Special Events

Children’s International Puppet Festival

When: Wed., May 4, Thu., May 5, Fri., May 6, Sat., May 7, Sun., May 8, Mon., May 9 and Tue., May 10 2016

Co-presented by the Tobin and the Children’s Fine Art Series, this second annual event brings together six companies for a week of shows linked by puppetry and imaginative journeys into the unknown. Billed as a “cosmic adventure about celebrating differences,” New Orleans-based Lightwire Theater’s Moon Mouse combines a storyline about a mouse — who naturally believes the moon is made of cheese — and an eclectic musical score (6pm Wed-Thu). Lunar inspiration continues in Montreal-based Le Théâtre des Petites Âmes’ Pekka, a tale of a tiny turtle in search of an elusive moon (10am, 12:15pm & 2:30pm Sat). Likened by The New York Times to a theatrical version of Pixar’s WALL-E, Australian puppeteer Tim Watts’ “micro-epic puppet show” The Adventure of Alvin Sputnik sends its brave protagonist to the depths of the ocean to find an alternate habitat amid rising sea levels (6:30pm Fri, 1pm & 4pm Sat). An “aquatic ode that draws on timeless myths,” L’Illusion Théâtre of Montreal’s Ondin sees a young boy transformed into a marine creature navigating strange waters (11am, 2pm & 4pm Sun, 5pm Mon, 6pm Tue). Brought to life by the shadow puppetry and digital projections of Austin’s Sandbank Shadow Factory, Walter Weirdbeard follows a crew of disgruntled pirates who find a treasure chest filled with musty old books (6pm Fri, 11am, 1:15pm & 3:30pm Sat, 1:25pm, 3pm, 4:35pm Sun). Led by “wacky paleontologist” Dr. Dino Sawyer, Kansas City-based Paul Mesner Puppets’ The Dinosaur Show conjures prehistoric beasties via puppetry, a shadow spectacle and audience interaction (12:15pm, 2:30pm & 4:15pm Sun, 5pm Mon, 6pm Tue).

Price: $12 per show, $54 for a festival pass