Great Lakes Regional Puppet Festival in Detroit

Spend a weekend immersed in the artful performances and storytelling that go hand-in-hand with puppetry at the Great Lakes Regional Puppet Festival, coming to the Detroit Institute of Arts July 25-27, 2014.

The Detroit Puppeteers Guild, with the DIA, is hosting this year's festival, titled "Motor City Puppet Blast." Over three days, families are invited to the museum to watch performances by various puppeteers and groups.

On Friday, Sarah Frechette uses Czech-style marionettes to tell the story of The Snowflake Man, and Manual Cinema performs Lula del Ray with almost no dialogue – only projectors, shadows, silhouette actors and music. Saturday, see The Jungle Book, and catch three generations of Melchoirs as The Melchoir Marionettes perform. Sunday features a few different types of puppetry with the Cynthia Von Orthal Puppets and Dick Meyers' Beauty and the Beast. You can find a full list of performances by scrolling down a bit.

Kids can get hands-on with the special children's workshops, running each day with a different puppet-themed craft in the DIA Studio.

Performances and DIA-run children's workshops are free for Wayne, Macomb and Oakland county residents, and free with $4-$8 admission to the museum for those outside the tri-county area.

Shows and times are as follows:

Friday, July 25

  • 3:30 p.m., The Snowflake Man, Sarah Frechette
  • 6-9 p.m., model magic pencil puppets children's workshop
  • 7:30 p.m., Lula del Ray, Manual Cinema

Saturday, July 26

  • 10:30 a.m., The Jungle Book, The Frisch Marionettes
  • Noon-4 p.m., glove finger puppets children's workshop
  • 12:15 p.m., variety show, The Melchior Marionettes
  • 1:15 p.m., Mefiez-Vous de la Vache Garou (Beware the Werecow!), Sea Beast Puppetry

Sunday, July 27

  • 11 a.m., Dick Meyers' Beauty and the Beast
  • Noon-4 p.m., felt snake and spider marionettes children's workshop
  • Noon, The Yellow Wallpaper and The Crane Maiden, Von Orthal Puppets

For more details on the 2014 Great Lakes Regional Puppet Festival at the Detroit Institute of Arts, visit the Metro Parent calendar listing. For a full schedule of events and registration information for select activities, go to the Great Lakes Puppeteers of America website.

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