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Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

Blair Thomas's new festival aims to make Chicago a center for contemporary puppetry

This year, like last, the early January weather seems to be challenging us to remember why we can't leave Chicago. But many of our city's favorite cultural programmers keep giving us festivals full of reasons—see Sketchfest, Tomorrow Never Knows, Fillet of Solo. This month, puppet impresario Blair Thomas and a host of big institutions (among them the Art Institute, Field Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art) add another: The inaugural Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival aims to make the city a biennial center for innovative stage artists whose work animates the inanimate. Read on for a guide to the marionettes, shadow puppets, toy theater, sock puppets and more soon to be taking stages across Chicago.

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