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February 3rd, 2024 Charlotte, NC

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Experience the wonder of puppetry!

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Children's Theatre of Charlotte in partnership with Sigmon Theatrical present an all-day, non-stop, FREE family-friendly puppetry festival celebrating the joy and art of puppetry!

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Shows

Presentations

Puppet Show

Activities

300 E 7th St, Charlotte, NC 28202

(704) 416-4600

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February 3rd, 2024 Charlotte, NC

2024 Festival Artists

Our Event Partners

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

From their humble beginning in 1948, Children's Theatre of Charlotte has grown to become one of the most respected arts and education organizations in the country. As creators of high-quality professional theatre for young audiences, they are committed to the mission that children have the right to explore the wonder of their world safely and confidently with kindness at its core.

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Sigmon Theatrical

From performers flying through the air to close up character encounters, Sigmon Theatrical is dedicated to creating memorable and magical experiences that audiences will cherish. Their interactive performers and roving puppets spark imagination and wonder and turn any event into an immersive experience.

Puppetry Troupes

(in order of appearance)

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Center for Puppetry Arts

The Center for Puppetry Arts’ mission is to inspire imagination, education and community through the global art of puppetry. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops, and the hands-on Museum, as well as Digital Learning and Outreach Programs.

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The Lurnsters

The Lurnsters are a video-based entrepreneurship education platform that uses social emotional learning to teach students the skills they need to be successful entrepreneurs. Their puppet shows are engaging, entertaining, and full of monster fun for the whole family.

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Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Frontline Puppeteers

The CML Frontline Puppeteers are a team of staff members of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system who develop and perform puppet shows for young children adapted from children’s picture books. They believe in bringing stories to life through puppet play and are committed to making puppetry accessible, free, and open to the public.

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Ms. Melanie Puppetry

Ms. Melanie has been engaging children with puppetry for over 15 years. With her sidekicks, Frank and Betty, literacy, music and comedy come together to thrill audiences of all ages. 

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Jeghetto

Jeghetto is a self-taught master builder and puppeteer residing in NC. His puppets are abstract moving sculptures made of mostly found and recycled materials. He has received two grants from the Jim Henson Foundation prior to becoming a board member himself. Jeghetto has worked with Missy Elliott, Pharrell Williams, Alec Baldwin and Terence Nance. He was a guest on The Steve Harvey Show and performed puppetry on The Voice and HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness.

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Magda Guichard

Magda has been working with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte for nine years, designing costumes and puppets for such shows as Narnia: The Musical,  Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, and Coraline as well as the designing and creating of the Dragons in both The Reluctant Dragon and Shrek: The Musical. Magda earned her Master of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design in production design with a costume design focus.

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Ed's Dinosaurs Live

Ed's Dinosaurs Live are the Dinosaur Entertainers for your party, corporate event, festival, parade or any appearance of your needs. Started in 2011, with Mr. Ed, a homemade dinosaur, some balloons, and a few tricks up his sleeve, the company is now one of the largest dinosaur entertainers in the country.

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2024 Festival Schedule

10:00-11:00 - Wells Fargo Theatre

Center for Puppetry Arts’ International Puppetry Presentation 

Ages 5+

See the Global Art of Puppetry! Learn about different puppet traditions from around the world in this entertaining and interactive International Puppetry Presentation! Celebrate the intersection of geography, history, social studies, and the arts and experience the magic of puppetry through demonstrations, stories, music and more. Teaching Artist Jeff Domke from the Jim Henson Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA will be doing a presentation for all ages.

 

10:00-10:30 - StoryJar

Ed’s Dinosaurs Live Show

PreK+

Ed Bounds brings with him a gang of prehistoric friends including Dakota, Baby T, Little Quon and of course, those Triceratops Triplets- Trixie, Trey and Trouble. Pet a baby dinosaur, interact with a Stegosaurus, and maybe even see a dinosaur being hatched! 

 

10:30-11:00 – Spangler Library

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Puppet Storytime

Ages 0-5

Your whole family can enjoy stories, songs, and movement activities that support early literacy skill development and help foster a love of books and reading in your child. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate. Today’s storytime will feature songs and activities with bonus puppets popping in to visit!

 

11:00-11:35 – The Round

The Lurnsters’ The Sing Along!

PreK+

Join The Lurnsters on a magical musical journey through the world of feelings and imagination. Sing songs, dance, and play games, and lose yourself in all the fun! The Lurnsters' The Sing Along musical adventure is a fun-filled and heartwarming story that will teach children about the power of friendship, courage, and innovation.

*Smoke machine and occasional strobe lighting will be used during this performance.

 

11:00-12:20 – McColl Family Theatre

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s Pinocchio

Ages 6+

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte presents a new take on this classic tale. High among the scaffolding, a group of painters begin the day’s work. Using the objects around them, they bring the story of Pinocchio to life in real-time, creative fashion. Kind-hearted Geppetto carves a little puppet from wood to call his own. But Pinocchio dreams of being a “real boy” and seeks adventure unaware of the danger it brings. When he learns his papa is in trouble, Pinocchio sets his selfishness aside learning that he doesn’t need to be real to be brave. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

 

11:15-11:45 - Rehearsal Room B

CML Frontline Puppeteers’ Sing a Song of Friendship

PreK+

Join us for a very music-filled puppet show presented by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Frontline Puppeteers. We will focus on friendship through three hilarious stories. This is a 30-minute puppet show based on children's picture books, geared toward children ages PreK-Gr. 2.

 

11:30-12:00 – McGuire Woods Boardroom

Ms. Melanie’s Frank and Betty Show

PreK+

Join Ms. Melanie for a family puppet show filled with laughs and literacy on trying your best! Best friends, Frank and Betty are learning about failure and effort in a hilarious show for all ages.

 

12:15-1:00 – Spangler Library

Grey Seal Puppets’ Tangle of Tales

PreK+

Three favorite folks tales from around the world come to life with a touch of the familiar and a taste of the new. Using a variety of puppet styles, "The Frog Prince" from Germany, "Three Billy Goats Gruff" from Scandinavia and "The Three Little Pigs" from England are each told with refreshing wit and wisdom. In between each of the tales there’s a whole menagerie of zany characters to see and enjoy. A skinny ant dances a lively jig; "block heads" learn how to get along; and the zaniest creatures of all, the "Wobblies", open the forty-five minute performance with an extraordinary ballet choreographed to Kablevsky's "The Comedian's Suite".  Tangle of Tales is fun for everyone!

 

12:45-1:15 – Wells Fargo Playhouse

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s The Lion and the Little Red Bird

PreK+

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is reviving its popular preschool puppet show for today’s festival and making it free to the public. This delightful play tells the story of an inquisitive bird and a compassionate lion, an unlikely friendship to say the least. Why does Lion’s tail keep changing colors? Little Red Bird’s curiosity is piqued, and she sets out to unravel the mystery! Preschoolers will love this charming story, told with a mix of actors and puppets.

 

12:45-1:45 – Rehearsal Room B

Jeghetto’s Workshop

PreK+

Bring family and friends to enjoy a magical and interactive live performance while learning the art, history, and mechanics of puppetry from teaching artist Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins. Pipkins is master builder and puppeteer residing in North Carolina and his puppets are made of mostly found and recycled materials.

 

1:00-1:30 – McGuire Woods Boardroom

Ms. Melanie’s Frank and Betty Show

PreK+

Join Ms. Melanie for a family puppet show filled with laughs and literacy on trying your best! Best friends, Frank and Betty are learning about failure and effort in a hilarious show for all ages.

 

1:30-2:00 - StoryJar

Ed’s Dinosaurs Live Show

PreK+

Ed Bounds brings with him a gang of prehistoric friends including Dakota, Baby T, Little Quon and of course, those Triceratops Triplets- Trixie, Trey and Trouble. Pet a baby dinosaur, interact with a Stegosaurus, and maybe even see a dinosaur being hatched! 

 

2:00-2:45 – Spangler Library

Grey Seal Puppets’ Tangle of Tales

PreK+

Three favorite folks tales from around the world come to life with a touch of the familiar and a taste of the new. Using a variety of puppet styles, "The Frog Prince" from Germany, "Three Billy Goats Gruff" from Scandinavia and "The Three Little Pigs" from England are each told with refreshing wit and wisdom. In between each of the tales there’s a whole menagerie of zany characters to see and enjoy. A skinny ant dances a lively jig; "block heads" learn how to get along; and the zaniest creatures of all, the "Wobblies", open the forty-five minute performance with an extraordinary ballet choreographed to Kablevsky's "The Comedian's Suite".  Tangle of Tales is fun for everyone!

 

2:15-3:00 – McGuire Woods Boardroom

Meet a Master Puppet Builder

Ages 12+

Join us for a 45-minute presentation for older children and adults where Magda Guichard, Children's Theatre of Charlotte's Master Puppet Builder, will highlight some of her favorite puppet creations that have graced the stage here at ImaginOn, including Rupert the Dragon from The Reluctant Dragon, the Gingerbread Man and Petunia the Dragon from Shrek, Aslan from Narnia the Musical, the Pigeon from Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and many others. She will discuss materials and process, reveal early prototypes and plans, allow attendees to handle samples, and answer any remaining questions about becoming a Master Puppet Builder. 

 

2:30-3:10 – Wells Fargo Playhouse

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s The Lion and the Little Red Bird

PreK+

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is reviving its popular preschool puppet show for today’s festival and making it free to the public. This delightful play tells the story of an inquisitive bird and a compassionate lion, an unlikely friendship to say the least. Why does Lion’s tail keep changing colors? Little Red Bird’s curiosity is piqued, and she sets out to unravel the mystery! Preschoolers will love this charming story, told with a mix of actors and puppets.

 

2:45-3:20 – The Round

The Lurnsters’ The Sing Along!

PreK+

Join The Lurnsters on a magical musical journey through the world of feelings and imagination. Sing songs, dance, and play games, and lose yourself in all the fun! The Lurnsters' The Sing Along musical adventure is a fun-filled and heartwarming story that will teach children about the power of friendship, courage, and innovation.

*Smoke machine and occasional strobe lighting will be used during this performance.

 

3:00-3:30 -- Rehearsal Room B

CML Frontline Puppeteers “Sing a Song of Friendship”

PreK+

Join us for a very music-filled puppet show presented by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Frontline Puppeteers. We will focus on friendship through three hilarious stories. This is a 30-minute puppet show based on children's picture books, geared toward children ages PreK-Gr. 2.

 

3:00-4:20 – McColl Family Theatre

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s Pinocchio

Ages 6+

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte presents a new take on this classic tale. High among the scaffolding, a group of painters begin the day’s work. Using the objects around them, they bring the story of Pinocchio to life in real-time, creative fashion. Kind-hearted Geppetto carves a little puppet from wood to call his own. But Pinocchio dreams of being a “real boy” and seeks adventure unaware of the danger it brings. When he learns his papa is in trouble, Pinocchio sets his selfishness aside learning that he doesn’t need to be real to be brave. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

 

3:45-4:30 – Spangler Library

Puppet Karaoke

Ages 5+

This fun, inclusive activity will be facilitated by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Frontline Puppeteers and will be an opportunity for children (and adults) at the festival to take the “stage” with their puppet of choice and let their inner rock star out to a variety of Kids’ Bop, Motown, and Disney classics. It’s a great opportunity to learn and practice basic puppetry skills like mouth manipulation and expressive movement of puppets.

 

4:30 – ImaginOn 

Puppet Parade!

All Ages

Participating puppetry troops from the day will line up at the top of the ImaginOn ramp and conduct a puppet parade throughout the building, led by Sigmon Theatrical’s entertainers. PuppetPalooza participants will have the experience to interact and take photos galore to celebrate the end of the festival day.

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