for older kids, say 12 and up.

Tues/Wed, April 23/24, 10:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.:      Sneak Peak: International Puppetry Museum
1062 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena 91103, 626-296-1536,
Admission:  FREE – Donations welcome
The current puppet exhibit, a tour of the space plus selected puppet posters.

Wednesday, April 24, 7:30 p.m.:      Puppetry Potpourri by Puppet School at the Skirball Center
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles 90049,
Admission:  FREE
First up will be Emmy Award-winning puppeteer, Michael Earl, demonstrating TV and film puppetry. Next, Janine Pibal will show further on-camera examples of what is also known as Muppet-style Puppetry. Then Libby Letlow will give us an overview of Theater Puppetry, followed by Adrian Rose Leonard demonstrating Marionettes. Eric Kuska will then switch gears with a talk on writing for puppets called Puppet Sketch, and Tamara Becker will conclude the evening sharing her expertise on Puppet Making. By enrolling online in advance, participants will be part of a raffle to get free classes and prizes.

Thurs/Fri, April 25/26, 8:00 p.m.:     Exhibit A
Also on Sat, April 27, 4:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. & Sun, April 28, 4:00 p.m.:       
504 Chung King Court, Los Angeles 90012,
Admission: $18 General Admission; $15 members, students and seniors

EXHIBIT A blends historical fact with speculative fiction to explore the convergence of radical visionaries that populated the hills of Silver Lake in the 1950s.
Archival letters and journal entries delve into the lives of landmark figures, including Harry Hay and John Lautner, while unnamed alien visitors roam the transforming landscape. Using model replicas and green-screen video effects to generate a moody, disorienting vision, performers—both human and puppet—navigate profound shifts in consciousness.

Sunday, April 28, 10:00 a.m.:           Los Angeles’ Largest Puppet Parade Ever & Closing Ceremonies
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; Puppet Making Courtesy of Rogue Artists
11:00 a.m.; Parade Begins organized by Million Puppet March
12:30 p.m.; Closing Ceremonies Begin
3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica 90401,

Puppet making tables will be in front of Barnes & Noble, 1201 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica and the Parade marches south along the Promenade to 3rd & Broadway for the Closing Ceremonies. The public is invited to be a part of history as the Parade will try to beat the record for the largest puppet march ever!
The public, along with their favorite puppets are invited to join the Parade and march in the parade for free. Don't have a puppet? Courtesy of Rogue Artists, attendees can make their own puppet in the morning for free at the parade starting line. One lucky Parade participant will even win a prize. 
The Parade is being organized by the Million Puppet March, the organization that garnered worldwide media coverage with its March on Washington in the fall of 2012. 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. For more information about the parade email

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